For the last five months, we have been working in Wilmington, a town of 70,000 people in northern Delaware. Many people associate Delaware with being the land of corporate headquarters or the first state. In the last five months, we realized that limiting Delaware to those two superlatives doesn’t do the state or Delawareans justice. So what else, in our humble opinions, should you know about Delaware?
Delaware is a great place to start a company.
The Delaware community is tight-knit—especially the start-up and small business community. It isn’t uncommon to see investors, multiple start-up teams, University of Delaware students, and small-business owners all at the same time at the Loft, the co-working space where we work. Everyone is incredibly supportive of each other, from practicing pitches to giving web design feedback to inviting each other to tech events.
Within this community, every person we have spoken to has generously connected us to their networks of healthcare professionals, startups, and other relevant people. Because of this generosity, we have unique opportunities such as dinner with the Governor, tours of University of Delaware’s tech facilities, and a workshop with the Institute of Healthcare Improvements.
Bottom Line: The Delaware network is strong and welcoming. There are countless opportunities for partnership, learning, and paying it forward.
Delaware is committed to health innovation.
In December, Delaware was awarded a $35M grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The grant sets lofty goals—to realize $1B in cost-of-care savings and rank in the top five healthiest states in the nation by 2020. The Delaware Center for Health Innovation (DCHI) will coordinate the efforts of Delawareans, non-profits, agencies, start-ups, health systems, and private companies to reach these goals.
You can feel the excitement in the state as the community rethinks payment models, improves care coordination, empowers clinicians, develops a common quality scorecard, and promotes ‘healthy neighborhoods’ coalitions to address the health needs of specific communities.
Bottom Line: Delaware is rethinking the healthcare delivery system end-to-end and has given everyone a seat at the table.
Delaware is in the center of everything.
Delaware is geographically in the center of everything. New York City, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia can all be reached in under two and half hours. We’ve been able to take day trips to meet with doctors, nurses, and patients as well attend events at accelerators, co-working spaces, and conferences. This is a huge asset and for Nick and I, who are not East Coast natives, it has given us a chance for many new mini-adventures.
Bottom Line: Getting to people, resources, and events up and down the coast makes it possible to have active networks in multiple cities.
Over the next six months or more, I am sure we will continue to discover other things that make the state of Delaware a great place to be a health entrepreneur. If any of you ever find yourself in Wilmington, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You’ll probably find us at the Loft with a whole host of creative, innovative, and determined entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners. And if you need lunch, El Diablo’s burritos are hands-down the best - just don’t tell Chipotle.