“Ideas are meaningless without a masterful execution.” — Alejandro Cremades, The Art of Startup Fundraising
UofL's Innovation MBA
Podcast: Kentucky recognized as data leader
Louisville is #1 in site selection ranking
Fore! Virtual golf game inbound
Angel's Envy's visitors center expansion
An uptick in people moving to Lou
UofL doc participates in Phizer trial
Something to tech, something to learn
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December 1, 2020
CHAT WITH AN EDUCATOR
UofL's Innovation MBA program builds entrepreneurs
Suzanne Bergmesiter with former students Eric Wentworth and JD Mitchell of Modica
Suzanne Bergmeister, is the full-time entrepreneur-in-residence and assistant director at the Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Louisville. Forcht’s programs have been consistently ranked among the top programs for entrepreneurship by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Entrepreneur Magazine, and the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
Louisville Future sat down with Suzanne to talk about the center’s Innovation MBA program, formerly known as the Entrepreneurship MBA.
What has changed in the program in the last couple of years?
Bergmeister: We rebranded the Entrepreneurship MBA to the Innovation MBA and shortened it to 13 months. The name was changed to reflect the fact that in the program students don’t just learn theoretically about entrepreneurship and innovation, we offer them hands-on experience. The goal is not necessarily for students to come out of the program with established businesses, although many of them do. The goal is education, but businesses being created is a frequent byproduct.
What does the program include?
Bergmeister: Our Innovation MBA students get all the core courses that regular MBA students do, like marketing and finance. But they also have hands-on innovation courses, like opportunity discovery, venture launch, venture accelerator, social entrepreneurship, and venture finance. We give them the tools, have them go through a design thinking exercise where they’re helping an entrepreneur solve a problem. They keep an idea journal. They take their top idea and then they create a plan around it, going through all the steps of de-risking it, etc. It’s real-world.
"The name was changed to reflect the fact that in the program students don’t just learn theoretically about entrepreneurship and innovation, we offer them hands-on experience."
— Suzanne Bergmeister
What is your background?
Bergmeister: I have a master's degree in engineering and my background is in venture capital (most recently with Chrysalis Ventures in Louisville); I was on the investor side for about 13 years. I am also the former chair and president of Venture Connectors and one of the founders of the Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NEW).
You’re not a lecture-delivery professor?
Bergmeister: No. My colleague, Mary Topolsky, and I don’t do a lot of classroom lectures. Mary has a PhD in chemistry but she has worked for years in college tech transfer. We do what they call a “flipped classroom” using the Lean LaunchPad methodology, where the students present and then we critique what they’re doing: value proposition canvas, business model canvas, their discovery interviews with their customer segments trying to validate, etc.
The program also prepares students to go out and pitch for venture capital, right?
Bergmeister: Absolutely. Angel investors and venture capitalists ask tough questions. Those who graduate from our program are very good at doing presentation and pitches. UofL pays for our teams to travel all over the world for pitch competitions. If a team wins money at one of the competitions, that money goes directly into the company, not to UofL.
I know you said business creation is not the primary goal of the program, but some successful companies have come out of it. Can you name a few?
Bergmeister: Sure! Inscope Medical Solutions is one. Meta Construction Technologies is a construction tech company that offers innovative software solutions for the heavy highway industry. And Jennifer Williams, who launched Cuddle Clones, which makes custom stuffed animals, did so out of our program. There are a lot more!
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How Kentucky became a national leader in civic data
Kentucky is a national leader when it comes to leveraging state data for improving policy and programs. Yes, you read that right - Kentucky.
Dr. Jessica Cunningham and Kris Stevens (from the Kentucky Center for Statistics) are encouraging folks across the country to think differently about how longitudinal data can be used to make lives better. This week, Jessica and Kris talk with Innovators podcast host Ben Reno-Weber from Louisville's Future of Work Initiative. Hear how their non-traditional backgrounds and love for data, math, and storytelling have come together to change the way business leaders and lawmakers think about how they can help people.
Despite a tough year, Louisville has earned first place in Site Selection’s annual Ohio River Corridor ranking. The magazine ranks regions that abut the Ohio River by examining corporate facility project data on an overall and per-capita basis during an 18-month period. In the first three quarters of 2020, Louisville has tallied 30 located projects, added 1,253 jobs, and represented $253.2 million in new investment.
