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Originally published on PM 360.

As the leaders of three prominent independent healthcare agencies, we have tired over the years of hearing how networks collaborate together for their clients, implying that an independent can’t do it. Earlier this month, we launched a major initiative at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) in Austin that disproved that notion. Privately, we never thought it was true.

In mid-December, the three of us had a notion of doing SXSW differently. In a fit of creativity (perhaps, but not admittedly, fueled by alcohol) we agreed that collaborating on an activity at SXSW might be the best way to make waves.

What ensued was a series of discussions designed to find that perfect way to create some headroom in the raucously competitive environment of SXSW. Finally, sometime in January, we found it! Each of our agencies has clients that deal everyday with managing a variety of different chronic illnesses. There are definitely similarities in the problems and concerns those chronic illness patients encounter. Why not try to find some solutions?

We partnered with an organization that loves the idea of making healthcare better, MIT Hacking Medicine. With a philosophy that one should “Break it down, Build it up, and Make it better,” we felt like we would have a process that could drive interest and real change at SXSW.

The idea quickly gained traction within our industry. We attracted some high-quality panelists from healthcare, and a pharmaceutical company was so impressed with what we were planning that they agreed to support our efforts financially. Not bad, huh?


Read the original PM360 story here.