Posted Thursday, January 19, 2023 12:00 am
By Shaun Ryan
In any profession, the vast majority will choose the “tried and true” approach. At the same time, a few others will always be looking for a better way. It’s a dynamic that arises even in health care where some clinicians aren’t satisfied with the way specific ailments are being addressed.
Still, it’s one thing to identify that need – and perhaps even to propose a solution – but quite another to effect real change.
That’s why almost 600 of these innovators in 14 countries have turned to The Honey Badger Project over the past three years.
The Honey Badger Project is a health care business incubator that helps clinicians reimagine their careers by leveraging technology. Clinicians from across the spectrum of health care enter the 12-week program with an idea and leave with a full-fledged business.
“It’s like the Navy SEALS of business building,” said Frank Benedetto, co-founder with Cedric Haddad of The Honey Badger Project. “It’s fast. It’s intense. And it all starts off with finding your niche.”
Many of those who avail themselves of the incubator’s program include nurse practitioners, doctors of osteopathic medicine, chiropractors, physical therapists, registered dieticians and occupational therapists. Much of the focus is on allied health professionals who Benedetto said tend to be more open to reimagining ways to deploy their knowledge and skillsets.
“The deeper that someone is ingrained into the health insurance world, the more difficult it becomes to get them to see creatively,” he explained, “because their entire careers have been judged by how many sessions you can squeeze into a day.”
A team of specialized coaches help the innovators with product development, marketing, sales and operations. Daily support is often a part of the process.
The Honey Badger Project begins by identifying the population to be served and then the core problems the innovator wants to solve. These problems are reverse-engineered so that solutions can be found. Beta testing is done. Finally, the innovator learns to market and sell their idea.
Benedetto is a doctor of physical therapy who with Haddad launched a cutting-edge, direct-to-consumer physical therapy clinic in 2015. This grew to five locations. The men sold that business in 2019 and started two new projects: CounterStrike, a hybrid platform for combat athletes, and The Honey Badger Project, the mascot of which is widely considered to be the world’s most fearless animal – symbolizing the courage of anyone willing to rethink their approach to health care.
Benedetto has an office at the link, an innovative co-working space and business incubator in the heart of Nocatee, the brainchild of entrepreneur Raghu Misra. One of the attractions the link has for many of its members is the work-life balance it offers, particularly the way it provides activities to children and youths even while their parents work in other parts of the facility.
“I’m someone who is wildly obsessed with my work,” Benedetto said, “but not at the expense of my family.”
For Benedetto, there is also the link’s focus on innovation.
“The culture here is rooted in innovation,” he said. “And I think that Raghu as the founder really lives that.”
The Honey Badger Project can be found at wearehoneybadgers.com. Interested people can also search frank_benedetto on Instagram, find him on Facebook or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.