Kyle Silvestro is an adjunct faculty member at Singularity University focusing on clinical data, semantic search and advanced analytics. As CEO and founder of SyTrue, Silvestro’s work helps drive the new, big data phase of healthcare transformation. He is a national thought leader in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and the use of semantic search and retrieval. In 2011, Silvestro began pioneering a new clinical analytics platform. Branded as SyTrue, Silvestro’s platform represents a comprehensive toolset for collecting and refining medical data, then using predictive analytics for deploying that data in a range of new ways in medical practices, clinics, hospitals and pharmaceutical sites. Follow him @clinicalnlp.
What is the first thing you did to turn your current business from an idea into a reality?
In selling to healthcare IT companies and organizations over an eight-year period, I learned what was really needed in the industry. I built upon my past failures and experiences to build a brand-new set of solutions to solve healthcare’s biggest challenges. The first thing I did to turn my idea into a reality was learn from history and use those experiences to my advantage.
What is the scariest part of being a young entrepreneur and how can others overcome this fear?
No one can teach you the psychology of being an entrepreneur. However, when you have the heart and drive of an entrepreneur, you also carry the burden of taking care of your employees. This really comes to light when you’re short on cash for the next payroll, for example. The entrepreneur mind forges through and always finds a way to uncover and overcome the next set of challenges.
Were you ever told not to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams? Who told you that, what did they say and why did you ignore them?
No, I have been lucky enough to have only been surrounded by supporters of my dream. However, when you take the risk of pursuing your own dream you often find yourself second-guessing your choices. Sometimes you become your own worst critic.
What is the No. 1 thing you wish you’d known starting out and how did you learn it?
I wish I had known how to drive the bus from the back seat. It first starts with getting the right people on your team and then deciding where to take it. I have since learned how to ask the right questions that lead people in the right direction.
What do you recommend all new founders do for their business — or their personal lives — that will help them the most?
Never give up. Never ever give up. Believe in yourself and that you can accomplish anything. Don’t accept “no” for an answer. Find a way to “yes.” Drive and determination will take you there when you are feeling defeated.
What is your ultimate goal? What will you do if/when you get there?
Ultimately, I want to be the leader in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and change the paradigm in health to move towards a data-driven approach, enabling healthcare to thrive in a digitalized world. If I am lucky enough to sell and exit my company, I have always dreamt of funding research to identify alternative methods to cure cancer.
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