Frequently Asked Questions

About StartUp Health

What is StartUp Health?

StartUp Health is on a mission to achieve health moonshots and improve global health and wellbeing. We are investing in a global army of Health Transformers, over the next several decades, so that together we can speed up innovation, increase the probability of success and help billions of people live healthier, happier lives. There are five key components to the StartUp Health platform:

  • We invest early and support Health Transformers through every stage of growth.
  • We unite these entrepreneurs, and their companies, into one connected community focused on achieving health moonshots.
  • We leverage the power of our global modern media network and brand to broadcast stories about the progress being made in achieving health moonshots.
  • We build global partner networks to support these health moonshots and the entrepreneurs solving them.
  • We grow health moonshot funds to invest in a generation of Health Transformers around the world.

How is StartUp Health unique?

Our 30-year commitment to improving health and wellbeing for everyone in the world is what guides everything we do. Alignment with that mission is the key marker we use to vet potential partners and investments.

StartUp Health is the only global organization that invests in entrepreneurs at every stage of growth and unites its portfolio into one connected force to focus on solving the world’s biggest health challenges. We leverage the power of community, network effects and a global media network to broadcast the progress being made to the world.

StartUp Health has a uniquely sustainable business model and scalable platform focused on a double bottom line: to focus exclusively on achieving health moonshots and deliver superior investment returns.

What are some common misconceptions about StartUp Health?

People sometimes confuse StartUp Health with accelerator or incubator programs. We are investors with a global community and investment platform dedicated to achieving health moonshots. While we cover some of the same coaching territory as accelerators, that is only one small element of our platform. StartUp Health makes direct investments in later-stage companies. In fact, if you are raising a priced equity round (qualified Series A ,B, C, etc.) with a known lead investor, StartUp Health seeks to invest up to $5M at the same terms as the lead investor, but we often make much smaller commitments. We also invest our full platform resources in entrepreneurs at early pre-seed and seed stages and then support them through every stage of growth.

How do I get the most out of my StartUp Health experience?

StartUp Health is designed to help you at every stage of growth. But like most things in life, the value derived from any opportunity is largely up to you. The best way to leverage the power of StartUp Health is to actively participate, support and collaborate with your fellow Health Transformers, and leverage the resources we provide, quarter after quarter, year after year, as you grow. The more you put into the community, the more likely you will be to benefit from the platform and relationships you build over time.

Here are a few ways successful Health Transformers leverage our platform:

  1. Become an active, ‘batteries-included’ member of the Health Transformer community. Participate in StartUp Health Forums, check in to StartUp Health HQ (our online community platform), make sure you are at the annual StartUp Health Festival, come to as many hangouts and events as possible and build relationships with your fellow Health Transformers.
  2. Tap into the power of the ‘network effect’ and StartUp Health IQ, our exclusive AI-driven database of investors, customers, strategic partners and connections from StartUp Health and your fellow Health Transformers. Imagine a private Linkedin style network with all your contacts, plus all of ours, and all of your fellow Health Transformers too. One degree of separation from virtually every decision maker you will ever need!
  3. Leverage StartUp Health’s global media network to broadcast your progress directly to hundreds of thousands of investors, partners, leaders, and people who care about transforming health.
  4. Keep us informed each quarter about your achievements and future milestones, particularly if you’re planning a capital raise so that you can leverage our platform early and through your process. This cadence enables you to maximize the relationships with StartUp Health’s partner network, called the StartUp Health ‘Collaboratory’. These partners have invested in StartUp Health because they also want to invest in you, do strategic partnerships and collaborate to speed up innovation. In addition to making sure our Collaboratory partners are at the StartUp Health Festival, we deliver our media and host partner briefings with these investors to highlight your significant milestones.

How can I best help the StartUp Health community?

Show up. Participate. Be ‘Batteries Included.’ Connect with you fellow Health Transformers because their unique capabilities complement yours. Help your fellow Health Transformers when they need it. Join StartUp Health HQ. Start or join a working group. Contribute to achieving the health moonshots!

