Blog: Syntek Medical Wins the 2021 Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition!

Syntek Medical Wins the 2021 Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition!

June 10, 2021

On Friday, June 4, 2021, the Final Four teams presented 10-minute, investment-style pitches to compete for the $10k Grand Prize! There were 50+ people in attendance including students, judges, coaches, professors, alumni, and community members. Based on the scores of our Finals Judges, we are proud to announce our Grand Prize Winner - Syntek Medical!

Syntek Medical, founded by Tawny Fajardo & Tyler Underhill, provides accessible, multi-adaptable devices to improve the safety of patients while being transported to different areas of the healthcare facility.

Here is a bit more about Syntek Medical and the HSBPC experience in Tawny & Tyler's own words:

Q1) How would you describe your experience participating in the 2021 Business Plan Competition?

Tawny: The Harriet Stephenson’s Business Plan Competition was one of the most incredible learning experiences both Tyler and I had. We are both surgical nurses and had absolutely no business background; but we did have a pretty strong vision! This competition gave us an opportunity to learn fast, in a hands-on environment. After our long days at the hospital, we got together and worked hard to make our intra-hospital transport solution come to life!

Q2) How did you personally benefit from participating in the BPC?

Tawny: The BPC gave us the resources we needed to start our business! Some of the most valuable moments within this competition was having the incredible amount of opportunities to network and connect with so many leaders and professionals within this industry; people in business we would have not been able to meet at the hospital. Within the BPC, we were connected with a team coach who mentored us, every step of the way! We felt inspired, encouraged, and well guided throughout this entire journey.

Q3) How did the BPC experience and Grand Prize Award impact your business?

Tyler: Being able to shed light on a problem we face in the hospital, gives others an opportunity to see and understand our solution, which ultimately will help Syntek grow. We really believe that once people see our solution they will find interest in what we’re doing.

Tawny: I absolutely agree! Expressing the urgency of hospital transport and exposing the type of issues that occur in the hospital was an important part of our mission. The Grand Prize Award ultimately serves to be part of the solution of better patient care. The Grand Prize will help us move our prototype forward and begin testing in facilities around Washington State. So far, it has also given us credibility. Since winning the competition, we have received additional offers which is very exciting!

Q4) What was your greatest learning?

Tyler: Being that we are healthcare professionals, there were many challenges coming into this competition. It was such a phenomenal experience learning how to develop a business plan and understand what will help make a business succeed in the short term and in the long term.

Tawny: We also learned so many other elements in business within the last few months. One of our favorites was having the opportunity to learn about the art of story telling from Melissa Reaves, which took our pitch experience to the next level! As nurses, it was easy for Tyler and I to forget how to paint a picture of hospital life to others who may not be in healthcare. After lessons with Melissa, and our expert pitch coaching sessions, we became more confident on how to deliver our message about hospital transfer!

Q5) What was the highlight of the experience?

Tawny: A highlight of our experience was having a business advisor and coach! Mackenzie, Co-Founder of Nanodropper, educated us every step of the way. Tyler and I didn't have any business experience! Our coach helped us feel motivated and inspired to continue to work hard!

Tyler: In addition to having our amazing business coach, we also really enjoyed the tradeshow. Being able to connect with our audience and share awareness of an important issue in healthcare is a passion both Tawny and I have. The tradeshow was the perfect platform to do just that, while also applying everything we learned so far within this business competition.

Q6) What could have made the experience better?

Tyler: It would have been really amazing to showcase the TEK-CLAMP in person. We would have really enjoyed talking to the judges and other attendees in person about what we want to accomplish with Syntek Medical.

Tawny: I agree! I would have loved to participate in this competition in person, meet with everyone, and pitch on stage! However, even with the challenges of having to go all virtual, it was incredibly organized, very seamless, and well supported! A huge shout-out to Amelia, Jaidev, and all the sponsors of the Harriet Stephenson Business competition for making this competition possible! Thank you!

Q7) Anything else you would like to add/overall thoughts?

Tawny: Being nurses in business, especially within this competition, came with fun memories! For instance, just minutes before our final business plan was due, I was called in for an emergency surgery - Tyler and I were finishing our plan over the phone as I was driving to the hospital!

Tyler: I just feel very grateful for everyone along the way who has supported us throughout the competition! There were some long nights but me and Tawny worked very hard and had a lot of fun during it too!