Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dave Newcombe, Founder of Skyline Innovation, located in Squamish, BC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The emergence of digital biomarkers for patient treatment and monitoring of disease status continuously, remotely, and daily dramatically expands the data collection, potentially leading to improvement of treatment and future diagnosis. Digital biomarkers are a non-invasive and cheaper alternative and provide the following diagnostic, safety, response, monitoring, prognostic, risk, and predictive data and contribute to clinically actionable insights into patient care and treatment. The ability to remotely monitor patients between clinical visits allows for feedback on treatment, tailoring or adjustments, and potentially pre-emptive action such as adding or subtracting treatment to avoid complications of the disease.

Skyline's solution of collecting data points during sessions using the video chat application will assist with the medication efficacy of patients. Scheduling a call at different times of the day can collect data to assist with medication scheduling and monitor peak and trough points. An automated call with Artificial Intelligence (AI) response to a short computer-generated conversation with linguistic sequences and challenges to draw data points for diagnostic review and provide actionable answers between clinical visits.

Tell us about yourself

My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's over 20 years ago, and weekly we would talk on the telephone, and about 7 years ago, her voice became harder to understand, a condition known as Dysarthria. I looked for a product that could help replace the telephone, but there were none. Having a telecommunication background, I started to research solving this problem and founded Skyline Innovation.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Federal grant allowing to partner with the local university (UBC) Linguistic department and, in turn, reach out to local hospitals to connect and recruit patients for the study once we have Operational and Institution Approval. Having the university as a partner helps with early credibility, as the Ethic Approval Certificate has helped open some doors.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Taking risks but breaking them down into smaller, less risky experiments. Always have alternative plans and ideas to try next. Always have short-term plans, then 3, 6-month plans, and 1, 2, and 3-year plans. Be very selective in advice from people, they may understand their own industry very well, and not all industries run the same.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Bootstrap or self-fund as far as you can.
  2. Develop your idea and figure out how to interact with your customers as early as possible for feedback. Can you use this interaction to demonstrate traction?
  3. Future pipeline product development or customers, could your product be used for a different purpose in a different market with little change? Is there an opportunity to change from a B2C model to B2B?

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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