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Ep. 77 How Johnson & Johnson nurtures entrepreneurs to succeed with Kate Merton

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Have you ever wondered how Johnson & Johnson nurtures entrepreneurs to succeed?

In this episode, I speak with Kate Merton who is the head of JLABS at Johnson & Johnson. 

JLABS helps entrepreneurs and technologists get their amazing ideas and products to patients and consumers that need them.

Because of Johnson & Johnson, Kate and JLABS are able to assist innovators by providing space to work, receive mentorship and connection with investors. 

Listen on to find out how Kate and JLABS help nurture entrepreneurs so they can make a positive impact in the world through healthcare.

[This episode was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson]

Listen Below:


In this Episode:

Can you tell us more about your role at JLABS?

  • Kate is the head of JLABS in the east coast of the U.S.
  • JLABS is the innovation incubator for Johnson & Johnson.
  • JLABS exists to help entrepreneurs and technologist to get their amazing ideas and products to patients and consumers that need them in order to make a positive impact. 
  • They are able to help them by providing space to work, give them mentoring, and connecting them with investors.

How has JLABS helped people in the health care system?

  •  JLABS comes with a wealth of experience in the healthcare landscape.
  • When entrepreneurs come in and try to develop and navigate their products, JLABS is able to connect them with experts within the company.

How do you find the right entrepreneurs to join JLABS?

  • They use quick-fire challenges and put out requests for proposals around hot topics and interests.
  • They receive applications through the competition.
  • They also receive applications from 13 different  JLABS spaces around the world.
  • By developing connections with local academics

Can you give us some examples of the entrepreneurs and innovators from JLABS who have made an impact?

  • JLABS is a no-strings-attached incubator.
  • One incredible entrepreneur is Dr. Caleb Hernandez who founded Certa Dose. They developed a safer method to deliver medications to children, which drastically reduced the number of miss dose incidents of children.
  • Another incredible innovator is Dr. Maria Luisa Pineda, who is the founder of Envisagenics.

What are you most passionate about?

  • Kate is passionate about helping innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas come to life.
  • Kate is able to help them understand the obstacles they will be facing before it happens and guide them through the process.
  • Watching the innovators create a product that changes so many people’s lives.
  • The entrepreneurs within JLABS have also created a community where they are helping one another throughout the process in order to make a positive impact. 

What has been the biggest setback you have encountered and how did you handle it?

  • One of the biggest set back that Kate has faced was when they first opened the new JLABS in NYC.
  • They faced unforeseen obstacles but they were able to handle those roadblocks by asking for help from other team members who have faced similar challenges.

What legacy would you like to leave and what do you want to be remembered for?

  • To be doing something meaningful and purposeful work. To be able to work for something that is impactful that is beyond one’s self in order to make a positive impact. 

How do you balance work and motherhood?

  • Having the right support system at home is a great help and having strict time management skills.
  • Johnson & Johnson is also an amazing company to work for, for any working parent.
  • J&J strives to make sure that their employees are able to balance work and home life.

What has been your biggest success and how do you stay motivated to continue?

  • The biggest success that Kate has had working at J&J is being a part of the development team where they helped develop a treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Is there any question you wished people asked you more of?

  • How did you navigate to where you are?
  • Kate took a lot of detours but she ended up exactly where she should be.

What are you currently working on that is really exciting to you?

  • Creating a new program for technologists at JLABS that will make a positive impact in the community. 

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