In December 2020, we asked Inlightened to tell us about themselves…

Tell us about your company. What problem are you trying to solve?

Inlightened is the only network of curated and vetted healthcare experts that leverages technology and transparency to facilitate collaboration, enable responsible disruption, and advance innovation in healthcare. There is consistent, recurrent feedback that healthcare innovations don’t address the needs of their target market and miss the mark in terms of improving care and outcomes. We created Inlightened to bridge the knowledge gap that contributes to these issues. Our goal is to eliminate obstacles and empower the healthcare community to design solutions that will actually succeed in making an impact.

How did your company get started?

We (Shelli Pavone, CEO & Co-Founder; Michelle Higginson, CMO & Co-Founder) have spent our careers working in healthcare and startups. As part of that work, we had a front-row seat to many of the industry’s successes and failures. One thread that wove its way through all of them: lack of subject matter expertise and engagement. We embarked on extensive research, interviewing both innovators and experts to wrap our arms around the opportunity. We focused on differentiating our network with quality, transparency, and value, and pairing it with a technical offering to ease the administrative burden (officially launched this past August). We’re committed to fixing what’s broken with expert networks, market research firms, and healthcare consultancies, by facilitating collaboration between the boldest innovators with the brightest healthcare minds.

Why is your team well-positioned to solve the problem you’re tackling?

We maintain that what you know is just as critical as what you don’t know, and it’s important to be honest about both. Early on, we enlisted the help of a fantastic team of advisors that includes startup founders, product visionaries, and clinician executives. Their experience spans healthcare and tech sectors, and even as we continue to grow Inlightened’s full-time team, the diverse perspectives gleaned from our advisors are invaluable. In looking at the Inlightened network as a whole, we are so proud to be onboarding experts — including administrative leaders, award-winning academics, patient advocates, trailblazing researchers, C-suite executives, serial entrepreneurs, and social change agents — every day, and are continuously amazed at the depth and breadth of their combined expertise, and all that they have to offer Inlightened client companies.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?

For highly vigilant individuals starting a company — particularly one built around a network — it’s hard to not take it personally when people aren’t responsive. Whether it’s driven by imposter syndrome, being female founders (particularly in a male-dominated industry), or something else entirely, we had to quickly learn how to overcome that. We place the onus on ourselves to be accountable and abide by the golden rule. We can’t control much beyond that.

What resources do you rely on to help your company grow?

Our business model is based on people and collaboration, so it only makes sense that the relationships we’ve built with advisors, experts, client companies, accelerators, investors, and fellow founders have provided us with tremendous support. And since our product is a platform, we of course see value in leveraging interactive tools like Shoobx, HubSpot, and Roadmunk to help us keep track of where we are, and where we’re going.