GuideWell Innovation Announces New Executive Director


GuideWell Innovation is pleased to announce that Kirstie McCool-Chadwick has joined the organization as Executive Director. Kirstie’s role will be to connect Florida’s health and wellness entrepreneurial ecosystems into the state’s health care spectrum, and to lead the award-winning GuideWell Innovation Center in Lake Nona, Fla. The GuideWell Innovation Center, which opened in 2016, is nationally recognized as an industry leading health innovation hub for entrepreneurs. Kirstie’s focus will be to expand GuideWell Innovation’s strategic partnerships, design and execute curated programs for entrepreneurs in the health and wellness sectors, engage industry stakeholders, and advance a state-wide network that connects health innovators and stakeholders.

Before joining GuideWell Innovation, Kirstie served as the President and CEO of the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), a non-profit serving over 600 business incubators, technology accelerators and entrepreneurial economic development organizations in over 60 countries. Kirstie was also the Executive Director of two Florida-based technology accelerators, Starter Studio and Igniting Innovation, that collectively mentored more than 150 companies that have since raised over $60 million in equity capital.  She also led four Central Florida collaborations that resulted in over $7 million in operational funding for high impact entrepreneurship hubs across Central Florida that include Starter Studio, Tampa Bay Wave and UCF’s Maker Space.

Kirstie was founding director of Startup Florida under President Obama’s Startup America initiative, and was the Director of the University of Central Florida’s Venture Lab, where she facilitated the spin-out of several technology companies based on faculty inventions, and mentored hundreds of local entrepreneurs. Kirstie also served as the Executive Director of the Winter Park Angels, and was the co-founder and CEO of DigitalOwl where she raised over $13 million in venture capital.

Kirstie was the recipient of the Orlando Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Award, the Working Woman Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, and the Dr. W. Judson King Entrepreneurship Memorial Award. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida (UCF), and holds an MBA from UCF. 

“We are very excited to have Kirstie join GuideWell. She brings passion and broad experience in creating high impact entrepreneurial programs and ecosystems, and will leverage this expertise to help develop high-growth health tech companies across Florida,” said Tamara StClaire, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at GuideWell. “Kirstie’s start-up wisdom and industry track record in accelerating early-stage companies will be invaluable, and she is passionate about providing  entrepreneurs with programs and resources to help them build impactful companies that serve today’s complex health industry.”

About GuideWell Innovation

GuideWell Innovation, a subsidiary of GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (GuideWell), drives collaborative innovation for the family of forward-thinking companies that make up GuideWell. Headquartered in OrlandoLake Nona Medical City at the GuideWell Innovation CoRE (Collaborative Resources Ecosystem), GuideWell Innovation focuses on transforming the health system into a more integral and useful part of people’s everyday lives by fast tracking the delivery of next-generation health solutions. For more information, visit