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Jacob Jackson, MEEI '16

Master of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation | Bringing technology to health care

Jacob Jackson had earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and was working in addictions and neuroimaging research when he decided it was time for a pivot.

“I loved being at the forefront of science, but decided I needed a faster-paced career with a focus on the commercialization of science and technology,” he explains. “I had almost zero business experience but was interested in technology startups.

“The Master's of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation program provided me with the launchpad and education to catalyze my entire career shift from academia to high growth technology startups in less than one year.”

The program focused Jackson on the launch of a healthcare technology company called HiNT. While pitching HiNT at McMaster’s Forge Startup Competition, Jackson connected with the technical founder of MedStack, a Toronto-based compliance solution reducing the barriers to innovation for healthcare app developers.

That connection resulted in Jackson joining MedStack in 2016 as the company’s first employee. Now, director of business operations, he has been involved in helping the company acquire financing and secure app developer customers who can get their apps to market to improve the quality of care for patients.

“It has been quite the rollercoaster ride, as any startup is, and I feel incredibly lucky to have had this opportunity,” says Jackson. “We have just completed the long and onerous process of raising a seed round of venture capital and my current responsibilities are to build out the sales and operations teams and refine our financials and unit economics so that we are ready to raise a much larger round of capital next year.”

 He urges students to recognize that careers are marathons, with finish lines far ahead and out of sight.

 “You need to start moving. It's ok if you change your goals along the way but you need momentum to be able to steer in any direction. Set a goal, start moving, and then you will be able to steer your career in the right direction, making many turns along the way,” says Jackson.