High five: Nico Aguilar, aspiring health hacker

High five: Nico Aguilar, aspiring health hacker

The world of health care is ripe for disruption. And although he’s heard his share of doomsday predictions, Nico Aguilar is seeking hopeful solutions. “We are on the cusp of a digital health revolution that will completely transform how we think about and interact with the health care system,” Aguilar wrote. The 24-year-old UI Department of Health Management and Policy graduate student isn’t sure yet whether he’ll focus on health policy, patient experience or hospital administration, but wherever he goes, he’ll bring an entrepreneurial mindset. In this vein, Aguilar has already founded two startups, along with his sister, Lauren Aguilar, and fellow students Anthony Pham and Kelsey Smithart. Safe Place, a public health app still in development that allows users to inventory their household chemicals and find safer alternatives, was nationally recognized by the Institute of Medicine, and Born Ready, a childproofing checklist app, is continuing on after taking second place at Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids. After graduating in May, Aguilar plans to complete a two-year management fellowship at the University of Chicago Medicine. Read on to learn more about how hospitals, policy and technology can all impact the future of health: How are things going with Born Ready, post Startup Weekend? “Startup weekend was a blast. It started as just a team of me and my longtime friend Anthony Pham – so it’s been pretty easy to pick things up afterward. “Since then, we’ve really started to focus on validating the idea, the customer discovery part of it. That square on the [business model] canvas is something we didn’t get to do as much during Startup Weekend because…

Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news

Welcome to the Innovation Index! Each week, I’ll round up links and stories from around the web relating to startups, innovation and entrepreneurship in Iowa’s Creative Corridor and around the state. You can help! Email me news and notes.  Quotable:  “Technology connects the entrepreneur without a dime in her pocket to the billion dollar idea in her dreams.” -Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, in his opening remarks for the Prometheus Awards. It’s always nice to hear praise for the entrepreneurial community coming from official places, right? Corridor companies fared well at the annual ceremony for Iowa’s tech community presented by the Technology Association of Iowa - find the full list here.   News and Notes: Before the Prometheus Awards Wednesday, a few Corridor tech startups had the opportunity to pitch in Des Moines as part of the i2iowa conference. (Relatively) fresh off of Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids were Major Trading Cards and Born Ready pitching in TAI’s Pitch & Grow, and several other local companies were able to participate in pitches to investors. Great representation of Eastern Iowa. More from Major Trading Cards: Zach Sanderson, who pitched the idea at Startup Weekend, is taking the leap to work on the company full-time! HUGE milestone today: This is my 1000th tweet! Oh and I handed in my resignation at my day job to work on @MajorCards full time. — Zach Sanderson (@zachsanderson) April 7, 2014 Also at i2iowa, a new early-stage fund, NestMint, was launched. Coverage via We Create Here, the Des Moines Register and the Greater Des Moines Partnership. This fund is open to all types of early-stage companies - it will be interesting to...