Professor Anthony Sterns is an entrepreneur in the healthcare field, and has been quite successful in bringing his product, iRxReminder, to fruition. He teaches courses in our MS in Business Management and Leadership degree program: BUS 620 Entrepreneurship in a Global Environment, BUS 680 Economics for Business Decisions, BUS 698 Applied Business Research, and has been a thesis mentor to both graduate and undergraduate students.
1. How did you come about teaching for CUNY SPS?
I have a good friend from high school and another friend from graduate school who both work at CUNY City Tech. I happened to see an advertisement on the Academy of Management Organizational Behavior List-serve for a business adjunct at CUNY SPS and because I knew something about CUNY, I applied.
2. Over your time as a thesis mentor to our graduate and undergraduate students, which thesis idea have you been most excited by so far?
I had one student complete a systematic review of 3-D printing and whether it met the criteria as a disruptive technology in the manufacturing space. That student was very good and completed a very strong paper.
3. What’s the most important piece of advice you can give to future entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is a long and lonely road. You have to have a strong passion for the vision of the future you see. You will need help to get there. Pick your friends and business relationships carefully, because your relationships will be challenged and it’s those relationships that will mean the difference between succeeding and failing to succeed.
4. What was your motivation behind developing iRxReminder?
My previous work focused on people living with dementia. Medication adherence is one of two reasons that people loose their independence, the other being wandering. I wanted to find a way to help older adults live independently longer. As we learned more about medication taking challenges we focused our attention on first helping clinical researchers and more recently improving adherence to oral cancer treatments and recovery from transplants.
5. What has it been like to watch iRxReminder grow from an idea to an award-winning start-up within the healthcare IT community?
Each milestone feels like a real victory, as every one is hard fought. The most important validation was the investment of our first angel this time last year. I started out in engineering. When I turned in my graduate education and research, I stopped making tangible things; things people use. I am most gratified when I know someone has an app and a device to help them complete a drug study, or take all the medications required to remain independent.
6. What’s next for you and iRxReminder?
We are planning on closing our current seed round this summer, bringing on an additional investor, and finishing our FDA 510(k) clearance, which will open up new markets to us this fall.
1. Favorite way to relax after a long day: Sailing.
2. What I’m reading right now: Managerial Economics.
3. The person I most admire: It’s a tie between Jacques Ives Cousteau and my parents, Drs. Harvey and Ronni Sterns.
4. Greatest piece of advice I have ever received: When they say, “It can’t be done, and you know how to do it, you are definitely onto something.”
5. If I wasn’t a professor/healthcare IT entrepreneur, I’d be: a touring musician.
6. Best part of teaching online at CUNY SPS: My boss, B. Loerinc Helft. She keeps the ship running. I also really like working with the students; their drive keeps me motivated in my own work.
Thank you, Professor Sterns. We’re very fortunate to work with people like Dr. Helft here at CUNY SPS.