I Examined 3000 Health Startups: Here Are 10 Things I Wish Every Founder Knew | by StartUp Health | September 2022

Lauren Schafer, Project Manager at StartUp Health, reviews the virtual floors and data rooms of health innovation companies every day. Here are five things to get her excited about the startup app and five things to get her to succeed in getting uninstalled.

Lauren Schafer, as Project Manager at StartUp Health, has reviewed the floors and virtual data rooms of more than 3,000 health innovation companies. She’s made over 1,500 introduction calls to the founder. Over time, patterns emerged that helped her keep up with StartUp Health’s incredible pace of investing in nearly one digital health company every week. Here she shares the five things that make her excited about the startup app and the five things that make her succeed in deleting it.

Do… Make sure we understand what you’re doing within 60 seconds of looking at your material. The first thing to do is a simple yet detailed overview of your product. Don’t use buzzwords, but give us a real example or a personal story to tie them together.

Do… Help us quickly understand why you want it. We love seeing the founder’s passion shown in their founder’s intro video (in which the founders introduce themselves to StartUp Health). This is much more powerful than just writing it on your resume. In early healthcare, we bet a big part of our decision is about you as a founder, so show us why you’re the right person for the job.

Do… Indicate a clear validation of your product. These don’t have to be returns, but it’s important to share quantitative and qualitative data/metrics that prove you’re on the right track.

Do… Show us that you’ve done your research on StartUp Health. Come understand who we are and what we do (we have a lot of information on our site and about a million videos on YouTube). Ask specific questions so we can get the most out of our short call.

Do… Ask us for your feedback when we end the call. It shows us that you are adaptable and open to learning. It also takes advantage of a moment in time when our conversation is new and we can provide honest feedback in real time.

Don’t tell us that you have no competitors and there is nothing else like your product in the market. Even if no one does the exact same thing, there are always other players in the space. We want to know that you have an understanding of the market and that you have deliberately considered your competitive advantage.

No… vague about your traction. Numbers and metrics matter. Don’t add extra fluff or details. Give us the quick and dirty numbers earlier in the presentation so we can look into the context of the call.

Don’t spend 20 minutes of a 30-minute call giving an overview of the company. You shouldn’t talk for more than two to three minutes at a time. Focus on the dialogue as this allows us to build a relationship and make sure we answer our questions.

No…just focus on capital raising/valuation/exit. We are looking for founders and impact-driven companies focused on a financial exit over three to five years. We can get into those details in other meetings. At the beginning of our relationship, we should focus more on the vision of the business and how that fits into our mission at StartUp Health.

Don’t… skimp on overview materials before our call. We don’t need to see all the secret sauce, but a high-level overview of the team, product, and company attraction is essential for us to see early so we can get to the good stuff on the call. We don’t want to waste time gathering basic information.

minimum: Submit clear and concise information ahead of time which makes our setup a breeze. During the call, come ready to share your passion and have a dialogue to give us context about the information/data you previously sent.

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