Clark on Connecting: From Purple Suits to Green Chucks

Susan Clark, Senior Director of Program Development, DirectTrust
LinkedIn: Susan Clark
Clark on Connecting

For this month’s Clark on Connecting I am excited to share some very fresh examples of #6degreesofsusanclark that occurred at the 2024 ViVE conference in Los Angeles last month. I have decided to coin a new phrase for when I make Clark Connections, “clonnections.” I am sure I have more examples if I gave myself a minute to think about, but for today, I will highlight the first three that came to mind.

  • Clonnection #1
    I was making a sweep through the massive exhibit hall and found myself in the small kiosks of startups, first drawn in by a robotic dog but my attention was quickly drawn to something I like almost as much as dogs. Purple. There was a very sharp looking man in an all-purple suit and I just HAD to meet him and I think we are now friends. Since I was there, I felt obligated to learn about their product. It is an equity-focused application for youth mental health that interacts with the user in a gamified manner for giving tools and uplifting feedback based on emotional responses indicated by the young person. The next morning at the HIT Like a Girl coffee meetup (a super connector community for Clonnections!), I met a CIO for a pediatric behavioral health and research institute. Hearing this, I told her about the app from the guy in the purple suit and she said that fits in perfectly with new research they are doing with biometric behavior recognition and would be going to find them later.
  • Clonnection #2
    One of our members came to visit our booth and happened to mention a struggle she was having and with getting identity tokens from two different identity vendors that aren’t technically aligned and results in failures to match patients. (Please forgive me for any inaccuracies in my interpretation of any technical terminology!!) Shortly after, we happened to have someone stop by who said his company’s business matches identities from any source regardless of the standard or format. I said, “Hey! I just heard about this problem from someone!” The next day we all happened to be at the same session, and they were introduced, and he described what he does. She said, “That’s exactly the issue I’m trying to solve! I want to talk to you more about this.”
  • Clonnection #3
    This third example is a two-fer Clonnection. Right after arriving at my LA hotel, I met my teammates in the lobby bar for a snack. They had run into two people from one of our member organizations. Shortly after I arrived, we were joined by two people from another company they knew but we hadn’t heard of. We have the same branding colors as them so quickly bonded over our cool color-coordinated attire. We learned that they are working on a large research project with a bioscience entity and philanthropic foundation on brain health. They commented on the struggle for the families of that patient population to coordinate records and care. I have a friend who has a startup application that is an aggregator of information for family caregivers. Later that day I sent an email to make the introduction. Additionally, the week before the conference another friend had told me about a Korean startup he works with that serves the same area of brain health as the company I had just met with the cool green Chucks. (Those are Converse All Stars for those who don’t know the term.) That same startup is interested in entering the US market. So I made that email introduction as well for them to explore any opportunities to complement each other’s work.

What I will leave you with is a gem from the purple suit guy. He asked every person who came to their booth, “What are you grateful for today?” Pass it on.