Ogilvy And humble ventures Teamed Up To Deliver High-Demand Events At SXSW 2019

“An actually interesting panel on digital health”

Harry Alford
Mar 13, 2019 · 3 min read

This week at the South by Southwest Conference and Festivals (#SXSW2019), Ogilvy & humble ventures designed and facilitated two oversubscribed events with over 400 signing up in total: Ogilvy & humble ventures Digital Health Pop-Up and Ogilvy & humble ventures #humblehang.

The Digital Health Pop-Up featured a curated list of attendees ranging from big pharma to startups to enterprises and investors from across the health industry to discuss exciting innovations they are seeing in the space. The intent was to bring together people who are working to improve the delivery of health and collaborate and learn.

We convened leaders and clients from across the health industry in a series of panel discussions, ending with a showcase of 4–6 startups.

The panels were lively and the discussions taking place between the panelists and the audience added to the intimate nature of the event and achieved the goal of having people talk and collaborate to explore how digital innovation can truly disrupt the healthcare system and deliver.

Upon conclusion of this two-hour event, guests transitioned from a ballroom to the South Lawn of Four Seasons Hotel the Ogilvy & humble ventures #humblehang.

The private hang, overlooking Lady Bird Lake, celebrated this collision of friends, partners, brands, innovators, thought leaders and investors who are doing amazing things to transform our world. We experienced live music, met amazing people and engaged in thoughtful conversations while enjoying full glasses of rosé.

Following the Digital Health Pop-Up and #humblehang, we wanted to share the coverage as well as some tweets highlighting our time at SXSW:

As part of Medical Marketing & Media’s (MM&M) SXSW roundup, our event was the lead item and noted as “an actually interesting panel on digital health” with “smart people saying smart, pithily quotable things.” The publication continues:

-One of the last South by Southwest events I attended, the Ogilvy Health/Humble Ventures Digital Health Pop-Up, proved to be one of the liveliest. The idea, per Ogilvy chief digital officer for health and wellness Ritesh Patel was a simple one: throw a bunch of smart folks from different professional walks of life such as big pharma, medium VC, and little startup in a room and push them to talk candidly about health innovation and investment.

It worked much better than most such panels — there are, what, 60 on the same exact topic every year? — because almost every person in the room, including audience members, said the quiet parts loudly. For instance, a VC exec in the audience pressed the three-person panel of innovation and investment chiefs from Pfizer, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation to commit to a 90-day timetable to complete deals with startups. When one panelist equivocated, a startup executive pushed back with “forget 90 days, could you just commit to 180?” J&J’s Cris DeLuca parried the frustration by noting that “most of the time that you see as stalling and delays is about trying to find the [internal] fit.” Fascinating, candid stuff.

-Smart people saying smart, pithily quotable things: “Ask, ‘What can we do for $90,000 in 90 days?’ Think small, then double down” — Humble Ventures founder and general partner Ajit Verghese on health innovation projects.


humble ventures (humble) is a venture development firm that accelerates growth for tech-enabled startups in partnership with established organizations and investors. We focus on diverse entrepreneurs and those creating solutions for diverse audiences.

We have found that enterprises who are looking to solve problems are realizing diversity and inclusion are inextricably linked to innovation. humble is incubated by Ogilvy Consulting. Ogilvy Consulting works with clients to navigate complex questions in branding, growth, innovation, and digital transformation. humble helps Ogilvy, their partners, and clients to solve problems through the use of lean startup methodology and design thinking.

Harry Alford

Written by

Harry Alford is Co-Founder of humble ventures, a venture development firm accelerating tech startups in partnership with large organizations and investors.

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Stories and lessons about venture capital, innovation, entrepreneurship, diverse founders and those building solutions for diverse audiences.

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