Achieving Sustainable Product-Market Fit: A Masterclass with Sami Inkinen of Virta Health

A Masterclass with the Founder of One of the Great Success Stories in Health Innovation



Virta Health is one of the greatest success stories in health tech today.

Join us for an insightful StartUp Health NOW episode featuring Sami Inkinen, the visionary CEO & Founder of Virta Health, a pioneering company focused on the reversal of Type 2 diabetes. In this Masterclass, originally recorded in front of a virtual audience of entrepreneurs in the StartUp Health community, Inkinen – also a member of the community – shares his journey and the innovative strategies behind Virta Health’s success.

Inkinen’s impressive background includes co-founding Trulia, leading it to a successful IPO and eventual sale to Zillow Group. At Virta Health, he’s raised $366M and achieved a $2B valuation, with the company recognized as a TIME100 Most Influential Company in 2023. Beyond his business acumen, Sami is a world-class athlete and health advocate, known for his rowing expedition to raise awareness about diabetes.

In this episode, Inkinen delves into:

  • The biggest surprises he faced as a health tech founder
  • Balancing his roles as CEO, father, and husband
  • The strategic planning rhythms that drive Virta’s mission
  • His personal journey, from existential crises to global health impact

As is typical of members of the StartUp Health community, Inkinen is generous in sharing his wisdom. Tune in to learn from his experience and gain valuable insights into leadership and achieving sustainable product-market fit in the digital health industry.


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Inside the Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board: Fostering Collaboration for Alzheimer's Innovation

Gates Ventures’ Aishu Sukumar Is Fostering Collaboration on StartUp Health’s Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board



Breaking Down Silos for Alzheimer’s Innovation: A Conversation with Aishu Sukumar of Gates Ventures

This episode of StartUp Health NOW welcomes Aishu Sukumar of Gates Ventures in another in our series of conversations with our Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board.

  • A champion for collaboration: Explore Sukumar’s vision for leveraging data and fostering collaboration among Alzheimer’s innovators.
  • From research scientist to moonshot leader: Discover Sukumar’s unique career path that bridges science, business, and healthcare, taking her from Harvard Medical School and Berkeley to working at startups and then to Gates Ventures.
  • The power of a Health Moonshot Community: Learn how this initiative is uniting innovators to accelerate progress against Alzheimer’s.

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re passionate about finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.
  • You believe in the power of collaboration in tackling complex challenges.
  • You’re curious about the journeys of inspiring healthcare leaders.

Want even more about Alzheimer’s disease innovation?

Join us as we explore how Aishu Sukumar’s diverse background is shaping the future of Alzheimer’s research as a member of our Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board.


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Inside the Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board: This Health Moonshot Community Inspires Optimism

Why Dr. Craig Ritchie Brings Optimism to StartUp Health’s Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board



This episode of StartUp Health NOW challenges your perception of Alzheimer’s in another in our series of conversations with our Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board. This week’s guest is Craig Ritchie, MD, PhD, CEO & Founder of Scottish Brain Sciences and a Professor at University of St. Andrews.

  • A new view of Alzheimer’s: Discover the distinction between what Dr. Ritchie calls Alzheimer’s disease vs Alzheimer’s dementia.
  • The invisible threat: Learn how Alzheimer’s can exist without noticeable symptoms, impacting younger individuals.
  • Shifting the research focus: Explore the importance of studying pre-symptomatic Alzheimer’s for effective treatment.
  • Unleashing innovation: Gain insights into Dr. Ritchie’s optimism for StartUp Health’s Alzheimer’s Moonshot Community.

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re interested in the latest Alzheimer’s research.
  • You want to understand the different stages of Alzheimer’s.
  • You’re curious about the power of collaboration in tackling Alzheimer’s.

Want even more about Alzheimer’s disease innovation?

Join us as we redefine Alzheimer’s and ignite hope for a future free from dementia!


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Gates Ventures, Kristina Malzbender: Insider the Alzheimer's Moonshot Impact Board

Gates Ventures’ Kristina Malzbender Joins Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board



Hope on the Horizon: A New Era of Alzheimer’s Innovation

This episode of StartUp Health NOW dives deep into the fight against Alzheimer’s disease in the second in our series of conversations with our Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board. Join us as we chat with Kristina Malzbender, the Associate Director, Health & Life Sciences, at Gates Ventures. Hear from this key leader about the concrete realities behind the optimism in Alzheimer’s innovation.

  • A century of relentless pursuit: Learn how the tide is turning after decades of dedicated research.
  • Early detection, slowed progression, and even potential cures: Explore exciting advancements in Alzheimer’s treatment.
  • Gates Ventures and the Diagnostic Accelerator (DxA): Find out how Gates Ventures and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) are supporting companies and academic researchers developing novel biomarkers and diagnostics for Alzheimer’s.
  • Introducing StartUp Health’s Alzheimer’s Moonshot: Discover a powerful collaboration aimed at accelerating progress

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re passionate about Alzheimer’s disease.
  • You’re curious about the latest advancements in dementia research.
  • You want to learn how you can contribute to the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Want even more about Alzheimer’s disease innovation?

Join us as we ignite hope for the future of Alzheimer’s innovation!


