Frequently Asked Questions
About StartUp Health
- What is StartUp Health Academy?
The StartUp Health Academy is a three-year location- and stage-agnostic program that combines coaching and community support to grow and scale digital health companies. We bring together entrepreneurs, investors and other healthcare change-makers, empower startups to focus on the key areas for driving equity value and help entrepreneurs navigate the challenges specific to growing a sustainable business in healthcare.
- 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 and Wayne Kimmel.
Our strategic partners include a broad spectrum of healthcare stakeholders, foundations, government organizations and brands, including 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 we only benefit as much as our companies do.
On average, we take 6 percent 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 the equity investment, startups pay for their own travel expenses to attend quarterly Summits and other opt-in industry opportunities and conferences.
- 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 to determine the equity percentage the Academy will take. In general, most companies at the early stage should expect to be in the 6 percent range but, because we are stage-agnostic, we often accept companies that are much more advanced and, in those cases, the equity amount is lower.
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%
- How does StartUp Health deal with confidentiality of applicants?
All information shared with the StartUp Health team is used solely for evaluation purposes. We are not able to sign NDAs because of the volume of applications, however, we respect the confidentiality of each application. We ask entrepreneurs to provide only as much information as they are comfortable sharing in their applications. During the diligence phase, however, applicants will be required to go through a more thorough process and share the company documents that are typically furnished in a partnership situation. View the Virtual Data Room checklist for more details on the documents we request during the diligence phase.
- 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 ready to share their energy to the community.
- Passionate innovators who are committed to transforming health and wellness and are already taking action.
- Leaders who are as comfortable being coached as they are willing to share their expertise.
- Persistence, hustle and the spirit of an entrepreneur.
- Do companies need to raise money before applying to the Academy?
Most of the companies in the StartUp Health Academy have raised at least a seed round or grant money, or are already profitable. Our 50+ companies have raised more than $125 Million collectively in seed, Series A and Series B rounds of 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, more than a quarter of companies in the Academy have graduated from an accelerator or incubator, including Rock Health, Blueprint Health, Health Box, the New York Digital Health Accelerator, DreamIt and other international programs.
- Does StartUp Health provide seed capital to companies in the Academy?
StartUp Health does not invest seed capital in companies; instead, it invests all resources into infrastructure, community, curriculum and programming to help grow and scale businesses in the program. We’ve found that the companies joining StartUp Health are much more interested in customer access, coaching and continued capitalization support than a small initial seed investment. We help our companies connect with a broad range of potential investors and customers, and we provide ongoing access to the information and insights that match their needs and stages of growth.
- 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” theory — our program becomes more valuable as more people use it, which means 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 regular, honest and candid dialogue. The StartUp Health Academy is specifically designed to not only check in with Healthcare Transformers on a regular basis, but allow entrepreneurs to step outside of their businesses to gain perspective from other members of the community. Outside of our quarterly in-person Summits and monthly virtual Forums, our programming is opt-in and we encourage entrepreneurs in the Academy to use 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 Summits which usually take place in New York City, San Francisco, or Washington, DC.