WS6: Design Thinking for Start-Ups

Workshop Introduction

TMultiple parts are involved in building start-ups from problem identification to addressing a need and figuring out logistics and support. The life of a start-up is not straightforward, however, there are some common milestones and patterns from birth to growth that entrepreneurs need to be aware of. This workshop on design thinking for start-ups will illustrate some key points and parameters that contribute to the future success or failure of a start-up. The workshop will focus on healthcare start-ups with the learnings being applicable to other market sectors too. Participants will gather insights on 1) what is the lifecycle of a healthcare start-up – involved parts, milestones and stakeholders; 2) how to define the problem, understand the market and provide a solution; 3) how to build a solid team for a successful start-up journey; 4) what are the sources of funding and how to think about investments in a start-up; 5) how can the network and other stakeholders support a start-up. By the end of the workshop, the aim is for participants to feel empowered, excited and confident on how to build a start-up.

Georgios Varsos, Ph.D., PMP

RTsafe; VU Venture Partners; Johns Hopkins University, USA

Georgios is a driven professional with 9 years’ experience in life sciences and an interdisciplinary background in business development, venture capital investing, management consulting and scientific research. He is currently the Director of US Business Development at RTsafe, a medical technology company offering solutions to improve radiotherapy interventions for brain tumor patients. As a Venture Partner, Georgios is sourcing healthcare investment opportunities at a $100M+ multi-stage venture capital fund, VU Venture Partners, covering areas such as digital health, telehealth and drug therapeutics. He is also the Founder & Manager at Georgios Varsos Consulting, offering business development consulting services for companies in healthcare and life sciences. Being a certified PMP project manager, he previously worked for 5 years in strategy and management consulting, where he led projects of ~$1M in total value, managing cross-functional teams of consultants, programmers and MDs. In terms of education, Georgios is currently an MBA candidate at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He conducted his Ph.D. research in Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge, and received a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. With a passion to support entrepreneurship and professional development, he serves as a start-up judge, mentor and career coach at leading accelerators and business schools globally, including MassChallenge, MIT Enterprise Forum, MedTech Innovator, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and Northeastern University. Georgios has received 15 awards and scholarships for scientific, entrepreneurship and philanthropy achievements.