Category Archives: Innovation

10-Year Overnight Success: UnaliWear Tops Wirecutter List of Medical Alert Systems



We’re back with a new season of the StartUp Health NOW podcast!

This week we’re chatting with Richard Hirsch from UnaliWear. UnaliWear, under the guidance of CEO & Founder Jean Anne Booth, is a long-time StartUp Health community member that is changing the game in medical alerts for seniors.

UnaliWear built the voice-first Kanega watch that provides discreet support for falls, medication reminders, and a guard against wandering – and allows seniors to call for help if they need it. It gives seniors independence without making them wear a stigmatizing alert button around their necks.

And, now, after years of other awards and accolades, the Kanega watch was just named by The New York Times Wirecutter as the best medical alert device for people on the go. That’s the kind of market validation that startups dream about.

Listen in as Hirsch shares insights on how UnaliWear grew into a “10-year overnight success.”

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Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


From the Archives: Naheed Kurji of Recursion Takes a Deep Dive into Artificial Intelligence for Drug Discovery



For this StartUp Health NOW episode, we dive back into an interview we did with a long-time Health Transformer, Naheed Kurji. At the time of the interview, Naheed was the CEO, President & Co-founder of Cyclica, a StartUp Health company that is considered one of the pioneers of what is now the increasingly hot space of using AI for drug discovery and development.

We wanted to revisit this conversation because in the time since we aired it, Cyclica had huge news. In May 2023, the company was acquired by Recursion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RXRX), a clinical-stage biotech player.

Naheed now leads Recursion’s Canadian operations and is putting his experience to use accelerating innovation in drug discovery in whole new ways. By looking back at Naheed’s experience at Cyclica, we can gain a glimpse into how he was so successful piloting a startup from launch to acquisition and how he might lead Recursion moving forward. Naheed will also give us an inside look at how Cyclica reshaped this market – then he’ll zoom way out: as the chair of the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Health, Naheed can help us understand where the AI for health industry is going.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


 

FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


From the Archives: Why Media Giant Jon Miller, Former CEO at AOL and IAC, Joined StartUp Health’s Board of Directors



As we gear up for the launch of the next season of this podcast, which will drop after Labor Day, we’re bringing you replays of favorite episodes from the past.

This week, we’re featuring a conversation with Jon Miller, a member of the StartUp Health Board of Directors. Miller is best known for being a former CEO of AOL, Head of Digital Media at News Corp, and Chief Executive of the media powerhouse IAC.

With all of that experience in media, Miller might seem like an interesting choice for a board focused on health innovation. After all, on the StartUp Health board he joins the likes of Toby Cosgrove, MD, whose pedigree as the former head of the Cleveland Clinic needs little explanation.

In our conversation, we talk about how Miller’s experience in business, finance, and media translates to health moonshots – these audacious goals that guide us at StartUp Health. Specifically, we wanted to know what media tools could be used to speed up health innovation and help startups bring their solutions to the market more successfully.

What we learned was that many of the advancements and opportunities Miller has seen in media over the last couple decades – advancements in consumerism and community – are absolutely core to improving health in scalable digital ways.

Listen in to hear Miller explain that vision and why he’s more excited than ever to support a global community of health tech entrepreneurs – this band of like-minded founders we call Health Transformers.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


From the Archives: Dr. Robert Wilson on How Partnering with PreventScripts Enhanced His Medical Practice



Typically on this show we talk to the health tech founders – who we call Health Transformers – that are creating the tools and platforms that will modernize our health system. Or we talk to top investors on what they’re looking for in startups.

But, on this week’s StartUp Health NOW, we look back at one of our most-popular podcast episodes, which featured a different kind of guest: one that helps round out the picture of how healthcare innovation goes from idea to real-world implementation.

Robert Wilson, MD, is a family physician who runs CovenantCare Family Practice, a multi-site medical practice in Tennessee. Dr. Wilson popped up on our radar because he was an early partner for PreventScripts, a startup that’s part of the StartUp Health community. PreventScripts, led by Brandi Harless and Natalie Davis, MD, has created a platform that helps family doctors like Dr. Wilson identify patients who would benefit from chronic care management. Think about a patient who is pre-diabetic and all signs point towards a long battle with Type 2 diabetes. While Dr. Wilson might be too overextended to identify and coach this patient before the disease sets in, PreventScripts can identify the risk and put the patient on a clinically-proven program. Patients with chronic diseases, or the risk of disease, get heightened care between visits, and Dr. Wilson gets added reimbursement.

We wanted to talk to Dr. Wilson to understand why he was interested in partnering with a health startup, as this is one of the key hurdles for any health innovator. How do you find the right clinical partner, a place to prove out your brilliant idea in the real world, and then iterate based on user feedback?

In the conversation – our most-downloaded episode in the past year – we’ll get into the real-world challenges that Dr. Wilson faces, his motivation for evolving his practice, and how PreventScripts has helped him fill gaps in patient care.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


 

FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


From the Archives: Aaron Kowalski, PhD, CEO of JDRF, Brings His Professional & Personal Experience to StartUp Health’s T1D Moonshot Impact Board



For this StartUp Health NOW episode, we are taking a look back at a great episode featuring Aaron Kowalski, PhD, the CEO of JDRF International. Anyone orbiting in the universe of Type 1 diabetes knows that JDRF is the world’s largest nonprofit funder of T1D research. In his role atop the organization, Kowalski has combined his professional experience as a molecular biologist and executive with his personal passion to fight Type 1 diabetes in order to impact patients like his own brother.

