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Funding of life science companies are going through drastic changes!
Written by Anne DeGheest // 09 February 2012 // Angel funding, Entrepreneur, healthtech, mobile health, НealthTech Capital, digital health, HIT

Today, I was on a funding panel organized by Singularity University during their FutureMed program. Traditional medical devices and biotech companies are facing a significant funding gap from the shrinking venture industry. This is due to the lack of clarity of the FDA approval process and the challenges in getting reimbursement for new products. As a result funding in traditional life science companies has decreased significantly especially for the earlier rounds. However a new sector is emerging under different names: digital health, mobile health, HIT or HealthTech. The direct to consumer applications have seen a surge of new startups in the last 12 months, followed by Angels or technology venture capitalist. There are two areas that are emerging with significant opportunities:

· Improving the productivity of the existing healthcare providers in the existing fee for services payment system and under the upcoming patient population driven by the healthcare reforms.

· Engaging the patient to take responsibility to manage their health or chronic disease conditions.

These two sectors will require new approaches in building businesses. Starting with a small amount of initial capital, these young companies need to be heavily mentored to understand the pain points of all the stakeholders in the healthcare systems, engage consumer to change behavior, leverage the new mobility and social platform.. Without requiring significant capital investment!

These are the time of defining pain points, quick prototyping, customer feedback, product iteration to understand user adoptions.....and the revenue model!

Too many entrepreneurs are developing cool apps... Without spending enough time on the business issues. Since there may be low IP protection, what are the barriers of entry on the business side? How will your acquire the customers..at an acceptable cost? How will you retain them? Who will pay..and why? What will you have to do to convince them? Do you have to interface with the existing medical information system? How scalable is you backend operation? These are questions that you first investors will ask.. If you don't have these answers you will need a clear roadmap on how to get them!

Sculley: Domain expertise just as critical as technology in healthcare
Written by Anne DeGheest // 23 January 2012 // Entrepreneur, НealthTech Capital, mobile health, digital health

As Sculey pointed out " Domain expertise just as critical as technology in healthcare".

In order to succeed in the new digital health space, entrepreneurs need three sets of expertise: healthcare, technology and consumer engagement.

Most entrepreneurs are coming from the technology side with little understanding of the complexity of the healthcare workflow and regulatory oversights. It is critical for entrepreneurs to understand the pain points of all the different stakeholders and design of value proposition for their products that meets the needs of all the healthcare players ...and the consumers.

This is why I founded HealthTech capital, an ecosystem of Angel investors that brings those three sets of expertise to the entrepreneurs we invest in and mentor.

Venture Capital Flows to Cost-Effective Health Care Companies
Written by Anne DeGheest // 07 November 2011 // Angel funding, Entrepreneur

Sarah Varney of KQED interviewed me for the KQED California Report and an upcoming National Public Radio broadcast. 

Pleased listen to the audio link after the short local news.

Medicare and some health plans are beginning to withhold payments for medical mishaps, preventable infections, and readmissions. The federal health law also forces them to pay more attention to how much they're spending. Both factors have a direct effect on the kinds of investments that Silicon Valley venture capitalists are betting on. Reporter: Sarah Varney



What I Know Now That I Wish I Knew Then: Anne DeGheest, MedStars and HealthTech Capital
Written by Anne DeGheest // 25 August 2011 // Entrepreneur

The best angel investors are really “mentor capitalists” at heart, investing capital for not just a financial return, but the opportunity to share their experience and networks. They are driven to do whatever it takes: fixing the product bugs, changing market strategy, dedicating themselves to getting the company off the ground, investors, advisors and/or board members.

The entrepreneur’s relationship to such people must be based on openness and honesty: sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. Often entrepreneurs fall in love with their ideas and cannot answer the famous "So what" questions: what is the value proposition? Who make customer decisions? Who pays and why? The entrepreneur has to articulate clearly why there is a large market that has to have this new products now. Proactive investors, advisors and board members can help answer these questions.

Often the right people for these relationships are industry veterans who have built a business in the entrepreneur’s industry from the ground up, and have known failure as well as success. As “business architects”, they can teach the intricacies of market strategy and finance. They often seek both stock for their “sweat equity” and preferred stock for own cash investment. This aligns them with founders and other common shareholders. Properly recruited they can be one of the biggest factors in a business’s success.

MedStars and HealthTech Capital invest in Niveus
Written by Anne DeGheest // 26 July 2011 // Entrepreneur, Angel funding
For the last 2 years, I have been mentoring Brian Fahey, the founder of Niveus who is now closing on a $2 Million series A from major angel groups. 

My angel group, HealthTech Capital, played a key role with our members investing directly around $600,000. By sharing our due diligence with other angel groups, we helped in creating a powerfull value add syndicate.

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