Mark Michelman is a co-founder of Advanced Continuing Education Association (ACEA), a community dedicated to fixing continuing education in healthcare.
How did you get started at the i-lab?
I came to Harvard Business School in 2011 with the intention of starting a company. This is the same year that the i-lab opened its doors, and I got interested when I heard there were free snacks.
I came across an opportunity to help a mid-stage startup build a new office in Brazil, so I deferred my second year of business school to get some hands-on experience. When I came back to Boston, I met my current CEO (Kyle Kahveci) and learned that the Venture Incubation Program was really taking off, so I made it my goal to get accepted and plug into the network.
What’s the #1 resource you use most at the Harvard Innovation Lab? Why is/was it so useful?
More and more companies are choosing to save money and work remotely as it becomes easier to communicate online. Unfortunately, the best way to foster relationships is to spend time together. Strong relationships are absolutely critical for startup success.
The i-lab allowed our team to develop a personality and helped create moments of serendipity. These became turning points in our vision that would never have been possible without a space like the i-lab.
What’s next for you and ACEA?
We have an incredible team dedicated to our mission. Currently, we have nearly 20 agreements with business development partners, and over 3,000 doctors and other practitioners using our software across every state in the country.
Our next steps are to continue growing our user base, build out some more exciting product features, and improve our data analytics platform to create the biggest impact on healthcare costs and patient outcomes.
If you had to give another student one piece of advice to get the most out of the i-lab, what would it be?
Being an entrepreneur is all about using your resources efficiently and effectively. The i-lab can be an amazing resource, but you only get out what you put in.
Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to everyone, practice your elevator pitch with anyone who will listen, and get involved in all the round tables and social events you’re interested in.
If they don’t have a particular resource or event that you want, ask the staff if you can set it up yourself. As Walt Disney once said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”