Our newest investor in Target’s early-stage team is truly passionate about making healthcare work better for everyone. Georgie joins us following more than a decade as an operator across health-tech and deep-tech start-ups and consumer brand building. We sat down with her to learn why she’s excited to be Target’s newest hire and to share a few of her favourite things. We can’t wait for you all to meet her!
1) What made you make the switch to VC?
Last year, an investor I greatly respect asked me why I wasn’t a VC. He pointed out that I was speaking with early-stage founders late at night on their fundraising or launch plans and advising two funds on their deal flow during my weekends. When I took holidays, I was still attending start-up conferences in whatever city I was in. Turns out — it is a job I would genuinely do for free. When I was working on a project with Thriva I met the investors at Target Global. I was immediately struck by the conversations we were having about the future of healthtech and beyond. They are highly experienced, rigorous and importantly, they are about people. I invited myself along to their investor day and over drinks with the founders of Rapyd, Flo and Patient21 I heard how much they rated them too. I loved my job as an operator and wasn’t ready to make the leap to VC quite yet, but kept leaving every meeting thinking ‘I really want to work and learn from this team’! And I have to say — I am so excited about my decision to do so!
I lead digital health for our early-stage team. As most know, healthcare is complicated, clunky, and vast, but technology is creating endless possibilities from extending health-span to creating entirely new care modes. The unlimited potential this presents, and the exceptional founders we work with energises me daily.
2) What has being a founder taught you and prepared you for as you sit on the other side of the table?
The number one thing it’s taught me is the importance of having a longer-term horizon and how a good investor can help.
In my experience both as a founder and angel investor, I have noticed that no matter how close a VC gets to a business, they will rarely be able to understand it in all its nuances. But a good investor can add value in areas that are not always as clear to a founder when they are in “build mode”.
For example: in preparing for the right type of metrics for market expectations, in sensible fundraising for long term success vs irresponsible ‘hype’ funding, and in support of hiring for the right stages of growth. As an ex-founder, I always try to put myself in their shoes, guiding in a way that’s best for them and their business — whilst getting out of the way when needed.
3) What themes are you most interested in healthtech?
Whilst this is a broad category, I am interested in companies that mix excellent product with storytelling, community building and behavioural science. Success in healthcare has predominantly been in B2B, but the landscape is changing. To be successful, companies need to educate, inspire and keep users engaged. This will require some great brand building, consumer-centric mindsets, and clever behavioural design — something we haven’t seen enough of yet.
Healthcare is complex and highly regulated. Just like the financial sector, it must undergo a transformation in its architecture to pave the way for all the innovation to come given how much legacy infrastructure can impede fast growth.
For example, currently it can take months and thousands of pounds to get an app approved through the UK’s archaic medical device registration system (which most healthtech businesses must go through). Scarlet is an example of an interesting company whose founders ran into this issue while working at Babylon. They are now building a company to alleviate this pain point with the help of automation, reducing the process from months to days.
IVF rates are rapidly increasing and 1 in 7 couples struggle to conceive. To date, failure rates have been high with mixed quality of service across the board. Many women are in the dark about costs, and delay thinking about it until it’s too late. I’m interested in companies that not only improve the service but build awareness around the topic and fundamentally redefine how we think about it.
4) What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s ever given you?
My late father always said that the most precious thing you have in this world are the relationships you build; everything else follows. I believe that honouring relationships/showing up in the good and the bad times is the secret to anything fruitful. He was exceptional at it, and this approach to life is something I always try to emulate.
Book: Anna Karenina
Restaurant: Not quite a restaurant, but my brother in law’s supper club ‘Vicarage & Sons’ in London. You’ll often find a mesh of tech founders and opera singers thanks to the chefs’ background. Highly recommended!
Food: I love to cook, but for all the effort, not much actually beats my Spaghetti Bolognese
Place: Chamonix. I am equally happy camping on the TMB circuit or sliding down some of the hairy off-pistes
Unicorn: DocPlanner — which is the world’s biggest health platform and a phenomenal company we’ve been fortunate to partner with. They are always thinking of the bigger picture but are exceptional operators with deep understanding of their customers wants and needs. It is not uncommon for the CEO to travel to rural Poland with the sales team to sell to independent doctors.
Quote: “Well behaved women seldom make history.” — Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Band: Nile Rodgers & Chic live, preferably at Glastonbury
Sport: Anything in the mountains