When I founded Lyfebulb together with Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn Group Vice Chairman and CEO and Steve Squinto, PhD, co-founder of Alexion and Venture Partner at Orbimed in 2014, it was with the broad goal to address the gaps I had experienced during my personal journey with diabetes and as a business woman and medical scientist.
Above all, I wanted to showcase individuals, who like myself, were not accepting of the role of a passive patient, but willing to take on the challenge of changing the future for themselves and others living with chronic disease.
At Lyfebulb we call these individuals “patient entrepreneurs” not to be confused with the meaning of patience. These people are anything but patient, but they are living with a chronic disease or closely related to someone with a chronic disease and they are not just sitting back waiting for solutions, but they are out there creating products and solutions that may help them and others in the near term.
My goal for Lyfebulb is to create a global organization that is patient-centric and functions as the voice for a larger population of patients, who have until this point been vulnerable and receptive rather than strong and proactive. We feel that it is patients’ responsibility and opportunity to be innovators, teachers and influencers.
This is why the Lyfebulb Entrepreneur Circle is so important. Here we feature people who have made their disease their career. They identify an issue in their lives with the disease and then they address that issue by creating a product or an entire company. That inspires me and I know it inspires others. If one cannot become an entrepreneur one can mentor others, one can influence large companies and one can advocate for progress.
Recently, Lyfebulb announced a partnership with global leader in diabetes, Novo Nordisk focused on this very effort. Together we will grow the Entrepreneur circle and we have tangible plans for how to showcase and promote them, for the benefit of others living with diabetes and the entire space. Products and solutions originated by someone who lives with the disease daily will be more applicable and better accepted by the peer population.
In the Lyfebulb pulse, we will feature one of our Rock Stars every two weeks – show-casing their personal story and their company/idea.
Our next step is to build an incubator in NYC, where new patient entrepreneurs can enjoy a creative environment with access to early funding, infrastructure for a start-up and help to take the next steps when they are ready to leave the incubator within 2 years.