How will you help me raise money, get customers and grow my team?

StartUp Health companies have had tremendous success raising capital and scaling their business. StartUp Health portfolio companies have raised almost $1.6B to date and more than 40% of our companies that have raised a seed round have raised an A round or later since joining StartUp Health. However, for most entrepreneurs we’ve ever met, the fundraising and customer development process is never easy and can be an arduous gauntlet. Over the years, StartUp Health has experimented with dozens of ways to make raising capital and scaling your business easier and more efficient. We’ve worked to codify and focus on the best best methods for supporting our community of Health Transformers. Here’s how:

  • We tap into the power of the ‘network effect’: Through StartUp Health HQ and StartUp Health IQ (our AI-driven network database), you instantly expand your network when you join StartUp Health provided you also contribute to the network. You get a head start from the collective intelligence of the community and the network of StartUp Health and your fellow Health Transformers.
  • We created a ‘demo-day’ that never ends: Rather than making direct/random introductions and burning through personal networks each day, we created a more strategic approach to connecting you with investors, customers and talent. StartUp Health has a suite of media channels that reach a targeted community of hundreds of thousands of health innovation investors, partners and innovators. We tell your story, over and over again as compelling content, and share this progress with an entire ecosystem of decision makers and innovators. This establishes credibility, creates growing awareness and builds a fertile ground to help you and your team so that you’re front of mind when investment decisions or customer calls get made.
  • Showcase platforms like the StartUp Health Festival and live community events or partner workshops create opportunities to meet the StartUp Health Network in person so that you can build relationships and extend your reach.

How much time will we need to commit to StartUp Health?

You decide. The more you participate, the more likely you will be to fully leverage the StartUp Health platform and build relationships that will add significant value. At a minimum, we recommend that Health Transformers participate in quarterly forums, attend the StartUp Health Festival and keep us up to date on your progress each quarter so we can best share your story with potential customers and investors.

What is the StartUp Health Perk Program?

StartUp Health has organized exclusive discounts and perks from resource partners like Google and Amazon, law firms and marketing agencies who can help you. We currently offer perks to Health Transformers valued at more than $500,000 in total resources and discounts.

Where are your offices? Where can we meet the StartUp Health Team?

Find us 24/7 online at StartUp Health HQ. Visit us at our StartUp Health Villages located in New York and San Francisco. Come to the StartUp Health Festival. And meet us in person on our never ending ‘world tour’ where we host hangouts and ‘events within events.’ Upcoming events here.

Do you have data on how successful StartUp Health companies are doing?

8 out of 10 StartUp Health portfolio companies are still active and already 7.7% of our companies have been acquired. 41% of companies that raised a seed round have gone on to raise an A round and our companies have collectively raised nearly $1.6 billion.

We don’t want investment, but would still like to get support from StartUp Health. Can you give us advice or connect us to your network?

The only way to join StartUp Health and leverage our platform is for us to invest in your company. We can do this at the pre-seed/seed stage by investing our full platform resources or investing capital at the Series A, B and C, etc. stages.

We’ve already raised funding. Can we still apply to join StartUp Health?

We find later stage companies have great success at leveraging the StartUp Health platform and resources to promote their business, drive sales and build relationships with global partners. Each quarter, in addition to working with the founders, we also work closely with your marketing and communications teams to maximize exposure and develop campaigns that strategically tie into your business plan. These campaigns can impact equity value in significant ways over time.

I know a great company who should be in StartUp Health. What’s the best way to refer them to you?

Please send them here to start the process for joining StartUp Health. Have them mention your name/company!

How We Invest (Overview)

What does StartUp Health look for / what are your criteria?

