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Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Entrepreneur's Corner:
Phoning It In
Mike Kirkwood, M.B.A. ’07


Mike Kirkwood is not a guy to phone it in, although maybe in this case we can forgive the analogy. Polka, a Bay Area start-up making health information applications for cell phones, is one of the first of many companies to be launched by Rady School alumnus. Kirkwood, M.B.A. ’07, who started marketing the product as part of his Lab-to-Market course at the Rady School, launched the
company two years ago.

Polka now employs six people and two business advisors. Apple’s App Store carries four Polka applications (for the iPhone and iPod touch), and in its first five months, Polka’s applications have been installed more than 250,000 times.

Polka is the first secure mobile aggregation and collaboration service to help users manage personal health information. Patent-pending Me Server (TM) technology allows information access through Apple iPhone applications and a Web portal. Polka empowers users to keep personal logs and share real-time information with their medical team.

Depending on the application, users can store emergency contacts, allergies, health
conditions and prescription information, and even map hospitals with a GPS feature. The My Health Portal includes everything—recent doctor visits, health problems, hospitalizations and family health history.

“The Rady M.B.A. and the Lab-to-Market course in particular allowed me to focus on the steps necessary to move Polka’s technology into a user-friendly, marketable product,” says Kirkwood. “We are proud of the end product. Time is saved by consolidating your information, but more importantly, your life could be saved.”
Learn more at www.polka.com.


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Have you founded a company? Worked at a company started by a UCSD alum? We want to know.  Drop us a note at startups@ucsd.edu.