Besides our amazing keynote speakers, next month’s conference features great curated panel discussions. Meet the participants ahead of the event.

By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)

Some things always stay the same at event Women 2.0 conference — high flyers deliver keynotes, lunchtime mentoring offers support and advice in an intimate environment, and our PITCH competition highlights awesome early-stage, female-founded companies — but we’re also always looking for fresh ways to make the event even more valuable for our community.

That’s why this time we decided to introduce curated panels for the first time ever this year. Drawing on the principle that two (or more) heads are better than one, we decided to pick the brains of veteran investors and top tech journalists to help us select some of our panels and guide participants’ in-depth discussions of pressing issues in the industry.

So who have they invited to share their experience and insight with our audience? This week we’re highlighting some of the participants gathered by VentureBeat’s Christina Farr for her curated panel, “Big Tech: Innovation vs. Regulation in HealthTech,” which will discuss the startups pushing the boundaries of traditional healthcare, as well as questions around privacy and regulation. First up is Halle Tecco, co-founder and CEO of Rock Health.

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers who might not be familiar with your work?

Rock Health, a full-service seed fund, lowers the barriers for entrepreneurs to break into healthcare. We provide digital health startups with funding, access to our network of partners across healthcare, full-service support from our staff, and office space.

Why did you decide to work in the healthcare space?

Healthcare represents nearly 18% of the United States’ economy, yet it is one of the last sectors to undergo technology-based transformation. While our costs continue to rise, our health outcomes, by any appreciable measure, are not on par with the rest of the developed world.

Applying modern technology to healthcare’s most significant problems can dramatically improve productivity, lower costs, and improve health. Despite the tremendous market opportunity represented by this nearly three trillion dollar industry, many entrepreneurs still shy away from this industry. I wanted to change that.

What’s one trend in healthcare startups you’re tracking closely at Rock Health?

Just one? I would have to say the massive proliferation of data (administrative, clinical, biometric, genomic) making a number of Big Data and analytics opportunities possible, with more data becoming liquid.

The panel touches on the issue of regulation — how much bandwidth do Rock Health companies devote to worrying about issues of regulation?

It completely depends on their product. Hardware companies in our portfolio, like Cellscope and Factor 14, spend a significant amount of time (and money) getting FDA approval.  And any company building a product that touches patient data, like OmadaHealth, spends time ensuring their product is compliant with patient data regulation.  Other wellness-focused companies like Wello spend little time worrying about regulation.

Ticket prices for the conference go up this weekend, so get yours now.

Jessica Stillman (@entrylevelrebel) is an editor at Women 2.0 and a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for, contributes regularly to Forbes and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM and Brazen Careerist, among others.
Image credit: JD Lasica via Flickr.