CSE

Center for Social Entrepreneurship

at Middlebury

Reluctant Entrepreneurship: Lucie Ide ’97

“I had no intention of becoming an entrepreneur,” Lucie Ide ’97 told her audience on Friday afternoon.

The statement seems hard to believe, since Lucie is the founder and CEO of Rimidi, a software platform designed to harness big data to deliver better outcomes for patients with diabetes.

But then again, Lucie’s career sounds like it has been pretty unbelievable so far. Her bio on the Rimidi website reads, “Lucie brings her diverse experiences in medicine, science, venture capital and technology to bear in leading Rimidi’s strategy and vision.”

“Diverse” is certainly true. Her resume reads like a laundry list of the most sought-after positions in some of the most competitive job industries; and, from the perspective of a college senior, the ease with which Lucie has jumped from industry to industry seems impossibly impressive. In the fifteen years since her college graduation, Lucie has worked for the NSA, dabbled in venture capital, went back to graduate school to get her M.D. Ph D., completed her residency as an OB/GYN, worked for a healthcare consulting firm, and co-founded her own company. And she has three children. In an age when we are constantly talking about ‘leaning in’ and questioning whether women can ‘have it all’, Lucie seems to be making a strong case for the affirmative.

While her career path so far has been anything but linear, she chalked up the diversity of her professional experiences to hard work, a tendency to question the status quo, and a knack for problem solving.

A strong desire to make a difference and contribute value to society led her from venture capital to medical school. Yet during her residency, she kept coming up against systems problems within the medical practice, and found herself challenging and changing the ways in which emergencies were routinely handled.  Through this experience, Lucie saw an opportunity to do greater good by improving the overall system.

“I have these core values of working hard while contributing value to society. I noticed a tendency in myself to always question why we do things the way we do them, and I realized that with my skill set, I can make the most difference questioning the system and through innovation,” she said.

She decided to stop practicing medicine, and took a position in healthcare consulting. In this position, she learned that the United States spends $450,000 a minute on managing diabetes nation wide and only 7% of diabetes patients are meeting their treatment goals.

“I found this really strange, because diabetes is one of the best studied diseases out there,” Lucie said. “We understand it really well, and yet we continue to manage it poorly. And people care about it, from a health perspective and economically. People are willing to put money behind this problem.”

This realization led Lucie to team up with co-founder Michael Albisser to found Rimidi, a healthcare management startup that offers a software solution to physicians and diabetes patients to help identify gaps in diabetes treatment and create a more efficient cycle of care.

“Medicine is fundamental to our health, and fundamental to our economic situation as a country,” she told her audience on Friday. “Social entrepreneurship is identifying systems problems, while creating jobs and wealth and your community. In a sense, all entrepreneurship is social.”

 

Lucie Ide’s advice on how to be a change maker:

  1. Don’t call out a problem unless you’re willing to be part of the solution. You lose credibility and you lose opportunity to make a real change. You need to have an idea of how to fix it.
  2. Understand your stakeholders. You need to be able to see and understand the players and why the status quo is what is it. Either there’s a large barrier to change or there’s someone who is benefiting from the status quo.
  3. Prepare for failure: Get over being afraid of it, and accept that it’s going to happen. If it doesn’t happen, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough, you’re not taking enough risks.

 

Follow Rimidi on Twitter! @jointherimidi 

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