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No More Suffering in Silence: Meet Two Founders Tackling Gut Health



On this week’s StartUp Health NOW episode, we’re talking about the future of gut health with Jeff Glueck, CEO & Co-founder of Salvo Health, and Swathi Arulguppe, CEO & Founder at BetterMeal AI.

There’s no doubt gut health is having a moment.

For a long time, health issues in the gut, like irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease, were met with outdated pamphlets about diets. The result was millions of people suffering in silence with painful, life-limiting conditions.

It’s not that GI doctors didn’t want to help. There just didn’t seem to be a lot that they could do.

Thankfully our understanding of the importance of gut health – and its connection to mental health and whole health – has resulted in a wave of innovation. And on this podcast episode, we’ll talk to some amazing entrepreneurs working to break this cycle and bring relief to patients.

Our first guest, Jeff Glueck was the CEO of Foursquare before he co-founded Salvo Health. He’s taking on gut health from two innovative angles.

The first is through the establishment of a digital clinic which makes specialty GI care available to patients at scale and on demand. Second, Glueck and his team are capitalizing on the latest research connecting gut health to mental health and other conditions. This connection between the gut microbiome and whole health is just exploding and Salvo is helping patients stay on the cutting edge.

Then we’ll check in with Swathi Arulguppe, CEO & Founder of BetterMeal AI.

You’ll hear how Arulguppe has taken her own journey with a debilitating GI condition, combined it with her passion for data, and built a platform for helping deliver AI-driven personalized meal recommendations to patients. By understanding the biological connections between human gut and food at the deepest level, she has built an app that helps guide its users on how to best manage their gut health through their nutrition.

Let’s jump in and find out where we are in gut health innovation.

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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.


Thriving Seniors: How These Founders Are Upgrading Senior Care from Early Disease Detection to Care Coordination




Why Wingwomen Took the Leap from Virtual Support to Real-World Care for Reproductive Health



When Adonica Shaw founded Wingwomen, it was to address a very specific, personal need. Shaw had experienced a difficult pregnancy – preeclampsia turned an otherwise healthy pregnancy into a medical emergency. Afterward she looked around and there was no one to talk to about what she’d been through and nowhere she felt she could go for advice.

So she built a safe space to talk about issues around women’s health and maternal health. It was all virtual at first and provided curated communities of support.

But one day Shaw realized that there were services she wanted to provide to her customers that just couldn’t be handled on an app. There were also services she wanted to provide that couldn’t get reimbursed without a physical component. So she made a leap that very few health tech founders make: she decided to open up a physical clinic. She found suitable space in South Boston, fitted it out to her specifications, and put out her proverbial shingle.

As we discuss, in this StartUp Health NOW podcast episode, this has come with serious challenges. There’s a reason why many founders prefer SaaS business models over bricks and mortar. Dealing with local zoning, difficult neighbors, staffing… it’s a lot. But designing a physical space also allows Shaw to lay the foundation for a new way for women to get care and to support one another along the way.

Let’s get into the conversation.


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.

 


Neolth Teams Up with NBA Star Kenny Thomas to Bring Mental Health Tools to Kids



According to some estimates, out of the HHS, nearly 50% of kids have experienced some kind of mental health challenge. And not just anxiety about an upcoming test or depression over a breakup, but persistent feelings that interfere with daily activities.

Health innovation companies have been on the case for years, including many from the StartUp Health community. They’re tackling the science – like what’s the best way to treat mental health challenges in teens – and they’re also tackling engagement. You can have the best tools in the world after all, but if a young person doesn’t want to get help, it’ll never go anywhere.

Enter Katherine Grill, PhD, CEO & Co-founder of Neolth, one of our guests on this podcast episode. She’s taken her doctorate in behavioral neuroscience and her experience as a clinician, combined with hundreds of interviews with young people, in order to build a platform that meets kids where they’re at – offering self-guided mental health support in a variety of forms and flavors.

Joining the podcast with us is former pro basketball player, Kenny Thomas. After spending 11 seasons in the NBA, Thomas became an entrepreneur and community advocate, with a focus on youth experiencing financial hardship via his own foundation. And now he’s throwing his influence behind Neolth in order to help young people, particularly those involved in sports, gain access to mental health services.

On this StartUp Health NOW episode, we’ll cover the ins and outs of the Neolth platform as well as some of Dr. Grill’s strategy behind working with a brand ambassador, which is somewhat unique in the world of early-stage health startups.

Let’s get into it.


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.

 


How These FemTech Founders Are Upgrading Below-the-Belt Health



For years we’ve tracked investment trends at StartUp Health and talked quarter after quarter about how women’s health has been underfunded. Finally, that is changing, and more founders and more funders are actively bridging that divide, creating new, necessary solutions for women, whether in fitness, pre- and post-natal care, chronic conditions, fertility, or menopause.

Our podcast guests this week are two Health Transformers who have been dedicated to FemTech before the new surge in interest in women’s health innovation.

First we’ll talk to Wendy Powell, CEO & Founder of MUTU System, a UK-based fitness platform that helps women recover from pregnancy and regain independence and confidence – focusing on core and pelvic floor reconnection, recovery, and strengthening. Wendy’s been in business for more than a decade and joined StartUp Health last year to help expand her reach.

