Auguste Rodin is credited with the quote, “Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” I think the more accurate statement may be that nothing is a waste of time if you are willing to wait long enough for the ROI. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how success in this space is a long term process. Here’s a case in point.
In the fall of 2014, Jim Davis and I presented our company at the TEDMED conference in San Francisco. We were excited that Advera Health (then AdverseEvents) had been selected as one of the few start-ups to present at “The Hive” – a conference within the conference to demonstrate new and exciting technologies in healthcare. Falling under the spell of the TED aura, we spent heavily, prepared diligently, and arrived early – raring to go and unleash our brilliance on a ripe and ready crowd.
It was a total flop. The crowd was sparse, interest was light, and those of us in “The Hive” spent most of the conference checking our phones, eating the gluten free vegan food, and wandering in and out of the main stage speaker arena to hear a bunch of people present talks remarkably similar to this.
Some eighteen months later, only three things really stand out about that experience:
- One of the few people to wander into our presentation area walked up and asked us to explain what we do. As we started into our pitch, he pulled out a big bag of chips and started eating them. He ate the entire bag during the 2-3 minutes we spoke, crumpled the bag up and put it on our table-top display, and then walked away without saying a word. Clearly we made a great impression.
- One of the speakers at the main event was Elizabeth Holmes from Theranos. This was peak Theranos hysteria time (pre-WSJ expose) and while her talk wasn’t memorable, they did have a big testing area on the convention floor for people to get their fingers pricked for analysis. I should have realized there was a problem when my report came back showing that I was 6-months pregnant.
- On the afternoon of the second day, a gentleman came up to our area and introduced himself from Novation, the large Group Purchasing Organization. He told us that he had been looking forward to hearing more about our work. At the time, I wasn’t even fully aware of what a GPO was – but I was thrilled that a normal person was taking any sort of interest in us.
As you may have seen, we announced earlier this week a new distribution agreement with Vizient, the country’s largest GPO. The agreement grew out of that meeting at TEDMED in 2014. In the time since, Novation grew, merged, and was re-named Vizient. And it took all of this time for them to better understand our platform and its appeal to their member firms.
The distribution agreement is a landmark deal for Advera Heallth. Vizient’s members, made up of U.S. academic medical centers, pediatric facilities, community hospitals, and integrated health delivery networks who collectively represent almost $100 Billion in annual purchasing volume, will now have preferential access and pricing to our data, analysis, and insight. We’re excited to leverage Vizient’s in-house sales and marketing teams to greatly expand our scope of sales outreach coverage and create significant new opportunities within these markets. While we’ve already gained client traction and many dedicated fans within Vizient’s coverage area, our new agreement will help to greatly accelerate that market penetration.
We’re looking forward to rolling out our offering to the Vizient membership. If your organization is a member of Vizient, please feel free to contact us to learn more about your preferential pricing.
Brian M. Overstreet, President, Advera Health Analytics, Inc.