The innovators that will be profiled in this section represent only a sampling of the many successes that have emerged from Idea Foundry’s programs.
The Road Less Traveled
Jill Schiaparelli describes her career path and journey to becoming CEO of Intelomed.
We are all too familiar with the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For some, the path forward is predetermined and clear, but for others, the path ahead is full of unknowns. Jill Schiaparelli, President and CEO of InteloMed, initially thought she wanted to be a lawyer but came to realize that her true passion lied elsewhere.
After getting her undergraduate degree from Boston University, Schiaparelli briefly worked at a law firm. “Convinced that I wanted to attend law school, I went to work for a mergers and acquisition law firm. That was a great choice because I quickly realized that I was more interested in the negotiation and structure of deals than in the legal documentation work,” she says.
Schiaparelli decided not to pursue law, got her MBA instead, and went into investment banking. After working in the investment banking industry for a number of years, she started becoming jaded by the environment. The expectations that were set before her did not align with her moral compass and her ethics were being tested. “While the work was challenging and interesting, I realized I was growing restless – I didn’t feel that I was making a positive difference in the world – and becoming disenchanted with integrity of many of my colleagues in the investment banking industry,” Schiaparelli says.
As luck would have it, Schiaparelli was presented with the opportunity to work for healthcare and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. “The business of healthcare, especially at a company of the caliber and reputation of J&J, provided an ideal opportunity for me to utilize my business and analytic skills to help people,” she says. “I also had tremendous respect for the J&J Credo which puts the patient and clinician as our most important responsibility – an attitude I have tried to cultivate within all the companies at which I have worked.”
At Johnson & Johnson, Schiaparelli dealt with a range of healthcare technologies and worked to bring new innovations to market. But after 12 years of working there, she realized that she wanted to be even more immersed in the healthcare innovation space. She saw potential in the non-invasive cardiovascular monitoring technology that InteloMed, one of Idea Foundry’s portfolio companies, was developing and made the radical decision to leave Johnson & Johnson to become CEO of InteloMed.
“InteloMed had a great technology that addressed a screaming clinical need for better solutions for monitoring. What was needed was a clear strategic vision and execution plan and a team that could tell the story of the CVInsight technology in a compelling way. I could clearly see what was needed and that’s what motivated me to take on the CEO role…and help bring a technology to market that could directly help people, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters…. that’s what healthcare is all about.”
As CEO of InteloMed, Schiaparelli has worked to create a culture based on integrity and values. “Effective CEOs must balance several different, often competing, goals. For me, there are five goals that I place high on my list: patients, vision, culture, people and resources,” she says.
Schiaparelli hopes that in the years to come InteloMed will “redefine monitoring and informatics”.
“We are challenging traditional approaches to monitoring and have created a technology platform that takes the best features of monitoring technologies and combines them into one versatile and easy-to-use system. We believe that our non-invasive solutions will actually expand the current monitoring market because we can easily go into new sites of care and help connect patients as they move through the care continuum – hospital, clinic and home.”
Schiaparelli never imagined that she would be where she is today but has enjoyed the journey and learned from her experiences. “My career path had lots of twists and turns. It taught me several things that I believe have contributed to my business successes: first is to listen to my gut if it tells me it may be time for change; second is to be open minded when opportunities present and, third, is to learn from each new situation so I can continuously improve.”
Idea Foundry has helped shape and grow Intelomed during its early stages through their investment and advice. I appreciate that they continue to support the company and remain committed to bringing new opportunities that fuel our efforts.