Then we’ll hear from Missy Lavender, CEO & Founder of Renalis, about how she’s helping women with below-the-belt conditions like overactive bladder get the care they need through an AI chatbot called CeCe. Missy’s company – which joined StartUp Health in 2019 – is bringing therapy to women who have suffered in silence with pelvic health conditions. She’s not just extending a lifeline to women, but to their doctors as well, who have struggled to figure out how to manage these challenging conditions.

Enjoy the episode, which was recorded at the ViVE 2023 conference in Nashville, with these two founders breaking through the stigma around women’s pelvic health.


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.

 


Creative Collaborations: Bringing Next-Gen Alzheimer’s Tech to West Africa



One of the words that gets thrown around so much at StartUp Health that you might get tired of hearing it is ‘collaboration.’ We say it a lot. However, you’ll only get sick of the word if you think it’s just startup jargon or lip service. But at StartUp Health that’s just not the case.

StartUp Health was designed from day one to promote a collaborative ecosystem in health innovation. For more than a decade we’ve been bringing like-minded founders together to learn from each other and support each other. It can be lonely out there as a founder, and StartUp Health has made it a top priority to connect people in meaningful ways. So that companies can grow faster, yes. But also so that founders survive and thrive in the face of the day-to-day grind of entrepreneurship.

We say all of that because it explains why our StartUp Health NOW guests today resonate so much for our team. David Nguyen, PhD, CEO & Co-founder of BrainScanology, and Ismail Badjie, PharmD, CEO & Founder of Innovarx Global Health, are from two very different health sectors – and two very different regions of the world. But they met at a StartUp Health event. And because they were fellow Health Transformers they knew they shared certain values. That prompted a connection and a conversation, which then allowed them to leapfrog into a business partnership.

In the interview we’ll get into how they met and what they’ve building together to help patients thrive into old age in West Africa. And we’ll also talk about the role of creative collaborations in achieving audacious health moonshot goals. 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.


Unpluq Helps People Get Off Their Screens and Back into Life



Our StartUp Health NOW guest this week is Caroline Cadwell, the CEO and Co-founder of Unpluq – a Dutch company that joined StartUp Health in 2021.

Unpluq is on a mission to empower people to change their digital habits and improve their wellbeing.

Cadwell and her team have designed a consumer-facing device and platform that helps people regain control and intentionality with their time. They’re pushing back against a world where attention span is eroding, which has contributed to lower feelings of wellbeing and a decline in executive function.

Listen in to hear how they’ve tackled the problem.


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 These Two Founders Are Upgrading Maternal Health Through Cultural Competence and Remote Monitoring



Today in the United States, we do an entirely poor job of taking care of our pregnant mothers. If you look at statistics like maternal morbidity and mortality, it’s been going up. And, through the pandemic, it’s only gone downhill. We’re one of the worst actually the worst – of any advanced country.

Welcome back to StartUp Health NOW, the podcast where we celebrate the entrepreneurs and innovators who are transforming health.

Today we’ve got two very special guests on the show talking about one extremely important topic: maternal health. This is a topic that has been front and center in health news lately and not for good reasons. In spite of all our progress in healthtech, the US has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world.

The World Health Organization reports that a maternal death occurred almost every two minutes in 2020.

What’s worse, maternal health brings to light racial health inequities in a stark and disturbing way. According to the CDC, Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.

But we’re not here just to talk about the problem. Our guests are two Health Transformers who have dedicated their lives to changing the maternal health story.

First, you’ll get to hear from Jade Kearney, CEO & Founder of She Matters, a new platform that trains doctors in culturally-competent care so that – among other things – Black women are heard and understood during childbirth. They also created a virtual community for moms to get support and improve the health outcomes for Black mothers.

Next, we’ll have a conversation with Anish Sebastian, CEO & Co-founder of Babyscripts. Babyscripts is a long-time member of our community that is bringing virtual care and remote monitoring into the pregnancy and postpartum journey so that more women get the care they need when and where they need it most.

Listen in for their stories and solutions for upgrading maternal health.


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.


Raising My First Million: The Health Moonshot Mindsets & Tactics That Helped Perceiv AI Close $1.5M During a Down Market



Welcome to StartUp Health NOW, the podcast where we celebrate the entrepreneurs and innovators who are transforming health.

It’s no secret that 2022 was a down year for health innovation funding. Earlier this month we published our Year-End Insights Report, which showed a 50% drop-off in digital health funding compared with 2021. Of course, you have to take those numbers in context. For one, 2021 was a crazy, exuberant year for funding, fueled by a COVID-induced rush to virtual healthcare. Second, when you look at health innovation funding over 10 years, we’re still on a dramatic upward growth curve.

That said, 2022 was a scary year for startups that needed to raise funds, so we called up a founder in the StartUp Health portfolio who’d made it happen. Christian Dansereau, PhD, CEO and Co-founder of Perceiv AI, closed his first round, $1.5M, in November 2022, while many other companies were experiencing down rounds, acquisitions, and or even closing their doors.

So, how’d they raise their first million plus in spite of rocky market conditions? What strategies and mindsets did they use that other founders can learn from? In this podcast episode, we get tactical about lead gen, decks, and nailing your first meeting, and also talk about the importance of aligning with partners at a health moonshot level.


Learn more and connect with Health Transformers like Perceiv AI.

Entrepreneurs: How to get investment from StartUp Health startuphealth.com

InvestorsContact us to learn how to invest in Health Moonshots
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.

Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.
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.