Life Sciences Innovation Northwest

Earlier this month, part of our team attended the Life Science Innovation Northwest 2012, a conference put on by Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association. Shift Labs was accepted to give a poster presentation, and it was a great opportunity to meet colleagues on the innovation and investment side of this field.

The keynote was was given by Jeff Raikes, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His talk emphasized the importance of collaboration between private sector and philanthropic organizations. It was great to hear about the Foundation’s belief in the power of markets. We were also really interested in the partnership model  where for-profit entities  find solutions to problems which philanthropists  then help take to areas not well served by existing markets.

At Shift Labs we value our relationships with the global health nonprofit sector. Philanthropy is a powerful tool for helping solve problems where markets fail. Even as we work with the non-profit and public sectors, we want to push the boundaries of this solution space a little further: let’s build the actual market for low cost medical devices in low resource countries.