IAP Fellow 2020: Arturo Mendonca Part II

Read Part 1 of Arturo’s Fellowship experience here.

Designing an Acceleration Program for Social Impact Businesses Focused on Healthcare

Understanding the Ecosystem

Over my second week of the project, I interviewed experts from several organizations to get a better sense of the social impact business ecosystem, how accelerators worked, and what are the challenges that healthcare entrepreneurs are facing. 

I tried to contact experts from different types of organizations in order to get different perspectives. Some of them had previously interacted with Artemisia, some of them were connections that I had from previous works I have done in the country, and others I “cold-called” to get the interviews. It was very interesting seeing how receptive people were. All of them promptly offered their time when I said I was doing a project with the MIT PKG Center and Artemisia. Below are the logos of some organizations in which the experts that I talked work.

Figure 1- Organizations in which experts that I interviewed work

I tried to cover governmental organizations, accelerators and social impact entrepreneurs working on healthcare. Talking with them was very rich and gave me a whole new perspective about how healthcare problems are being tackled here in Brazil.

Types of Healthcare Solutions

Using the information gathered through interviews, I refined the structure that I had created to map different types of healthcare solutions. The idea is to use this structure to tailor the program for different types of social impact entrepreneurs based on the specifics needs of each type of solution.

I organized it through a mind map, which is a hierarchical structure that shows the relationship between the different pieces. You start from a broad topic and as you add more levels and nodes it gets more and more specific. Below is the mind map that I created to organize this content.

Figure 2- Mind map of Healthcare solutions

The mind map above was created focusing on the key stakeholders that I identified on the Brazilian Healthcare System and potential problems that can be solved using new approaches and technology. One of the things that I will do over my third week is refining this mind map and specify which adaptations need to happen in the acceleration program given in which type of solution the social impact entrepreneur is working on. 

Structure of the Acceleration Program

After talking with organizations that designed and organized acceleration programs, as well as social impact businesses that have participated in those. I realized there are three main aspects covered in these programs:

Figure 3- Elements of an acceleration program

The Knowledge part is about facilitating the learning of relevant content for the social impact entrepreneurs. It can happen by organizing workshops, inviting speakers, providing online learning opportunities, or even recommending books and courses that the entrepreneurs can use to improve their skills. 

The Roadmap part is about helping the entrepreneurs setting goals for the short and long term. This is useful to map the potential roadblocks that they can face during and after the acceleration program and provide clues on how the mentors can best help the entrepreneurs. This is also useful to create momentum and traction, which can help in future steps.

The Connection part is about helping social entrepreneurs meet and interact with relevant stakeholders in their area of work. This can be any potential partner for their endeavors or specialists that possess specific knowledge about the problem they are working on. This interaction with other social entrepreneurs, public servants, members of the government and potential partners recurrently generated new ideas and solutions for difficult problems they were trying to work on. 

Next Steps

Over the final week of my project here I will try to connect the dots of this acceleration program and create a framework that will clarify the specific challenges of social impact entrepreneurs working with healthcare. This will be used to tailor the acceleration program to its participants and ensure that all relevant aspects for them to succeed and create impact are covered.

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