Frequently Asked Questions
About StartUp Health
- What is StartUp Health Academy?
StartUp Health Academy is a three-year coaching program and community designed to help grow and scale digital health and wellness companies. This location- and stage-agnostic program focuses on equity value creation and leverages the power of the Network Effect to focus on capitalization, customer development, team, and packaging, while navigating challenges and building sustainable businesses.
- Who Funds StartUp Health and who are your partners?
StartUp Health is supported by a community of amazing investors and partners who are committed to transforming health and wellness and are passionate supporters of entrepreneurs and innovators. Some of our investors include Mark Cuban, Esther Dyson, Roger Ehrenberg, Brad Feld, Richard Forman, Jason Finger, Linda Holliday, Jon Kaplan, Jon Miller, Jeff Stewart, Wayne Kimmel, and many more.
Our strategic partners include a broad spectrum of healthcare stakeholders, foundations, government organizations, and brands ranging from GE, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AARP, California Healthcare Foundation, AT&T, Morgan Lewis, WCG, Merck, Pfizer, Humana, and many more.
- How much does it cost to join StartUp Health?
There is no cash cost for startups to join StartUp Health Academy and there is no way to pay to enroll. You must be invited by our Review Committee to join and successfully complete the diligence process. StartUp Health earns equity in the companies enrolled in the Academy, which means the only way StartUp Health makes money is if you are successful and we help you build and grow a great company and increase your equity value.
On average, we earn 6% stock in exchange for the long-term Academy support and resources invested in your business. During the diligence process, we work with you to determine an equity amount based on a standard equity formula that credits each company for the milestones it has achieved. Aside from equity investment, startups pay only for their own travel expenses to attend quarterly Healthcare Transformer Summits and other opt-in industry opportunities such as special conferences you may go to.
- How will you determine my equity percentage?
During the diligence phase we will review your key company milestones and corporate documents and use a standard formula that is the same for every company. In general, most companies at the early stage should expect to be in the 6% range. But because we are stage agnostic, we often have companies that are much more advanced in their development and so the equity amount is less.
Here is a rough guideline so you know what to expect:
Phase Criteria Equity Range Idea Idea only; Solo entrepreneur; Technology is in prototype stage 8-10% StartUp Team assembled, but no traction to date 6-8% RampUp Paying customers; active users; Initial traction and need help scaling 5-6% Runway $2M+ raised with at least 80% available in the bank 2-4%
- Is there an application deadline?
There is a deadline each quarter to apply to be considered for the upcoming class, however, we review applications in the order they are received.
- Can a company reapply?
We do reconsider applications each quarter and encourage you to update us on your company’s key milestones.
- How does StartUp Health deal with confidentiality of applicants?
All information shared with the StartUp Health team is solely used for evaluation and to determine fit for StartUp Health Academy. We are not able to sign NDAs based on the volume of applications, however we respect the confidentiality of each application. We ask entrepreneurs to provide only as much information as you are comfortable sharing. You decide what information to share on your application. During the diligence phase, however, you will be required to go through a more thorough process and share company documents as you would expect in a partnership situation.
- What are the selection criteria?
We evaluate companies on a holistic basis and consider several components including the product, team, business model, and traction. Most importantly, we are looking for:
- Batteries included entrepreneurs
- Passionate innovators already taking action and committed to transforming health and wellness
- Coachable leaders who are as comfortable being coached as they are willing to share and pay forward to their fellow Healthcare Transformers
- Persistence, hustle, and the spirit of an entrepreneur
- Do companies need to raise money before applying to the Academy?
Most of the companies in StartUp Health Academy have raised at least a seed round, have received grant money, or are already profitable. Our 50 portfolio companies have raised over $125 Million collectively and range from seed to B round funding. We designed the program for companies who wish to scale through all stages and growth. Applicants of all stages are encouraged to apply.
- Does StartUp Health consider companies that have participated in accelerator programs?
Yes, over a quarter of companies in the Academy have graduated from an accelerator or incubator including Rock Health, Blueprint Health, Health Box, New York Digital Health Accelerator, DreamIt, and other global programs.
- Does StartUp Health consider companies from outside the United States?
Yes, we currently have companies representing five countries. Everyone accepted into the program must be able to travel to the U.S. for our quarterly summits.
- Does StartUp Health provide seed capital to companies in the Academy?
StartUp Health does not invest seed capital in companies and instead invests all resources into infrastructure, community, curriculum, and programming to help grow and scale your business. StartUp Health organizes a community of investors and partners who are interested in investing and becoming customers. We’ve found that the companies joining StartUp Health are much more interested in customer access, coaching, and ongoing support to help with capitalization rather than a small initial seed investment. We invest all of our resources designing an ongoing support system and in moments of extreme value creation, team building, and the coaching you need to scale.
- Does StartUp Health help with customer development?
We maintain a broad network of relationships at every level of the health and wellness ecosystem and will present Healthcare Transformers with numerous opportunities to meet and interact with potential customers. Through StartUp Health Curriculum Series, Forums, and Office Hours, Healthcare Transformers will be able to collaborate on best practices to make their sales efforts more efficient. While it is ultimately the responsibility of each Healthcare Transformer to grow his/her business, StartUp Health will provide guidance on how to best approach meetings, leverage the network and Partner Access events, and provide templates/tools to make the process more productive.
- Does StartUp Health help with the capitalization process?
StartUp Health has a unique capitalization process, which takes the entire campaign into account, from developing your materials, to pitch practice, to putting together your target list. We provide a number of resources that will help you expedite your capitalization efforts, including research on active angels and VCs, templates that will give you the best practices on putting your materials together, and group practice sessions that will hone in your pitch. Additionally, we provide opportunities for Healthcare Transformers to meet investors at Partner Access events including showcases, network receptions, and roundtables.
- How much time do I have to commit to get the most out of the program?
Our philosophy is strongly rooted in the Network Effect – you get out of the program what you put in. The StartUp Health coaches and community can provide maximum value to you if there is a regular, honest, and candid dialogue. StartUp Health Academy is specifically designed to not only check in with Healthcare Transformers on a regular basis, but allow you to step outside of your business to gain perspective from other members of the community. Outside of our quarterly in-person Healthcare Transformer Summits and monthly virtual Forums (both of which are required), our programming is opt-in and we encourage entrepreneurs in the Academy to leverage the resources and opportunities provided.
- Do entrepreneurs have to relocate to participate?
No, our programming is developed to accommodate individuals across the globe. Entrepreneurs are required to attend in-person quarterly Healthcare Transformer Summit.