An Overnight Success at the Medical Capital Innovation Competition

February 14, 2018


By Virginia Pribanic, President and CEO, MedRespond

I have the privilege of leading MedRespond, a Pittsburgh-based online healthcare communications company combining artificial intelligence, search and streaming media so that healthcare enterprises can provide interactive, personalized, relevant and inexpensive communication solutions for their customers, clients, patients, and personnel.

Last year, I met with Matthew Miller, BioEnterprise’s Vice President of Health IT and Services, who loved our technology platform and subsequently encouraged me to enter MedRespond in the inaugural Medical Capital Innovation Competition.  Over 180 applicants from around the globe submitted entries. We were lucky enough to be one of the 27 companies selected to compete in the event, April 25-26, 2017 at the Global Center for Health Innovation (GCHI) in Cleveland.

On the first day of competition, applicant teams rotated through a series of meetings with industry mentors to get feedback on their products and pitches. The mentors were experts and high-level decision makers – people who know what truly drives healthcare innovation. I strode into the room with my prepared pitch deck and confidently presented to the mentors.

And then one of them turned to me and said: “So what, who cares?”

This was a critical insight and turning point for me. Our technology only matters if we can impact the bottom line.  I had to answer how our company lowers costs for payers and providers, saves money in the system, and helps patients and their families.

I stayed up the whole night rewriting my pitch-deck and repositioning MedRespond.

The next day we took first place in the Professional Division of the Competition. I couldn’t believe it, given the level of talent and the caliber of people and ideas that were there. I was honored and thrilled that what we do now especially resonated with the judges and mentors. We received $50,000, free exhibit space at HIMSS 2018 Conference, and critical business development and public relations support for our company.

Since that time, the BioEnterprise team has introduced us to key decision-makers, funders and clinical institutions in Cleveland. Building on these collaborations, we are now expanding MedRespond from Pittsburgh to an office at Cleveland’s GCHI.

I highly recommend that other companies take full advantage of the deep mentorship and rich collaboration opportunities afforded by applying to and competing (if selected) in the next Medical Capital Innovation Competition, on April 23 and 24, 2018.

Just be prepared to respond to and learn well from the mentors, who will offer succinct answers on how your product is in-sync with healthcare economics — and I only hope that you too will spend all night rewriting your pitch deck to take home the top prize!

About MedRespond

Virginia Pribanic is president and CEO of MedRespond, an online communications company combining artificial intelligence, search and streaming media to provide interactive, personalized, relevant and inexpensive communications solutions for healthcare enterprise clients, customers, patients and personnel. For more information:  MedRespond

MedRespond won 1st Place/$50,000 in the inaugural Medical Capital Innovation Competition Open Division.


About The Medical Capital Innovation Competition

The Second Annual Medical Capital Innovation Competition is scheduled for April 23-24, 2018. The Medical Capital initiative is a collaboration of Cleveland’s internationally renowned clinical, educational, and research institutions, philanthropies, government, and economic development engines. Convened by BioEnterprise, the initiative promotes the vibrant biomedical and healthcare industry in the 18-county Northeast Ohio region. For more information:


About BioEnterprise

BioEnterprise is a business formation, recruitment, and acceleration effort designed to grow the Northeast Ohio healthcare industry. Located in Cleveland, at the Global Center for Health Innovation and in University Circle, BioEnterprise provides management counsel and support services to health IT, medical device, and biopharmaceutical companies. In addition, BioEnterprise convenes and leads strategy for industry-building initiatives such as The Medical Capital, HIT in the CLE, and the Global Center for Health Innovation. BioEnterprise founders are Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals. Additional technology partners include the NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland State University and BioOhio. Since 2002, BioEnterprise and its partners have created, recruited and accelerated more than 350 health IT, medical device, and biopharmaceutical companies, and have helped these companies raise more than $2 billion in new funding. To learn more: