FIRSTEP helps health organizations spark new opportunities for innovation and growth by developing a genuinely fresh perspective on the forces of disruption. 

You're an industry leader, so you're well aware of both the opportunities and risks that the forces of disruption are bringing to health.  That's why you hire the experts, invest in start-ups and try to keep tabs on the entrepreneurs working from the edge.  But have you ever wondered why there is such an astonishing amount of disruptive innovation coming from the edges?

We believe there is a simple explanation... innovators at the edge have a unique perspective on the forces of disruption.  Their foundational thinking, on how the key forces are most likely to unfold, gives them unique insights into what's possible.  It's not the stuff that gets talked about in the investment pitch, yet this 'edge thinking' is exactly what sparks the big ideas that drive disruptive innovation, and tapping into that 'edge perspective' is exactly what FIRSTEP is all about.

We’ve seen more than our share of ‘strategy’ sessions, but FIRSTEP is different. The process gave us a fresh perspective on forces of disruption, and helped build alignment around our vision and strategy… I’d highly recommend it.
— MARY JANE DEVINE, President, MIO Global
I would recommend this process (sticks out in my mind as the most valuable).
— Mike Cook President & Operating Officer - IDENTOS
Would I enthusiastically refer FIRSTEP to a friend or colleague (10 out of 10).
— Sara Hodson, BHK, ACSM CEP Founder & President – LiveWell

Brendan Byrne, MD,

Chief Innovation Officer, TELUS HEALTH & Co-Founder of FIRSTEP

A physician by vocation an entrepreneur by profession, and an innovator at heart. Brendan has spent over 25 years at the intersection of digital and health, and has a deep passion for innovating in health, wellness and personalized medicine. 


John McDonald


An entrepreneur and strategist, John has long been involved in the innovation process.  He first created the FORCECASTING process to help disruptive entrepreneurs reduce market and technology risk in hyper-change markets, and has been refining the process for over a decade, so adopting the process to help bridge the thinking gap between enterprise and the edge feels like a natural evolution.


Is FIRSTEP is a fit for you? 

FIRSTEP works with health organizations searching for fresh insights into the forces of disruption. Our job is to help them see the forces of disruption through the lens of start-ups and innovators in the space.  It's a genuinely fresh perspective that helps spark new growth opportunities and reduces risk.

We accomplish this through immersive experiences where enterprise leaders and edge innovators share and evolve their foundational thinking about the forces of disruption.  We start by identifying pivotal themes in health, and attracting some of the most promising start-ups working in those themes (current themes include 1. Precision Medicine 2. Platforms in Health 3. Consumer Health). 

Our unique approach helps surface hidden assumptions and instills the fresh thinking required to discover new opportunities for growth and reduce the risk of getting blindsided.  FIRSTEP is compatible with traditional venture and incubation investments, but is more effective at instilling fresh thinking into the organization, because we drill down until we've truly captured the foundation thinking of each entrepreneur.  It's as far from superficial as you can imagine, but the perspective is critical if you are to see the forces of disruption through an edge innovator's lens... and the insights that emerge can be profound.  

There are several options for enterprise participation, from a private 'insights briefing' to annual access to all insights and symposiums... w here appropriate, we can even work together to host a bespoke theme focused entirely on your strategic priority.

ENTREPRENEURS: If you're chasing a big idea in health we want to hear from you. We regularly invite innovative companies to participate as our guest... the main criteria is that you’re chasing a very big idea, and your focus fits one of our current themes.  If you'd like to learn more about participating in FIRSTEP, let's talk.


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