By Lacie Blankenship
Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is proud to offer the Health Valuation Lab in partnership with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and the Vanderbilt School of Medicine Department of Health Policy.
The Health Valuation Lab is a new course where participating students are split into teams and paired with a Project Healthcare company to provide valuation services. The course is currently offered as an independent study and is intended to grow into a traditional course. Teams assess a variety of factors, including technology, market size/potential, competition, intellectual property, regulatory landscape, technical components, user evaluations, and financials and reimbursement.
“The Health Valuation Lab gives you a chance to have eyes into the investor world,” says participant Julia Weber (MBA’23). “Participating in the lab is a cool complement to my previous experiences with product development. Being on the investor side and doing a lot of research and market validation for a company trying to make it was kind of seeing both sides of the coin and building my business skills.”
Organized by Ranga Ramanujam, Richard M. and Betty Ruth Miller Professor of Management and Professor of Health Policy; Melinda Buntin, Mike Curb Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy; John Graves, Associate Professor, Health Policy; Klara Lou, Associate Health Policy Data Analyst; and Eric Thrailkill and Magi Curtis from Project Healthcare, the Lab is the result of collaboration among several experts from across Vanderbilt’s campus, the Nashville healthcare community, and the University of Minnesota’s Medical Industry Leadership Institute.
“The Health Valuation Lab is a truly interdisciplinary affair,” says Ramanujam. “We have Owen, the Department of Health Policy, the Entrepreneurship Center, and the involvement of the founders of companies, industry experts, faculty and students from various schools across Vanderbilt, corporate sponsors, and the Nashville healthcare community.”
The Lab relies on industry experts to offer initial guidance to participating students. For instance, the first set of students heard from Mark Frisse, Biomedical Chair of VUMC, Professor Emeritus; Aaron McKethan, SVP of New Ventures, Aledade, Adam Boehler, Founder/CEO of Rubicon Founders, Lisa Esch, SVP Provider Strategy, NTTData, and Matt Shappell, Partner, Frist Cressey Ventures. The plan is to regularly bring in people with similar levels of expertise and experience to help students.
Participating companies learn strategies to maximize growth opportunities to bring success to their organization. The 2022 Project Healthcare companies are:
- Atadas, a telehealth medication monitoring platform designed for the treatment and caring of patients with opioid use disorder
- GeneXsure, a genetic risk assessment, testing, and counseling service
- Major Care, an online postpartum care and doula service
- yumlish, a culturally relevant approach to nutrition therapy for diabetes that addresses socioeconomic/lifestyle barriers.
“Having a background in healthcare pr/communications, I always like learning about the new health technology companies,” says Weber. “I enjoyed getting to know people working in the area and working alongside other graduate students across Vanderbilt and the Entrepreneur Center. I actually have taken advantage of a lot of the events they’ve had since joining the Lab.”
“This is an exciting opportunity for students to engage in experiential learning,” says Ramanujam. “They get to collaborate around live business opportunities and potentially have an impact on the companies they work with”.
Click here to see a video on the Health Valuation Lab, made by the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.