Getting Started at a Startup: Event Recap

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Getting Started at a Startup

Yesterday evening, to kick off the 2015-2016 mHealth@Duke consortium, we hosted 3 area startups to join us and talk about their experiences getting started at a startup.

They shared their getting started stories with us, as well as wise words of wisdom to all members of the audience thinking about getting involved in a startup. 

While they all come from disparate backgrounds (Javier is a biomedical engineer, David is an entrepreneur, and Kyle is a recent graduate from NC State), there were plenty of shared experiences around the table, and a few things became abundantly clear throughout the evening:

  • Starting a startup is really really hard…
  • …but also really rewarding!
  • If you’re thinking about starting your own company, think about whether you love your idea (aka your “baby”) or whether you’re excited by the prospect of being a manager, sales and marketing executive, administrator, and also in charge of payroll. Starting and running a company has very little to do with developing your idea, for better or for worse. 
  • Network, network, network! 
  • Every startup needs 3 people to start: a hustler, a hacker, and a hipster. (Wise words from Kyle Linton, CEO & co-founder of Nicotrax)

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More about the speakers

Javier-headshot left

Javier de Ana is a biomedical engineer with more than 10 years leading medical device innovation at Smith & Nephew, Inc., Bioventus, LLC and Novocor Medical Systems. Originally from Spain, Javier relocated to the US as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Michigan, where he was involved in his first university spinout, Xoran Technologies while pursuing his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. Mr. de Ana co-founded Novocor Medical Systems in 2013.


dlevin2David Levin has over 20 years of experience in the health care and cloud-
based software industries. He was a member of the original management teams at two successful local Research Triangle companies, Clinipace Worldwide and MercuryMD. Prior to Clinipace Worldwide, David was a key executive at MercuryMD, joining in 2001 as vice president of product management and marketing. He helped launch several well-adopted software applications into the health care market prior to the company’s successful sale to The Thompson Corporation in 2006. David holds a master’s in health planning from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s in biomechanics from Kent State University.



Kyle Linton is the CEO and Co-founder of Nicotrax Inc.  Kyle joined the company after completing his undergraduate studies at NCSU in 2014 where he focused on business development and marketing. Nicotrax is  a smart cigarette case that connects with a smoker’s smartphone to help interrupt smoking cues and support quit efforts. Outside of Nicotrax, Kyle is a personal trainer and is dedicated to helping people achieve their goals and live healthier lives. 


Couldn’t make it?

Check out the event highlights (via Twitter & Storify) here