In addition to the obvious, which is supporting entrepreneurs focused on solutions that will make a significant impact on improving health and wellbeing, StartUp Health looks to invest in people who have (or will work toward) what we call the Health Transformer Mindset. We also look for entrepreneurs committed to achieving health moonshots. Our ideal entrepreneur has a transformational mindset, is “all in”, surrounded by like-minded people, recalibrates every 90 days and conveys confidence and an ambitious vision. This entrepreneur is aware of their unique abilities, has healthy habits, creates value and provides energy. Our forums and strategic coaching tools are designed to help you, your organization and partners embody these mindsets through every stage of growth. In addition, we look for founders who have an entrepreneurial spirit and are eager to collaborate with and pay it forward to their fellow Health Transformers.

Does StartUp Health only invest in certain health sectors or types of companies?

StartUp Health has a broad lens on health innovation and we categorize by 11 health moonshots and invest in them. That’s why we invest in people, not just companies or technologies. Additionally, we believe there is a great cross-pollination between sub-sectors and also with industries outside of “health” or “healthcare.” Generally, StartUp Health will consider investing in people we believe have (or will work toward) the Health Transformer Mindset and are committed to achieving a health moonshot. This crosses all subsectors of health/healthcare from digital health, consumer health tech, and health IT to bio-tech, med device and services. We primarily look for solutions that can scale by leveraging technology, data or design and business model innovation. If your solution supports the UN's Sustainable Development Goal of Good Health and Wellbeing or can be part of the solution to achieve at least one of our health moonshots, then we want to meet you!

How much does StartUp Health Invest?

StartUp Health invests at every early stage from pre-seed through Series A, B and C, however, we never lead rounds.

If you are raising a priced equity round with a premier/known lead investor, StartUp Health seeks to invest up to $5M at the same terms as the lead investor, but we often make much smaller commitments. We do not lead rounds or sit on boards, but all founders and CEOs get exclusive access to StartUp Health’s community, partner network and media network. We do not invest more than 10% of a round or seek to own more than 20% overall. Our aim is to support our companies through multiple rounds of growth.

If you are pre-financing, or are raising a pre-seed or seed round, we have a standard deal that enables StartUp Health to invest our full platform resources (which equates to hundreds of thousands of dollars of resource value and startup perks including an initial cash investment of $20K for your business) using a “post-money SAFE” agreement that converts to 2% of the company. In addition, StartUp Health’s goal is to support you and your company in the priced equity round in which the SAFE converts, and through multiple subsequent financing rounds (priced equity rounds or bridge financing rounds) by participating in those rounds to approximately maintain our 2% ownership or more. We designed this structure so companies of any early stage can participate in StartUp Health, even if you have participated in an accelerator program or have not yet completed a qualified financing.

Will StartUp Health lead my round?

No. StartUp Health does not lead rounds or sit on boards. We look to co-invest with other premier investors. Once we invest, we look to support our companies who meet our criteria in future rounds as they scale.

Does StartUp Health take a board seat?

No, StartUp Health does not take board seats or serve as board observers. We serve as your ongoing thought partner through every stage of growth.

What’s the investment process and how long does it take?

Our investment process is designed to be swift and focus on value creation to help you close your round (or future partnerships). The process can move as quickly as you can and generally takes two weeks from the time you provide your diligence documents. Learn more about the process and timeline here.

Do you fund companies that are competitive with each other?

Yes, we often work with companies commercializing in the same space, attacking the same problem or even working with the same customers or investors.

Here’s how we manage this and why we believe it’s invaluable to focus on collaboration even with potential competitors: At the early stages, we see that the true competition is the legacy industry ripe for disruption and see much greater value in focusing on collaboration, especially early on. Additionally, we fully expect that your business will evolve and change multiple times through many stages of growth. All this being said, we put each company fully in control of what information you decide to share and what you want to keep confidential. You are not required to divulge any confidential information in any of your interactions with fellow Health Transformers. We are happy to discuss any specific concerns you might have.

I’m currently in an accelerator program (or graduated from an accelerator). Can we still join StartUp Health?

