His talk, “The Roots of WiseWear,” focused on his early career, the formation of WiseWear, and what it’s like to be an entrepreneur.
“People always ask me what it’s like to be an entrepreneur,”
Dr. Wilmink said. “What I’ve learned is that I like leading teams and I learned to find and hire talent.”
Dr. Wilmink explained that he first thought of the idea of WiseWear after his grandfather fell in the middle of the night and was left helpless on the kitchen floor.
“We didn’t even realize that my grandfather had dementia, if we had something like the hearing aid or bracelet today, we would have been able to respond more quickly,” he said.
Dr. Wilmink’s products focus on adding sensor-based technology to improve safety.
“As we age, we need tools that care for us. Rather than being reactive, we need to think about being preventative,” he said. “You don’t want to go to the doctor every single time, you want to be able to know when you actually need to go to the emergency room.”
In addition to the growing aging population, he also spoke about using his products for distress messaging.
“If you are in a dark parking lot and you are scared, you
can tap the bracelet and send a signal to your friend to alert them that something is not right,” he said. “I firmly believe that adding sensor-based technology can improve life and add years to life as well.”
Dr. Wilmink’s advice to budding entrepreneurs is to find
something that brings meaning to the world, something you are truly passionate about, and something that you have an expertise in.
“The trick is finding something where you feel like you aren’t even at work,” he said. “You really need to be doing it because it’s your passion and not just about the money.”
Travis Block, graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering program, said that “it’s always great to go to The Health Cell events to get an idea of what is going on in the San Antonio biomedical community.”