Neuroscience alumnus awarded for work in healthcare innovation

Nathan Sundheimer ’17

In June, Crain’s Cleveland Business, a business news source for Northeast Ohio, named Nathan Sundheimer ’17 to their “20 in their Twenties” list, an award that honors young professionals and emerging leaders in the business field.

“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by Crain’s” Sundheimer said. “It’s a really nice testament to the friends, faculty and coworkers who have helped and supported me to get to this point. I’m proud and thrilled to receive this award.” A neuroscience major at The College of Wooster, Sundheimer works at Plug and Play, an innovation platform which connects startups to national and global corporations to bring new technologies and solutions to market faster.  At Plug and Play, he has two main roles: co-leading the North American Digital Health Accelerator where he supports startups to overcome challenges, surpass inflection points in their growth and obtain venture funding while also serving as the lead for US healthcare partnerships where he helps new companies world-wide drive the healthcare ecosystem forward through startup collaboration.

Sundheimer was not introduced to the healthcare innovation space until he went to business school. Wanting to differentiate himself before eventually going to medical school, he earned his business degree from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, where he concentrated in healthcare management and entrepreneurship. “I oftentimes joke that I went from studying endocrine pathways to balance sheets which was essentially like learning a whole new language,” Sundheimer said. After being exposed to myriad different healthcare companies through consulting and investment roles, he found his passion for the healthcare innovation arena which was aided by his Wooster experience. “I’ve been in different roles where I’ve worked with big corporations, investors, and startups, and I would say the most valuable tool that Wooster provided is the ability to communicate, embrace challenges and think critically & independently,” he said.

Sundheimer explained that after graduation, the pathway to a career or finding your niche is “not necessarily linear” and can have many challenges. “But no matter what variables are being thrown your way, I was able to take that information and do something actionable because of the skills I learned and developed at Wooster,” he said. One of the major preparations he valued was the Independent Study. “When I was interviewing for jobs and employers asked if I could write or work with large data sets, all I had to do was pull out my I.S.,” Sundheimer said. “I.S. allowed me to take full ownership of a project. The ability to define a specific focus of inquiry, develop a methodology, followed by data generation, synthesis, and analysis really set me apart from others in the early stages of my career,” Sundheimer said. During his time at the College, Sundheimer worked as a resident assistant, started the neuroscience club and club soccer, and was involved in Greek life. He emphasized the importance of these experiences at a global and liberal arts school. “Being able to understand and empathize with different perspectives and having a diverse range of knowledge is so powerful in the real world and Wooster truly helps drive that,” Sundheimer said.

Sundheimer is currently continuing his education at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering where he studies healthcare systems engineering. Having a strong passion for working with early-stage companies, he also spends his time mentoring startups and entrepreneurs for other innovation programs such as FedTech’s NASA Startup Studio, XLerate Health, Gener8tor, and KidsX. He has also been featured as a panelist for the American Medical Association and HITLAB.

Posted in Alumni on August 19, 2021.

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