Sling Health, formerly known as IDEA Labs, is a student-led medical technology incubator growing around the country. Sling Health was founded at Washington University in St. Louis in 2013, where a group of MD/PhD students were disappointed by the lack of opportunity for students to solve the medical problems they kept learning about in the clinic. They built an inexpensive, scalable, volunteer-driven infrastructure that formed diverse teams of students around clinical problems submitted by local physicians and provided the mentorship and early resources needed to create prototypes and companies. The teams of engineering, medical, and business students develop medical devices and software to solve medical problems, then retain all of the IP and equity as they spin out into companies.
The lightweight infrastructure, at no cost to teams, enables Sling Health to attract, train, and support over 130 students annually in St. Louis. With only $80k in annual program costs, Sling Health companies have gone on to raise over $2M in follow on capital. Over 300 students have gone through the program, and resulting products are already being used in over 10 clinical trials and helping 2,000 patients. This platform, empowering students to improve the practice of medicine, fills a national need present at almost every school. Sling Health just concluded a successful pilot year as a national network with chapters at U Pennsylvania, Harvard and MIT, and is collaborating with the American Medical Association (AMA) to further these efforts. The program is starting at U Michigan, Tulane and LSU, Georgia Tech and Emory this year. Steven Monda is the current Managing Officer of Sling Health. He will speak about his personal experience with Sling Health, the progress they have had in St. Louis, and how the Sling Health model is progressing on a national level.