The first thing Dr. Heather Heine discovered when she moved her medical startup Olive Biosciences Inc. to Oakland County was that the area’s support systems and economy were so strong, she could focus on building her business without outside investors.
“We wanted to see if we could launch our business without venturecapital support, but doing that required moving out of the (San Francisco) Bay area,” Heine says. “When we tapped into the resources in Oakland County, we knew it was an idea where we could do that cost effectively (and) build the business faster.”
Olive Biosciences, a blood-test company, is one of many success stories around Oakland County and its Medical Main Street® initiatives, says Dom Holmes, a county senior business development representative. Holmes says his job is to do exactly what Heine has experienced — helping Medical Main Street businesses run smoothly.
That means working daily to engage with the medical industry, finding new partnerships and developing a comprehensive board of advisers and advisory council as well as deep relationships with diverse organizations ranging from health systems to educational institutions to municipalities and law firms.
There are opportunities around mobility and connected cars, smartphones and app development and in artificial intelligence.
“We are always looking at how we can help the companies that make up our community navigate all of these technologies coming into the health and wellness fields,” Holmes says. “We’re in a position to provide actionable intelligence to the companies that we work with.”
Mobility through autonomous and connected vehicles is a key issue to health care systems and their partners who are looking at how to integrate such tools and technologies into their industry as well as at how care will be delivered in an age of driverless cars.
“These organizations … want to know, for example, how trauma centers can navigate these technologies,” Holmes says. “We’re working on forming partnerships and gathering stakeholders so we can bring everyone to the table.
“We are at the beginning of something very exciting here. As a regional group, we at Oakland County’s Medical Main Street are uniquely positioned to lead the way.”
Karen Dybis wrote this article, which originally appeared in the 2019 edition of Oakland County Prosper magazine.