Caution: Combustion ahead at Innovation Summit

by Ivan Salgo on October 9, 2014

Ivan Salgo Philips HealthcareIvan Salgo, MD, MBA, is Senior Director, Cardiology, Philips Ultrasound.

I’m thrilled to be part of the judging panel for the Innovation Tank at Boston Children’s Hospital’s upcoming Global Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards. I can’t imagine a better way to bring together a duly combustible mixture of new thoughts and ideas with the spark of innovation.

It’s very clear that the pace of innovation needs to accelerate.

The Innovation Tank provides a rich and engaging way to accelerate innovation by putting the best ideas and technologies in front of people who can incubate and fund them, and ultimately, take them to success.

The genius of the Innovation Tank is that it coalesces a critical mass of people and ideas in a single place. By bringing ideas to the front through competition, participants can raise the bar on their own creativity to bring forth compelling ideas that matter to medicine, that matter to peoples’ lives.  

Salgo anticipates a combustible mix at the Innovation Tank.

Salgo anticipates a combustible mix at the Innovation Tank.

I’m anticipating a tough competition at the Innovation Tank. Not every great idea makes a great innovation. As judges, we’ll be evaluating the three entries according to rigorous criteria:

  • Is it a meaningful innovation that addresses a clinical problem that needs to be solved?
  • Is the technology durably differentiated? Does it differ from and excel over other solutions? Or is it an idea that cannot be readily copied by another firm?
  • Has the innovator created a business case that captures the value they create while retiring key areas of risk: clinical, technical and financial?

If these three criteria don’t come together, the innovation is not worth pursuing. It’s particularly important that aspiring innovators develop a business case in a way that balances risk-taking and risk management. When investors assess a start-up, they want to be certain that the innovator has considered the multitude of challenges that may arise, whether in IP, regulatory approval or in thinking through their channel to customers.

This can be a tough pill for aspiring innovators, which is why passion is the number one ingredient in successful innovation. Every innovator runs into so many obstacles. Without passion to fuel you, innovation challenges will wear you down. I also advise innovators to find a mentor who cannot only share secrets of success but also share pitfalls and hazards.

As we count down to Boston Children’s Innovation Summit, I’m anticipating wonderful, dynamic interactions not only during the Innovation Tank but also during the entire event.

Watch the video below for more on Salgo’s take on passion as the fuel for innovation.


The Global Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards 2014 (October 30-31 in Boston) is booking fast! Register today at Please use the code VECTOR at check-out for a 10% discount.

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