 

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This Startup Uses Global Workforce Arbitrage to Make Mental Healthcare Accessible



This episode explores how MindCo Health, a company in the StartUp Health community, is leveraging “psychologist arbitrage” to make mental healthcare more accessible. Join us as we chat with Health Transformer Emilio Goldenhersch, CEO & Co-founder of MindCo Health to find out more about how his company is making mental healthcare more affordable with global talent.

You’ll learn about:

  • How MindCo connects patients with highly-trained therapists from Latin America.
  • The role of AI in making therapy affordable and efficient.
  • Why “global workforce arbitrage” could be the key to unlocking telemedicine’s potential.
  • How MindCo is breaking down barriers to early intervention mental healthcare.

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re interested in the future of telemedicine.
  • You’re looking for affordable mental health resources.
  • You’re curious about innovative solutions in healthcare access.

Tune in to learn how MindCo’s fresh approach can breathe new life into telemedicine!


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Taking a Breath of Fresh Air: Innovation in Respiratory Health



This episode of StartUp Health NOW shines a light on respiratory health with guest Sathya Elumalai, CEO & Co-founder of Aidar Health – a long-time member of the StartUp Health community.

  • The power of breath: Explore how Elumalai’s company, Aidar Health, is revolutionizing respiratory health with their innovative MouthLab device.
  • More than just a breathalyzer: Discover how MouthLab measures over 10 vital signs, opening doors for future biometric applications.
  • Combating COPD: Learn how Aidar Health’s technology tackles chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a debilitating lung condition.

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re interested in healthcare innovation.
  • You’re curious about the future of respiratory health.
  • You want to learn about the power of breath in health monitoring.

Get ready to be inspired by the future of lung health!


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Inside the Health Moonshot Impact Board: A Conversation with Microsoft & the ADA on Global Health Innovation



This StartUp Health NOW episode features two key members of StartUp Health’s Health Moonshot Impact Board: Kimmi Grewal and Chuck Henderson.

Kimmi Grewal, Microsoft:

  • Learn how Microsoft helps startups scale globally, tackle security challenges, and leverage AI.
  • Discover how Kimmi’s experience informs StartUp Health’s approach to supporting early-stage healthcare ventures.

Chuck Henderson, American Diabetes Association:

  • Explore how Chuck’s leadership is shaping StartUp Health’s vision for tackling metabolic disorders.
  • Gain insights into the power of collaboration between established organizations and healthcare startups.

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re interested in healthcare innovation.
  • You’re curious about the role of collaboration in tackling health challenges.
  • You want to learn from inspiring leaders in the healthcare space.

Get ready to be inspired by the future of healthcare!


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Crowdfunding for Health Startups: A Masterclass From a Founder Who Raised Millions



Think crowdfunding isn’t for healthcare? Think again.

Join us for a Masterclass with Jim Iversen, CEO & Co-founder of Sen-Jam Pharmaceutical. A long-time member of our StartUp Health community, Iversen reveals how he raised over $3 million through platforms like Red Crow and WeFunder.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Crowdfunding platforms best suited for health startups
  • Strategies for launching a successful campaign
  • Creative investor incentives, including fractional patent royalties
  • Building a communication strategy to retain investors

This episode is perfect for you if:

  • You’re a health entrepreneur seeking funding
  • You’re curious about alternative funding methods
  • You’re interested in learning from a successful crowdfunder

Get ready to unlock the power of crowdfunding for your health startup!


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AI in Healthcare: Separating Hype from Reality on the Front Lines



Tired of overblown claims about AI in healthcare?
This episode dives into the real, impactful ways AI is transforming patient care.

Join us as we chat with founders in the StartUp Health community who are using AI to improve healthcare for patients and providers:

  • Jerrod Ullah, HealthTalk A.I.: Hear how his experience as an ICU nurse fueled an AI platform that boosts engagement for both patients and providers.
  • Kavi Misri, Hibiscus Health: Discover how their end-to-end solution empowers people with metabolic conditions to take control of their health.

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re curious about the practical applications of AI in healthcare.
  • You want to hear inspiring stories from healthcare entrepreneurs.
  • You’re eager to learn how AI can improve patient outcomes.

Get ready for a refreshing take on AI in healthcare!


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Remote Work, Compensation, and Age Dynamics: Unpacking Digital Health Workforce Trends



In this week’s StartUp Health NOW episode, we’re talking about work. Specifically the digital health workforce, and we’re talking with the one and only Polina Hanin, Senior Principal & Head of Development at Aequitas Partners.

Here at StartUp Health, we had the pleasure of working with Polina for several years, and it’s unlikely anyone has a better grasp on the digital health ecosystem. She’s worked with hundreds of founders and executives across healthcare. When she moved over to Aequitas, an executive recruiting firm in the digital health space, we knew she was going to continue to help a lot of people.

One thing she did, and the reason behind this interview, is launch the industry’s first – and certainly most comprehensive – workforce survey. If you work in digital health, you’ve probably seen information about it in your inbox.

In our conversation, which took place at ViVE in Los Angeles, we get into exactly what Polina has learned after four years of conducting this workforce survey. Particularly of interest were the trends around remote work compensation, attitudes towards hiring remote workers, and how work priorities shift as we age.

Lets get right into it.



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