On April 26, 2021, finalists will compete for $22,500 in awards in the Spring 2021 Skandalaris Venture Competition. In anticipation of the SVC finals, we are publishing a Q&A series with the finalists. Today's featured team is SafeBeat Rx.
SafeBeat Rx is developing machine learning technology that aims to expand access to important (at times, life-saving) heart medications.
Industry: Healthcare/AI Software
Number of Employees: 2; WashU Research Team - 12; Expert Advisory/Consulting Board - 14
Total Funding (as of March 2021): $27,500
What problem are you solving?
Many beneficial medications have restricted access due to their potential to cause heart side effects. In fact, adverse cardiac effects are the top reason that medications are denied FDA approval.
How do you solve this problem?
Our technology is the first to expand access to these medications through novel machine learning technology. Our venture has support not only from patients and physicians, but also from leaders at Barnes Jewish Hospital, the largest insurance company, the president of our largest heart rhythm medical society, and key industry partners. We are committed to working together to make this technology a reality for our patients.
About the Founding Team:
CEO Dr. Rachita Navara is both a cardiologist specializing in heart rhythm disorders and a bioengineer with an entrepreneurial focus from the innovative Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (founded by the father of John M. Olin, namesake of WUSTL’s Olin Business School). She and the founding team have assembled a strong multi-disciplinary team of heart rhythm physicians (including the father of our medical specialty!), data scientists with “big data” telehealth background, software engineers trained in artificial intelligence, clinical trial specialists, and experts in regulation and reimbursement. We are humbled by feedback from the NIH: “Excellent team of collaborating investigators who have an abundance of expertise…and are well-placed in moving software to market.” “The proposed technology will have a significant impact in the field.” The mission of SafeBeat Rx is to apply engineering principles to transform the management of heart rhythm disorders.
What is the biggest lesson you've learned since starting your venture?
No one is going to be more passionate about your venture than you are, so it is important to be able to spread that enthusiasm and inspire others to join forces with you. We are humbled by the international team of experts who have committed their time and resources to help us develop this technology, and we are excited to share with others the entrepreneurial lessons we have learned along the way.
What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
There is always a new challenge, a new question – the journey of a startup venture is largely unchartered territory, which perfectly balances the often evidence-based practice of clinical medicine.
What words of advice do you have for those starting a business?
We never imagined the abundance of resources for founders and innovators throughout the local and global startup community. Explore these resources and take advantage of as many learning and networking opportunities as you can. The most meaningful connections are often the least expected!
What is your must-read book?
Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson
What is your favorite entrepreneurial news source?