[@NU VMN] Announcing Bouvé Innovators Club
A month ago, I had a pleasure of speaking in front of a group of mentors & alumni at Northeastern University Venture Mentoring Network. Along with Dr. Nancy Hanrahan and Rebecca Love of Nurse Innovation and Entrepreneurship, I presented the budding community of healthcare enthusiasts at Northeastern University.
As the founder of Bouvé Innovators Club (BIC) — which aims to connect health sciences students (pre-med, pharmacy, nursing, PT, etc) to the other students in the Northeastern community (business, design, engineering, comp sci, etc) — I shared a story of how a pharmacy student got himself into the world of entrepreneurship and venture capital:
Thank you. It’s crazy to see how the dots connect when looking back. And it’s even crazier when you realize that those dots were created out of pure luck or as I like to say, taking wrong turns.
As introduced, I’m Danny Jooyoung Kim, a second-year pharmacy major and Entrepreneurship minor. Outside of school, I work as a student investor at a venture capital firm to find and help the brightest student Entrepreneurs turn their passion into reality. When hearing the latter part of my introduction, many people ask me how a pharmacy student got himself into Entrepreneurship. I always answered them by saying, “I made a wrong turn my first week in college.”
And that wrong turn was quite literally a wrong turn on my way to my first date in college! The event was titled Brant Cooper’s “The Myth of the Visionary” and it was an event hosted by the Health Sciences Entrepreneurs. I thought, ‘I’m a health sciences guy and I vaguely heard that Entrepreneurship is cool; let’s check this out. I got few minutes before my date.’
Well, I sat down for a couple of minutes and heard what Brant had to say about entrepreneurship. And I remember pulling out my phone and texting my date. “Sorry, might not be able to make it tonight.”
After that night, I never heard back from this girl. But, I found something new that would make me stay curious about this new, strange world of entrepreneurship I encountered.
And that spark led me to run all around Boston to find most interesting ideas and people who are sitting at the intersection of healthcare and innovation. For an 18-year-old, I ran around with a lot of what my Israeli friends call chutzpah, relentless boldness.
- I met Jonathan Bush (the CEO of athenahealth) to talk about how healthcare could benefit from blockchain technology.
- Eric Schmidt (the ex-chairman of Google) to talk about inclusive economy and healthcare.
- TJ Parker, second generation pharmacist (like myself) and the founder of a soon to be one billion dollars online pharmacy startup (according to the Forbes). And I sure hope so because I’m working there starting next week.
- But most importantly, I met Rebecca through IBM Startup Weekend (which we are hosting this year) and through Rebecca, I met Dr. Hanrahan and Mr. Fleming. I cannot thank these mentors enough for all their guidance and patience.
These mentors really brought my attention back to the Northeastern community and helped me realize our community’s potential to become the center of student-led innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare.
One quick example: a VC friend from Korea sent me an email the other day to check out a national AI/Machine Learning healthcare conference that’s taking place in SF this summer. I was curious to see what kind of brain power goes behind putting a conference like this…and I saw Northeastern University! One of the program chairs was Professor Bryon Wallace, whose #1 research interest was “realizing better healthcare by processing and making sense of the vast amounts of health-related data that currently exists in unstructured formats like text.” And Dean Carla Brodley of CCIS, the national leader in AI/ML, was a member of the conference’s senior advisory committee.
When TJ Parker founded PillPack 4 years ago, when he was still a student at MCPHS right around the corner, he had to go all the way to MIT to meet his co-founder/ chief technology officer, Elliot. At Northeastern, WE HAVE these problems solvers, CCIS/COE/DMSB, in our backyard! And of course, we have Bouvé students and faculties who are passionate about identifying and addressing problems in the healthcare system like TJ. We want to connect these two groups — problem thinkers and problem solvers.
Last week, our club held our first ever meeting bringing together 40+ students from 10+ majors (behavioral neuroscience, cell and molecular biology, chemical engineering, computer science, finance, info systems, international business, nursing, pharmacy, math). All these students filled the room with 1 passion — healthcare innovation.
Steve Jobs once said that innovation is just connecting two unlikely things and creating value. To expand on his words, I believe something interesting indeed happens when you have a pre-med student walking into NU ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)’s meeting to learn more about AI/ML, when you have a nursing student walking into NU Blockchain Club’s meeting to learn more about decentralized data exchange, or when a pharmacy student walks into a room full of entrepreneurs after ditching his dinner date.
I’m Danny Jooyoung Kim, and I’m proud to represent Bouve Innovators Club and its passion to make Northeastern the center of student-led innovation and Entrepreneurship in healthcare. Thank you.
Bouvé Innovators Club
Vision: Inspiring students to explore and innovate beyond the traditional realm of healthcare (professions) to better serve patients/clients and their families.
Mission: Empower future healthcare professionals with an entrepreneurial mindset by providing opportunities to connect (with local ventures & entrepreneurs; students from other disciplines), compete (in competitions/hackathons), and inspire one another to develop solutions to advance healthcare.
**In a series of articles to follow this summer, I will expand on the individual encounters with these mentors and how they shaped me.