The game's app communicates with a simulator through a QR code. Once it's communicated, the player can take their swings. In just about a second, it ties together swing and ball speed, accuracy and more. The game goes live in January.
Angel's Envy moves forward with $6.5 million visitor center
Local bourbon distiller Angel’s Envy will spend $6.5 million on a visitor center expansion. Angel’s Envy Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Wes Henderson told Louisville Business First: “We are thrilled to soon be breaking ground on expanding our Downtown Louisville visitors center. We also look forward to providing economic growth opportunities within our hometown.”
Louisville soars in homebuyer popularity
Technology-powered real estate brokerage firm Redfin has released a report about which cities have soared in popularity with out-of-town homebuyers since the pandemic began. Louisville is number 2 on that list. Louisville Redfin agent Danielle Field said the area has experienced an uptick in people moving in from all around the country, including California, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix, Austin, Seattle, and Florida.
UofL vice dean participates in Pfizer drug trial
Jon Klein, vice dean for research at the UofL School of Medicine, is a participant in a trial with Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its collaborator, BioNTech. “While we must wait for the safety data, the news from Pfizer this morning about the effectiveness of their COVID-19 vaccine exceeds all expectations. From my own perspective as a participant in the trial, the two-injection vaccine was not a bad experience and my own adverse effects were mild,” Klein said in a statement.
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Do you have something innovative to share?
Is your company leveraging cutting edge technologies? Did your startup raise enough capital to scale up? Are you at the forefront of life saving research? Maybe your organization has a big announcement. Well, we want to hear about it! And, so does our community of innovators and entrepreneurs. Send us your 'Hot Take' on what is going on.
Dr. Kedar Mate, President and Chief Executive of IHI
IHI (Institute for Healthcare Improvement) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Boston that works to improve health and healthcare organizations in over 30 countries. Dr. Kedar Mate, President and Chief Executive of IHI, talks about the institute’s mission and how Cincy’s Hive Networks is playing a pivotal role.
You’re very involved with LHNs (Learning Health Networks). Can you explain the concept?
Dr. Mate: IHI works from the axiom All Teach, All Learn. Everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn. That thesis was incorporated into LHNs for improving specific health outcomes for patients. LHNs are a marriage of the research community, provider community, and the patient community. All are teaching and learning from each other to improve health outcomes. That 3-part network has been so incredibly critical to the pace and the scale of the work.
What does Hive Networks contribute to the mission?
Dr. Mate: The LHN was essentially an academic model created by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with help from IHI. We needed a way to push it out to a broader audience. We wanted to make it so that anyone who wanted to start a network like this could. That’s what Hive Networks has pioneered.
Hive has created the data architecture and the community architecture that enables any clinical community to come together more rapidly and to take better care of patients. Hive took us into the realm of “anyone who wants to start a network can have the ability to do so.”
Can you give us an example of how LHNs are succeeding?
Dr. Mate: LHNs in general have made amazing advancements. One example is the LHN for in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). That network now includes 30,000 patients. That means that almost all kids with IBD are in this network now. The aggregate remission rate for kids with IBD went from an average of 50% to 80% in the last decade. Substantial outcomes for these kids: It means they can go to school, they can go to the prom. Things that weren’t possible before remission.
We also have a network for children born with a rare heart syndrome in which the left side of their heart is not working properly. It requires two surgeries to fix before the child is one years old. What was happening is that some children were dying between the surgeries. What was discovered through the LHN is that there were medications that could be administered between the surgeries that could increase the survival rate by 40%.
To learn more about the Learning Health Network model and Hive Networks, visit www.hivenetworks.com. To learn more about the Institute of Healthcare Improvement visit www.ihi.org.
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ON OUR RADAR
Is your company on our Innovation Radar?
Our writers work tirelessly to bring you the stories about the most innovative people and organizations. To aid in this effort, Louisville Future created a local innovation radar so our team AND YOU can keep up with who and what are shaping Louisville's future. This unique tool has very likely helped create a story you've read in a recent newsletter.
The radar, a work in progress, includes business intel on over 200 organizations. We will continue to add and frequently update our data.