Ruhee Subedar is no stranger to the startup world, and JLABS @ Washington, DC is thrilled to welcome her to the JLABS family as the Innovation Activation Manger of JLABS @ Washington, DC.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Ruhee has a background working with tech start-ups and digital agencies. Most recently, Ruhee led marketing efforts at LifeCents, a financial wellness startup in Rosslyn, Virginia, and previously held a role at car-sharing pioneer, Turo in San Francisco.
This week, we sat down with Ruhee to learn more about her passion for collaborating with mission-driven organizations as well as to get her perspective on the trailblazing DMV (District of Columbia-Maryland-Virginia) innovation community and an insider look on plans on the horizon for JLABS @ Washington, DC in 2020.
Q: Can you share what your role will be at JLABS and what you are most excited about in joining the JLABS @ Washington, DC team?
As the Innovation Activation Manager, I am leading the JLABS marketing and program strategy for the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area through community engagement and programming planning, in addition to helping to strengthen the local entrepreneur ecosystem through our overall communications efforts.
What drew me to the role is the opportunity to work for a company that is mission-driven in all that they do. Health is fundamental to our existence. It’s something that drives us on a day-to-day basis, and the lack of it can stop us in our tracks. We have one life and one body, and increasing access to care by developing potential solutions for individuals and communities where there are unmet medical needs is a noble pursuit.
Further, there’s something very special about working with entrepreneurs—people who initially have just a seed of an idea—and then see it grow into something that is feasible, tangible, and can make a difference. I’ve seen it firsthand in the technology field and am looking forward to applying those learnings in healthcare.
I feel fortunate to join the JLABS team where we’re working at the intersection of innovative ideas and new possibilities for health and healthcare.
Q: Let’s talk DC and the DMV innovation community. If you had to describe the innovation community in the DMV in three words, what would they be?
Leading. Passionate. Risk-takers.
Washington, D.C. is the capital of the country, but it’s not just the decision makers who sit here—it’s also the big and small organizations leading in tech, science, and health. The people of DC have found their way here because they want to make a change. Whatever sector they are in and whatever their cause, they are passionate and want to be a part of something bigger. What’s more, the people of the DMV are not afraid to take the first step to try something new.
It’s for these reasons that the DMV region is a prime location for entrepreneurs—and an exceptional new home for JLABS.
Q: What’s on the horizon for JLABS @ Washington, DC in 2020?
2020 will be a year of many firsts for JLABS @ Washington, DC—the most important of which will be our Grand Opening at the end of year. We’ve all heard the saying that, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Part of progress is having the courage to venture out and do something we’ve never done before. This is what entrepreneurs in the DMV do every day, and this is what the JLABS team aims to do in integrating into the DMV community, hoping to forge strong partnerships with key stakeholders in the region, and opening up our doors on the Children’s National Research and Innovation campus. I am energized by the possibilities of how JLABS can support DC, the innovation community, and consumers and patients.
The JLABS @ Washington, DC site seeks to open in late 2020 to pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and health technology companies that are aiming to advance the development of new drugs, medical devices, precision diagnostics and health technologies, including applications in pediatrics. For the latest updates visit https://jlabs.jnjinnovation.com/locations/jlabs-washington-dc.
To mark the launch of the new JLABS on the Children’s National campus and the collaboration with BARDA, JLABS announced the JLABS @ Washington, DC Children’s QuickFire Challenge aiming to accelerate the development and commercialization of pediatric-centered healthcare innovation. For more information about the application process, please visit https://jlabs.tv/DC.