There are many in our community who share Southwestern Medical Foundation’s vision to advance public health by creating opportunities for change. Health Wildcatters, a local company that backs health care startup firms, hosts an annual Texas Health Care Challenge hackathon. These hackathons are weekend-long events that bring professionals and students alike together to tackle some of the health care industry’s biggest pain points. Recently, the company hosted its second hackathon specifically catered to women innovators, the WISH (Women in Science and Health Care) hackathon. We had the opportunity to discuss the inspiring work from some of this year’s WISH hackathon participants, including Tezin Walji, who was on the team “DiabEZ.” Her team was the first place finalist, presenting an innovative, patch-based solution to diabetes care.

Southwestern Medical Foundation is a proud sponsor of the WISH Hackathon. We feel privileged to be a part of the important initiative by Health Wildcatters to disrupt the health care industry and find innovative solutions that can improve people’s health.

An Interview with Tezin Walji: From “DiabEZ”

Q: What motivated you to participate in the Health Wildcatters WISH hackathon?

A: As a senior graduate student, it is time for me to figure out what I want to do post-grad school. As I explored different options, I participated in the WISH hackathon in 2020. The 2020 hackathon broadened my network and was such a great asset, I knew I wanted to take advantage of that again in 2022. The hackathon allowed me to network and build lifelong connections that are friendly and encouraging for personal and professional growth. 

Q: How did you decide to pick your team?

A: I decided to pick my team based on the impact and personal connection. Diabetes affects many South Asian families and I saw it as an opportunity to make a dent in the field. 

Team DiabEZ: Saujanya Geddam, Sarah Cheeran, Olinda Harbough, Tezin Walji, and Jane Pham

Q: What is most inspiring to you about participating in an all-women science and health hackathon?

A: The openness and support I have received. The women that participated in the hackathon come from various paths in life and at varying professional levels but they are all so supportive of everyone and encouraging young women to continue in the path of entrepreneurship!

Q: What was the biggest takeaway you left with after the WISH hackathon?

A: No idea is too small. Where there is a problem, there is always something to fix. If you have a passion for it, just keep going!

No idea is too small. Where there is a problem, there is always something to fix. If you have a passion for it, just keep going!

Tezin Walji

Q: What would your advice be to an aspiring entrepreneur?

A: Network, network, network! Networking is so important in the field. Communicate! Improve your communication skills. It makes or breaks an idea! Be patient, things don’t happen overnight. But the most important thing is to have a vision and make a strategy to bring it to life.

Team 'DiabEZ' Presenting at the 2022 WISH Hackathon

More From Team “DiabEZ”

Learn More About Their Innovative, Patch-based Solution to Diabetes Care

Meet Jane Pham, another member of Team “DiabEZ” and see what inspires her as a female entrepreneur in health care.

(Image) Team DiabEZ presenting at the WISH 2022 Hackathon

The WISH 2022 Hackathon put on by Health Wildcatters was a huge success. The best and brightest female minds came together with innovative solutions to health care challenges. Hear from one of the other team finalists who proposed an idea to reduce waste from PPE in the medical field.