As part of this year's Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Summit, attendees will be touring Health Wildcatters' facilities to learn more about their work to address behavioral health challenges and radically transform care delivery. We conducted this interview with CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Hubert Zajicek, to get a firsthand look at how Health Wildcatters offers early-stage portfolio companies and healthcare entrepreneurs in the Dallas area the space, resources, and connections to push care delivery boundaries further.
Oliver Wyman Health (OWH): As an organization, what is one of the most memorable “impacts” you’ve had on healthcare thus far?
Dr. Hubert Zajicek (HZ): In a nutshell, we see impact on a daily basis. It’s an incredible privilege to watch startups meet many of our 150 mentors, and have these seminal pilots, business model changes, or “Aha!” moments that set them on the right path.
We’ve invested in 51 startups and organizations from 23 states and two countries. They’ve raised around $50 million total. Innovators have picked Health Wildcatters, and Texas, because there is significant growth, entrepreneurship, innovation interest, energy, and capital here to propel companies further. It takes a lot more than cash investment to help startups accelerate and succeed – we help them find business models, initial customers, and key interactions needed early on.
Out of the first few classes, we have seen a couple of exits. One exit was to Nike - a company that will help further Nike’s goal of making better fitting shoes to avoid foot ulcers in customers with diabetes.
OWH: What kind of community engagement efforts have you found most impactful, both within Dallas and internationally?
HZ: As one of the top five healthcare incubators in the country, we get a great number of applications and interest from all sides. Even though we’re not publicly funded or have any economic development tie-ins, we have taken on tasks that encourage entrepreneurs in the region (or within a certain manageable reach) to travel to Dallas and take advantage of our resources, like our healthcare innovation-focused co-working space. We also have an outward-facing program open to the community, which allows health innovation leaders to host speaker series around health entrepreneurship. We also run a variety of regional conferences and events, and support various nonprofits and meetup groups that have health innovation at their core, such as Health 2.0 Dallas, Health Technology Forum, and the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (Dallas Chapter).