John Sexton, '23 | LifeDrive (Health Tech)
Describe your company: LifeDrive is an assistive technology solution that allows those who have lost their independence and mobility to fully control their power wheelchair with their eyes.
Target Industry: Health Tech
What is your role in the company, and please list team members' names and their current role in the company: I am Founder and CEO; Lydia Damoose is Chief Operating Officer, Conor O'Brien is Chief Technical Officer, Emily Chen is Chief Medical Officer, Dylan Rose Elledge is Chief Marketing Officer, Dave Mohan is VP of Business Strategy
Why did you apply to Race To Revenue? What are you hoping to get out of this experience? John Henry at the IDEA Center recommended that we apply for Race to Revenue earlier in the semester, and it's a fantastic opportunity to dedicate 10 weeks to making as much progress, gaining as much traction, and connecting with as many important people as possible. The team and I are hoping to add a couple assistive technology/medical device experts onto our advisory board, and we also are aiming to have our provisional patent filed, our website launched, 15-20 medical professional interviews completed, and a concrete, executable plan developed for our next steps in the project, such as beta testing, by the end of the program.
Has there been someone who has helped you with your venture so far? We have four key mentors who have guided us with LifeDrive so far. John Henry at the IDEA Center has been a great mentor not only with giving entrepreneurial advice on the project but also helping to guide us through McCloskey, the Pre-Accelerator program, and Race to Revenue. Nick Kuhn at Elevate Ventures has been a great source of general startup advice as well along with giving us feedback on our pitch and next steps. Tom Darrow is our McCloskey mentor, and we hope to continue working with him, as he has given us great feedback as well as helped us to make connections with important people to build our network. Ed Daniels is our final current mentor, and as Chief Security Officer at Cardinal Health, he has not only given us general advice similar to our other mentors, but he has also connected us with some amazing people in the medical space as well as to a patent lawyer. All of our mentors and advisors right now are fantastic, and we intend to strengthen our advisory board even more by adding a couple of individuals who have more specific assistive technology startup expertise.
What do you want to learn more about, relating to business development in general or your own company/venture specifically? I want to learn more about how to best run beta testing for our device as well as how to tackle the difficulty of dealing with insurance in getting our product approved.
Entrepreneurial fun fact: My favorite TED Talk is "Start with why - how great leaders inspire action" by Simon Sinek. And if you're looking for a less serious fun fact, I have the same birthday as George Lucas, Mark Zuckerberg, and John Mulaney's dog.
Favorite place to get tacos and what kind? A place in Atlanta called Raging Burrito (they have more than just tacos but it's really good).