Yes, and a good percentage of our companies graduated from an accelerator program and joined StartUp Health in search of long-term support and a network through every stage of growth. We have found that companies who graduated from accelerator programs thrive in our community environment.

What are the benefits of having so many companies in your portfolio and how do you manage that many?

StartUp Health is founded on the concept of community, collaboration and the power of the ‘network effect’. We believe that by working together, as one connected army of Health Transformers, we can increase the probability of success and learn more quickly from each other about what is working, and what is not working. With each new Health Transformer that joins our family we increase our collective intelligence, grow our networks of investors and customers and add to our community of experts and peer support.

Over the years, we have found that as the StartUp Health community has grown, it has become much easier to organize and manage. Each of our community platforms have become more vibrant and active, and our events like the StartUp Health Festival have become more valuable. Additionally, by operating in small groups for coaching workshops and forums, we have found that the greatest value and scale has come from facilitating collaboration and peer support among the founder community itself.

If our company is not selected to get investment from StartUp Health, will you consider us in the future?

Yes, when you feel you have made sufficient new progress, please reach out so we can reassess.

Investment Process & Details

My company is not yet incorporated, can I still move forward?

Your company must be incorporated in order to get investment from StartUp Health. If you are in the process of incorporating, please keep us updated on your specific timeline. We have multiple global law firm partners we can refer you to who offer significant discounts as StartUp Health perk partners.

My company is an S-Corp, what does that mean for me?

S corporations are subject to strict rules regarding what sorts of persons or entities are permitted to sustain S corporation tax election status. When you sign an offer letter with StartUp Health, your S-Corp election status will be terminated as we are not a permitted shareholder (permitted shareholders are individuals, certain trusts, estates and certain exempt organizations). While you do not need to re-incorporate, we want you to be aware of the status change prior to signing the offer letter.

We are not based in the US. Do you invest in international companies? What should I expect being based outside of the US?

Yes, we invest in companies from all over the world. We currently have portfolio companies from six continents and 24 countries. StartUp Health is designed to be a global platform uniting a community of Health Transformers and partners from all over the world. StartUp Health leverages community platforms, technologies and systems that cross global boundaries and can be used wherever you are located, and any market you need to do business. Our goal is to support Health Transformers in every country and every region where innovation is emerging. Health moonshots are universal as is the need to improve health and wellbeing everywhere.

As an organization we use English as the official language for all communications, legal documents, business meetings and events. We focus on global collaboration among the community and do our best to offer programming like workshops and forums in different time zones.

Will you sign an NDA?

We do not sign NDAs and have not done so with the 300+ companies currently in the StartUp Health portfolio. None of the documents or confidential information you share with us is shared outside of the StartUp Health Review Committee and legal counsel without express written permission from you.

What type of diligence documents will StartUp Health need?

Generally companies share their standard data room with us and that covers what we need. If you do not have a data room set-up already, we’ll essentially need:

  1. Corporate Documents (your company’s incorporation and governing documents)
  2. Capitalization Table (including all funding history and associated funding documents)
  3. Financials (historical/current)
  4. Legal Disclosure Statement (any information on legal matters relating to the company or a signed statement that there are no past, present, pending or threatened lawsuits against the company or its executive officers)
  5. Any material agreements (internal and/or external)
  6. Team Bios

A comprehensive list of documents needed for diligence will be provided once we begin the Investment Committee review process. For StartUp Health Infinity investments, we piggy-back on the diligence that was already completed by the lead investor, to speed up the process.

Do documents for the Virtual Data Room need to be in English?

Yes, we will need all documents translated to English in order to review (an unofficial translation is fine). This will also be important to prepare you for other investor and partner diligence requirements.

Do you need executed copies of my diligence documents?

Yes, we need executed copies of all documents (Corporate documents, Financing documents, etc.).

Can you clarify what financial information I need to provide?

