A recent interview between Rebecca Schankerman, Ambra Health Field Marketing Coordinator, and Andrew Duckworth, Ambra Health VP of Business Development, about his transition from Wall Street to a tech start-up and what business development projects he is looking forward to in the future.
Rebecca: Can you talk about your past experiences and what led you to Ambra?
Andrew: I started my career working at a large investment bank/financial services company in New York. I was an Economics major in college and had always envisioned myself pursuing a career in the financial sector. After spending four years on Wall Street, I realized I wanted to transition to a smaller organization where I could make a positive impact on the direction of the company. During my time in finance I also witnessed, and later grew to appreciate, how technology and data combined with the right team could disrupt an industry. My passion for healthcare started many years ago due to various personal health experiences and I believed that a business development role at the intersection of healthcare and technology would be an ideal fit for the next stage of my career. I was drawn to Ambra because of its mission to enable higher quality and more cost effective patient care and had actually followed Ambra over the years through a friend and former colleague who joined in 2013. After meeting the broader team and learning more about the company, I sensed Ambra would be a great fit.
Rebecca: What does a typical day look like for you and the Business Development (BD) team?
Andrew: One of my favorite parts of the BD role at Ambra is that no two days look the same due to the wide range of partners that Ambra works with. The BD team spends a big portion of each day having external conversations with current and prospective partners working to determine how the Ambra platform can help our partners solve pain points or assist with various projects and initiatives at their organizations. The BD role at Ambra also requires a lot of cross functional work, and on any given day, the BD team can be found interfacing with other departments at Ambra including Sales, Marketing, Product, Professional Services, Engineering, and Finance.
Rebecca: How do you see Business Development positions changing in the next 5-10 years for Ambra?
Andrew: For one, we see the BD team at Ambra continuing to grow. As the first BD hire, it has been incredibly rewarding to see the evolution of Ambra’s partner network over the past few years. Looking ahead, we see Ambra’s partners as a critical component in positioning the business for our next stage of growth and will need to scale the BD team accordingly to do so. We also anticipate that the Ambra BD team and our partners will become more global in nature. Medical imaging workflows are an essential component of patient care and therapy development across the globe and Ambra hopes to build on its success both in the US and internationally. The Ambra BD team has been fortunate to work with several best-in-class international partners and we are always looking for the right partners and BD team members to expand Ambra into new markets.
Rebecca: What is the most challenging part of your job? What is the most rewarding?
Andrew: The most challenging part of the job is how unpredictable it can be at times given the wide range of partners and customers that Ambra collaborates with. Ambra prides itself on upholding a customer/partner-first mentality which results in an all hands on deck approach to resolve any unexpected challenges that arise. While this approach can cause some unpredictability in terms of managing day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, it is also a key strength of the company and one of the qualities that Ambra’s partners expect from our team.
The most rewarding part of my job is observing the impact that Ambra’s product and services can make on partner organizations and their end customers in the Healthcare space. Being part of a company and team that has the ability to make a significant contribution to positively impacting patient care and therapy development is extremely rewarding.
Rebecca: What projects are you most excited about currently & in the next year?
Andrew: One area that I am particularly excited about is expanding Ambra’s footprint in the imaging research space via pharma and life sciences partners. In addition to serving our healthcare provider customer base we are also seeing medical imaging datasets becoming more and more relevant in the research world via imaging focused clinical trials and AI/ML development. We are looking forward to collaborating with current and future partners in the imaging research arena and supporting their various initiatives. Another area that I am excited about is the opportunity to work with two new colleagues that joined the BD team in the past year. Each of them has already made significant contributions and I am looking forward to seeing the impact they will make on Ambra’s BD organization.
Rebecca: The Ambra Health team is currently working remotely. Where are you working from at the moment?
Andrew: I am currently working from the Chicago area where most of my immediate family is located. After spending the past 8 years in a NYC apartment I have been using the current remote period to spend time with my girlfriend, parents, and siblings outside of the city before the Ambra office reopens. As a diehard Chicago sports fan, having access to my favorite teams on local TV networks and local radio stations has been a nice change of pace from working in NYC as well!
Rebecca: Any final words you would like to add?
Andrew: Looking back on my time at Ambra over the past four and a half years I feel extremely lucky to be part of the Ambra team. The most important asset for any successful startup business is its people and that statement certainly rings true at Ambra. Having the opportunity to work at a mission driven company with a group of highly talented and hard working individuals is a constant source of motivation. I am excited to see what the future holds for Ambra in the coming years!
As VP of Business Development of Ambra Health, Andrew is focused on Ambra’s partnership efforts and works closely with Ambra’s partners in both the US and International markets. Prior to joining Ambra, Andrew spent four years in the sales and trading unit of the Securities Division at Goldman Sachs. Andrew received a BA in Economics from Claremont McKenna College where he was also a member of the CMS Stags tennis team.