Accelerating Healthcare Startups at MATTER

Name: Stan Szydlo

Year: Junior

Majors: Neuroscience, Statistics

CFS Program: Field Studies in Public Health

Employer:  MATTER

I have found entrepreneurship alluring ever since I started Northwestern, so I was thrilled when I received my spring internship offer at MATTER — a healthcare tech accelerator that operates out of the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. This space unites hundreds of startups, established companies, industry leaders, and payer and hospital systems across the city’s healthcare ecosystem. Entrepreneurs come here to grow their businesses and ultimately make an impact on American healthcare.

As an intern, I supported MATTER’s programs team by developing a tagging system for categorizing all of the member startups. This database feature allows for anyone to search for startups of interest based on key identifiers—the disease treated or the type of product/service offered, for example. As a whole, the project gave me a big picture understanding of the main technologies driving innovation in healthcare.

To date, this has been my most fulfilling internship experience in my time at Northwestern. By meeting teams of entrepreneurs who tackle some of healthcare’s greatest challengers, I learned a tremendous amount about all the moving parts that make up American health-care, along with the system’s greatest inefficiencies. I will walk away from the experience with a larger network of mentors and a clearer understanding of the impact I want to have after I graduate. My goal is to apply my background in Neuroscience and Data Science to a career in Computational Medicine—a burgeoning new discipline that uses machine learning tools and high-dimensional biomarker data to personalize patient diagnosis and treatment. Thank you MATTER, and thank you CFS.