Image Courtesy of Mayo Clinic

Being a founder is hard. Being a founder of a digital health startup is even harder. On top of working with multiple stakeholders to shake the old-school systems, creating a change in the market, selling to a complex ecosystem of payers, providers, pharma companies and others, you constantly have to worry about raising capital.

To make it a bit easier for you, we thought we’d share a simplified checklist we typically use when discussing with an early-stage startup in the digital health space. These are also the typical reasons we pass on an investment opportunity.

In addition to sharing our…


Image Courtesy of Flynn Talbot

Screening and evaluating early-stage investment opportunities from a design perspective.

To evaluate a potential investment opportunity, every VC firm typically runs due diligence — a process to determine whether or not to invest in the company and at which valuation. While technical, financial and legal stages of the due diligence process are already widely used in the industry, design due diligence hasn’t taken off yet. Many still focus on product functionality, and underestimate the value of design in the process of building a business.

For us, design due diligence is a process that aims at: a) identifying key risks and opportunities related to the adoption of design thinking in the…


Image by Darius Monsef

Is It Time For VCs To Get Designers Onboard?

We live in the age of design. Many understand that design has become one of the biggest factors in venture-funded success stories. Companies that struggle with design are likely to have challenges attracting & retaining customers. According to the data from the Design Management Institute, design-driven startups have outperformmed their peers by 228%. Many other studies prove that every $1 spent on design brings $2–100 in return.

Designers have already made their way into many corporations and a growing number of startups, but VCs haven’t picked up on the trend yet.


Image by Nicolas Nova

When you bring an angel investor onboard, you want to make sure she is the right one. And it’s not just about cash. Instead, you should pay attention to the value each individual can add to your company — industry experience, relevant network (to help you find partners, customers & investors), as well as tech, sales, marketing, design or other skills you might benefit from.

While the need for tech & sales expertise is typically well understood, the need for design expertise is still underrated.

Unique technology is no longer enough to succeed

Consumer expectations have changed — today, we…


The Nordic region has one of the most innovative and gender-diverse tech ecosystem in the world (and there are already plenty of studies available to prove that). Still, I often get asked about how difficult it is to be a woman in the Finnish tech scene.

It is really not.

The concerns I hear from other women are mostly around not being experienced in the field, not knowing how to code, not having enough time for their families, or not being taken seriously by the peers. Encouragingly, there are more and more women entering the tech and breaking these stereotypes…


The Next Big Thing?

Health has become a sexy topic in tech circles, with a number of digital health companies increasing strongly. The industry has seen the largest increase in the number of exists within tech — according to CB Insights data, the growth in exits has reached 181% in 2013–2014 comparing to 2011–2012.

Investors are aware that health care industry is recession-proof, so no surprise many are looking into the domain. Meeting the peer investors, I often get asked about the digital health ecosystem of Finland. I thought it’s about time to summarize what’s been happening here during the past years.

Finland is…

Ekaterina Gianelli

Passionate about #design, #technology, #digitalhealth. Early-stage VC at @InventureVC, previously design agency @Fjord & adtech startup @Kiosked.

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