ACC New York Chapter – Inaugural Shark Tank Challenge

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On Aug. 2, the ACC New York Chapter (NYACC) hosted its first-ever NYACC Shark Tank Challenge innovation competition. This event was supported in part from a Chapter Innovation Award granted to the ACC New York and California Chapters, in partnership with the ACC Health Care Innovation Section.

The event welcomed approximately 80 attendees as they watched seven individuals from across the state pitch their innovation ideas and prototypes to a panel of three "shark" judges, comprised of ACC Health Care Innovation Section Chair Regina Druz, MD, FACC; a venture capitalist and health care start-up CEO; and a venture capital engineer/patent attorney.

Cardiology Magazine ImageRegina Druz, MD, FACC

Held in the shark room of the Long Island Aquarium and kicked off by a live cage dive awarded to one of the NYACC members, we moved on to dinner talks around physician entrepreneurship and how the ACC fosters innovation, with our finned friends supervising in the background.

This discussion segued into the main event with Shark Tank contestants having 10 minutes to pitch their ideas, and then additional time to receive input and feedback from the judges.

Many attendees noted that both the discussion and judges' feedback were as educational and informative for the members in attendance as they were for the contestants themselves. There was also lots of opportunity for networking and discussion amongst attendees to help foster their own ideas for innovation and become more involved in this arena.

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The event ended with crowning the inaugural NYACC Shark Tank Challenge champion, as well as a second and first runner-up.

Whereas many events lose momentum as the evening wears on, things got even more exciting after Shark Tank, when New York's ACC Fellow in Training Jeopardy contestants took to the floor to face off for a chance to win a trip to ACC.20/WCC.

Many discussions took place well after the evening's events ended, to the point that networking was pushed out into the parking lot after the venue closed!

With attendance from all reaches of membership, as well as tremendously positive feedback and interest to make this a standing event, we anticipate building off the success of this event for future competitions.

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This article was authored by J. Chad Teeters, MD, MBA, MS, FACC, president and governor of the ACC New York Chapter, Upstate.