Kowalski is also an exciting addition to StartUp Health’s Type 1 Diabetes Moonshot Impact Board. This board is a cross-disciplinary team of T1D experts spanning the gamut from research to funding to commercialization. We are thrilled that Kowalski is bringing his vast experience to this community in order to speed up innovation and support a generation of health entrepreneurs.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


 

FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


From the Archives: A Look at How Andreessen Horowitz Invests in the Future of Health



On this week’s StartUp Health NOW, we look back at one of our most-popular podcast episodes: a chat with Julie Yoo, a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz – where she leads investments in healthcare technology, with a focus on companies that are modernizing how we access, pay for, and experience the healthcare system. During this chat in front of a live audience of founders from the StartUp Health community, Yoo talked about the growth of home health, fintech for healthcare, and her personal passions around solving for provider shortage issues and the mismatch of supply and demand.

Listen in for insights that are just as relevant today as in November 2021, such as Yoo’s tip that top investors like a16z are less interested in startups who have all the answers – because they don’t – than in entrepreneurs who can identify and overcome obstacles and can communicate that journey with clarity.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


 

FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


Scaling Your Health Tech Business to $100 Million, Featuring Sofia Guerra of Bessemer Venture Partners



On our episode today we are getting down into the details, deep the weeds, in order to understand what it takes to scale a healthcare business to $100M.

For that wisdom we turned to Sofia Guerra, an investor at Bessemer Venture Partners. We recently had her on our Health Transformer University Masterclass series to share top takeaways from a recent benchmarks report published by her firm. She distilled their very detailed work into five key takeaways and then hung around to answer questions from our audience of StartUp Health founders.

In this session, which was hosted by Jamey Edwards, Chief Platform Officer here at StartUp Health, Sofia gets into all the critical operational, financial, and clinical performance metrics that health tech companies need to care about if they’re going to thrive and scale.

For the purpose of this podcast, we’ll drop right into the middle of the conversation between Jamey and Sofia, focusing on her advice for founders.

Enjoy!


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


How Avanlee Care Is Teaming Up with Retailers to Address the Caregiver Crisis



Our podcast guest this week is Avanlee Christine, CEO and Co-founder of Avanlee Care, a company that joined StartUp Health in 2022. A few years ago Avanlee found herself helping to coordinate care for her grandmother. Everyone in the family wanted to help, but she lived far away, and there just wasn’t a good way to check in on her health and be the kind of support that Avanlee and her family wanted to be.

As many entrepreneurs do, Avanlee said to herself: There must be a better way. So She raised some funds (that’s a story in itself), built a team, and set out to design a platform that eases the burden on unpaid caregivers. And she did all while having her first child.

Listen in as she explains the details of the Avanlee Care product as it stands today and about how she’s finding eager partners in some of the country’s largest retailers and employers. Turns out easing the caregiver burden isn’t just a moral good, it’s also good for a company’s bottom line.


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.

 


Two Top Health Investors Share Their 2023 Tips for Founders



Whether they like it or not – and they probably don’t – every health tech founder needs to think about money. How much they need, and how to get it. For many founders, raising outside funds becomes a whole new full time job that they have to take on. This year, funding in the sector has dipped sharply, making that job even harder and more stressful.

On our podcast this week, we hear from the other side of the table. We sat down with the heads of two major health tech investment firms and got their advice for health innovation entrepreneurs in 2023.

First up is Lee Shapiro, managing partner at 7wireVentures and long-time collaborator with StartUp Health. Shapiro is a luminary in digital health investing so we asked him for his macro view of the industry and got a few practical tips for founders raising funds today.

Then we hear from Shawn Ellis, managing partner at Distributed Ventures, a $100M fund that invests in Seed and Series A deals and has a strong health tech focus. In our chat Ellis broke down where his firm has found success recently and exactly what he looks for in a pitch.


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


Maximizing Your Impact: Building and Leading a Strategic Board



Our guest this week is Matt Blumberg, CEO and Co-founder at Bolster. He’s the author of the books “Startup CEO,” “Startup CXO,” and most recently “Startup Boards.”

That last one was why we wanted to have him in for a special masterclass with the founders from the StartUp Health community. As you’ll hear, Blumberg has developed a detailed strategy for maximizing your startup’s board. It’s a time-tested framework for making sure your board is an asset to your business not a tax.

Drawing on his own experiences as a CEO and board member, Matt discusses the importance of diversity in leadership and decision-making and provides practical tips and strategies for building a board that represents the full range of perspectives and experiences of your stakeholders. As a startup leader looking to build or scale your board, this chat will provide valuable insights and actionable advice to help you grow.

This conversation was held in front of a live audience of entrepreneurs, so you’ll get to hear some very practical questions on board management during our Q&A.


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.