"Right place at the right time." An adage that is disputed for all types of context - professional, personal, relationships, etc. But here's why I believe it's true.
Our world has become digitized, and most of my networking is done on LinkedIn now. I essentially can get access to any information and expert by just staying behind my computer. BUT if I did just that, I would miss out on the human bonds that are emotionally made, which has led to a bias in memory and decision-making that has put me ahead of others they know on a digital-basis.
New York City = hustle culture. That's why I lived in NYC right after college. I was pursuing my Master's in Health Administration and wanted to meet people who were as driven and had grit in the same industry. Here - I met my current best friends that are killing it in the different realms in the business of healthcare, became a part of a strong alumni system, and received multiple consulting job offers for the industry I was interested in. I do visit often because I believe this is where the ✨ magic ✨ happens for every industry. People are more willing to meet up at any given time and place, and you have more of a chance to bump into people outside of your typical circle here. Check out Pepper and Digital Health New York.
San Francisco = tech world. I got curious about living in a new state, so I moved to SF right after grad school. Also there was so much hype from my peers that this was the place to be if you were in tech and innovation...they were so right. It felt like everyone had a startup founder friend or worked for a tech giant or was an investor. The only useful networking tip I have here is just go talk to people because everyone is uber smart and well-connected. But yes it did feel more transactional here more than any other city I've been at. I did use LunchClub, which gave me a chance to meet people outside of my usual network.
Los Angeles = humanizing work. I moved here because it has been my dream city and still is. And somehow the stars aligned because I was looking to work at an accelerator and live here, and what I got was the opportunity to be the 1st hire and part of the founding team of one of the most prominent hospital consortium and built 7 accelerators/innovation programs from scratch. What I love about this tech scene is that it is heavily focused on the consumer, and what that means is that the people who are building it are relatable and want to serve YOU. I find that Scale Health and BioscienceLA usually have something going on.
Austin = not-so-secret Silicon Hills. Dell Medical School was 2 year old at the time I was here. It had attracted talent from across the country who were interested in shaking healthcare up. So I cold messaged a bunch of employees to get my in to pitch a ventures partnership program that advocated for population health projects created by community members. This city is growing with more tech companies coming in. But the digital health community still feels small comparatively. There's a handful of contacts who are the healthtech community builders in this city, like Capital Factory and MDisrupt.
Digital world = a sprinkle of IRL events. Maybe you aren't able to move around, but staying connecting is key. I'm currently in and am following a few communities that have a stronger digital presence but host relevant events, such as The Grind, Health Tech Nerds, On Deck, Launch House, and Forbes 30 Under 30.
I'll continue to update this list as I discover more on what's happening in digital health and entrepreneurship. But since you're reading this, you get a sneak peek in the cities I'll be doing pop-up digital health events in these next few months: New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, Boston, and Atlanta. Stay tuned for more details.