Please provide your most recent (from last 3-6 months) Balance Sheet and Income Statement. If you do not have official financial statements, please provide a current bank statement as well as list of average monthly expenses from the last six months. We are looking to determine cash on hand and monthly burn in order to calculate cash runway. We realize that very early stage companies may have limited historical financials, or cash runway. Please provide what you can in order to give us the best snapshot of where you are.

How does StartUp Health invest?

StartUp Health invests via two different paths - Infinity and Seed.

If you are raising a priced equity round with a premier/known lead investor, StartUp Health seeks to invest up to $5M at the same terms as the lead investor, but we often make much smaller commitments. We do not lead rounds or sit on boards, but all founders and CEOs get exclusive access to StartUp Health’s community, partner network and media network. We do not invest more than 10% of a round or seek to own more than 20% overall. Our aim is to support our companies through multiple rounds of growth.

If you are pre-financing, or are raising a pre-seed or seed round, we have a standard deal that enables StartUp Health to invest our full platform resources (which equates to hundreds of thousands of dollars of resource value and startup perks including an initial cash investment of $20K for your business) using a “post-money SAFE” agreement that converts to 2% of the company. In addition, StartUp Health’s goal is to support you and your company in the priced equity round in which the SAFE converts, and through multiple subsequent financing rounds (priced equity rounds or bridge financing rounds) by participating in those rounds to approximately maintain our 2% ownership or more. We designed this structure so companies of any early stage can participate in StartUp Health, even if you have participated in an accelerator program or have not yet completed a qualified financing.

What are the major terms of the SAFE?

The SAFE is for hundreds of thousands of dollars in resources from the StartUp Health platform and also includes a $20,000 cash investment. The SAFE converts into preferred stock equal to 2% of your company’s capitalization upon the next qualified financing (i.e. capital raise of preferred stock with proceeds of at least $1,000,000).

Wait….$20k for 2%....doesn’t that mean the SAFE has a $1,000,000 valuation cap?

No. The $20,000 is to simply help cover the company’s legal and business costs and is not meant to be used to calculate any valuation cap.

Does StartUp Health use any additional documents with the direct investment and/or SAFE?

Yes. For StartUp Health Infinity investments: Typically, and depending on the exact language of that financing’s transaction documents, we will need to enter into a separate side letter agreement to ensure that StartUp Health has sufficient Information and Pre-Emptive Rights and that these rights, as they relate to StartUp Health, cannot be waived, terminated or otherwise diminished without our prior consent. The side letter may also contain certain other exceptions to the relevant transaction documents (e.g. reasonable exceptions to drag-along provisions or restrictions on transfers).

For StartUp Health Seed investments (SAFE companies): You will be executing a Letter Agreement which provides for some additional rights and obligations in consideration for StartUp Healh’s investment in your company, and your company becoming a member of StartUp Health.

What are some of the specific/important terms in this Letter Agreement?

The most important terms in the Letter Agreement are the Information Rights and Pre-Emptive Rights:

  1. Information Rights - These rights allow us to gather basic information (typically shared with the other investors anyway) to enable us to track and value the investment for our internal audit and reporting obligations.
  2. Pre-Emptive Rights - These rights (to maintain our pro-rata ownership in the company) are an inherent part of our business model and is a requirement of our fund, as we believe in leaning in to help companies and want to ensure our continued ability to participate and aid in their breaking out.

Are the terms in the Letter Agreement negotiable?

No. As we have the same contractual terms with each of our portfolio companies, we cannot make any substantive changes to the language of the Letter Agreement. If you have a specific question or issue with any of the terms, we are happy to provide additional clarity.

Do I need to provide the “Form Of’ for financing documents?

Yes, we’ll need the financing agreement as well as the Form Of (Note, etc.) that will be used in the transaction.

Investing at Every Stage

StartUp Health Seed

Have a health startup in the pre-seed to seed stage of development? Learn how we invest and help you scale.

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StartUp Health Infinity

Raising a Series A, B or C? StartUp Health Infinity is designed for you.

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