Being a founder is hard and being a digital health founder is even harder.
Even if your amazing new product improves patient care, that doesn’t mean that there’s a natural buyer for that product. For instance, those who benefit from a novel medical device (patients) aren’t the people who pay for that device (insurance companies) and they are certainly not the users of that device (providers). Understanding these dynamics and how budget holders make their buying decisions is critical for startups going to market.
In order to understand what roadblocks founders most commonly encountered in their path to building great businesses, we conducted dozens of interviews with successful founders across all digital health sub-sectors to better understand their journey. Three areas founders needed the most help with were:
- Following the money — How does the money flow in my sector? Understanding business models and uncovering the incentives of players representative of your target market unveils the true need for your product
- Connecting with the right stakeholders — If you’ve seen one health system you’ve seen…one health system. Each is different and gathering input beyond a handful of academic medical centers (or jumbo payers or big pharma) is critical to understanding broader market potential. Speaking to a variety of institution types is important, as US healthcare is a highly heterogenous set of buyers.
- Identify upcoming roadblocks — there are many regulatory, integration, workflow and incentive challenges that are unique to digital health. Getting to know those relevant to you as early as possible is critical to knowing your timelines and required runway.
However, there are no pre-formed communities that new founders can join to answer these questions comprehensively and quickly — and that’s where LionBird comes in.
We can help
At LionBird, our mission is to be the best pre-scale digital health investors out there. That means we need to make sure that our founders can answer all of the above questions, and answer them quickly and efficiently so they can focus on executing, rather than researching and flailing in the marketplace.
LionBird Rings is a community of proven executives and entrepreneurs who have partnered with us in the past and are eager to help the next generation of digital health leaders. They have operated at scale in digital health and enjoy the impact they can make in being meaningful to a company’s success in its early stages.
Undertaking the incredible challenges unique to digital health takes a village, and what we hope to bring to the table for our founders is that one external voice that will have a dramatic impact on your trajectory and will help you connect the dots in building the best roadmap for your company.