Innovation Challenge Blog


Mentor Spotlight: Shwen Gwee and Unity Stoakes

We’re just a few weeks away from the 2012 Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge Demo Day on May 16! As the five semi-finalists begin to prepare for the big event, they are working closely with expert mentors and incorporating valuable feedback into their prototypes. This week, we profile two of this year’s mentors, Shwen Gwee and Unity Stoakes.

Shwen GeeShwen Gwee is currently VP of Digital Health at Edelman’s NYC office, where he is responsible for leading and developing the digital health offerings and expertise within the Health Practice.
Shwen’s experience was forged on the “client-side” of pharmaceutical marketing, where he most recently led Digital Strategy and Social Media for Vertex Pharmaceuticals and launched an award winning disease education website. He is also heavily involved in healthcare and social media (#hcsm): He  founded Social Health (SXSH) – an unconference and movement which led to the adoption of a health track at South by Southwest (SXSW) – PharmaFresh.TV, Social Pharmer Network, Med 2.0 Blog, and is a prolific Twitterer.

Shwen speaks regularly at various industry events and has co/chaired the Digital Pharma East conference since 2009. He also sits on a variety of advisory boards, including: Impatient Science (startup) BlogHer HealthMinder Day, Social Media Week NYC (Health Hub), Digital Health Coalition; Medical, Marketing and Media; and the SXSW Health Track.

Shwen will provide mentorship in pharma/biotech, digital strategy & social media, ePatients, and patient engagement.

Unity StoakesUnity Stoakes is the co-founder and President of StartUp Health, an Academy for health and wellness entrepreneurs. StartUp Health is creating a new model for helping innovation succeed in the health sector. Part community, part Academy, and 1,000% passion, they provide health and wellness innovators (“Health Transformers”) with a structured curriculum and peer-networks designed to help navigate the unique challenges of building a sustainable growth business in the health sector.

Unity is a serial entrepreneur and also co-founded, an expert-driven platform for health and wellness. The company is working hard to close the “Health Gap” and elevate the standard of care by inspiring clinicians to embrace the power of digital media to help patients before, during and after an office visit. Previously, he has been a technology entrepreneur since the mid-nineties, helping build companies like The Privacy Council, Middleberg Interactive and Webstakes/, which he helped take public on Nasdaq in 1999 with his current business partner Steven Krein. His first real job was milking goats and chopping wood back where he grew up in Iowa.

Follow Unity on Twitter or view his full bio.

Unity will provide mentorship in internet startups, agile product development, and marketing & PR.

Visit on May 16th from 6:00 – 8 :00 pm ET to view the semi-finalist presenations live streaming from Demo Day in NYC!