29 October 2020
ACV34: From Doctor To Entrepreneur To Angel Investor (Dr Dinesh Gunesekaran, Part 1)
Dr. Dinesh is a practicing medical doctor and scientist. He completed medical training at the National University of Singapore, during which he received the Wong Hock Boon Society for Research Distinction award – he has since published over 30 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals including Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, JAMA Ophthalmology, and IOVS, and is an active reviewer in journals including JAMA Ophthalmology. He is best known for his work as Head (Health Informatics) 2011-2019 in the Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study group, a project that spanned 10 years and used big data to address ocular tuberculosis, where Dinesh oversaw the collaboration of 25 hospitals across 10 countries.
Dinesh has also co-founded Doctorbell, overseeing product strategy and medical affairs. His startup was acquired in 2018 by MaNaDr, MOH telemedicine sandbox. He currently provides independent consulting in health technology and invests in digital health start-ups such as AskDr.
I talk to Dr Dinesh Gunesekarana about his experience getting involved in a research project that used big data to gain insights into tuberculosis infections of the eye. From there, Dinesh got approached at a medical conference by his cofounders who wanted to start a telemedicine company. Dinesh shares his story about building his company, Doctorbell, and eventually selling it in 2018.
3 THINGS I LEARNED
- Expose yourself to opportunities: Dinesh’s entrepreneurial journey only started because he sought out an opportunity to do big data research in ophthalmology. That led him to cross paths with his cofounders at a conference. But more importantly, Dinesh worked hard to execute and complete the projects he was tasked with – which was why more and more opportunities landed in his lap.
- It pays to be active on LinkedIn. Whilst trying to build his network in the startup / entrepreneurship space, Dinesh leveraged his LinkedIn network to share articles, communicate his interests, connect with people and listen to their ideas. It made me think about paying more attention to my own LinkedIn profile.
- Much of Dinesh’s knowledge about building startups was self taught – he was averaging reading a book a week as he sought to develop the knowledge needed to grow the startup. Startup founders need to be masters of many fields – but pushed by necessity, it is possible to develop expertise in all of these domains.
- Medical Grand Challenge https://medicine.nus.edu.sg/cenmed/mgc/
- LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/
- Lean startup- Eric Ries https://www.amazon.com/Lean-Startup-Entrepreneurs-Continuous-Innovation/dp/0307887898
- Ocular Tuberculosis = tuberculosis infection of the eye https://www.aao.org/topic-detail/ocular-tuberculosis-tb–asia-pacific-2
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