DENVER, CO – “We brought ten CEOs here not just to start a company,” Tom Higley, the founder of 10.10.10, explained to the crowd that had gathered at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in downtown Denver on June 20th. “People start companies all the time. This is about something much bigger than that.”
Higley was delivering the opening remarks at the start of 10.10.10 Health 2016, a 10-day-long program aimed at generating new health-tech companies by pitting serial entrepreneurs against wicked problems like childhood obesity, chronic pain, and toxic stress. Billed as the Big Reveal, the June 20th launch event introduced the entrepreneurs participating in the program to this year’s wicked health problems.
“We focus on serial entrepreneurs not because they have experience, but because they’re magnets for talent and capital and can move faster than almost anyone,” Higley continued. “But that also means they can move faster in the wrong direction. 10.10.10 is about helping entrepreneurs discover a direction that is powerful for them, for the investors that support them, and for the world.”
Sponsored by the Colorado Health Foundation, directed by a core team of entrepreneurs, and made possible by the efforts of over a hundred volunteers, this year’s program represents 10.10.10’s second attempt at encouraging the creation of market-driven solutions to wicked health problems. Notably, last year’s program led to the formation of BurstIQ, a health data company that has already raised a quarter of a million dollars in funding.
“Over the next 10 days, if you let it, this program will challenge you intellectually,” Frank Ricotta, the CEO of BurstIQ, told the ten entrepreneurs who had been chosen to participate in 10.10.10 Health 2016. “It will expand how you see the world. And I guarantee, if you embrace it, you will forever be changed.”
As the entrepreneurs introduced themselves, it became clear that while each possessed a unique background, all had achieved a high level of success in their past endeavors. (Though Hector Rodriguez, the first entrepreneur to introduce himself, had no experience in the field of healthcare, he had previously founded four companies and had raised over $65 million.) Each of the entrepreneurs also expressed optimism that they would be able to develop market-based solutions to this year’s wicked health problems.
“Back in the early days of the internet, you kind of felt like Prometheus bringing fire to the masses,” said Eric Marcoullier, a tech entrepreneur who recently sold a startup to Twitter. “Now it’s 2016, and look around. We set fire to a lot of industries and burnt them to the ground. Many of them have been rebuilt anew and better. I don’t think healthcare has had that happen to it yet. But as we look around at the new technologies that are appearing – AR and VR, machine learning and artificial intelligence, robotic sensors – there’s now an entirely new array of technologies that we can bring to bear in the medical field, and perhaps make it a better place for everyone in the process.”
Are you passionate about solving wicked health problems? Join 10.10.10 at their mid-term event on June 24th to find out how the entrepreneurs in this year’s program are progressing. Also, don’t miss out on 10.10.10 Health 2016’s final event, I3, where the entrepreneurs will share what they have developed and discuss their future plans.