The what, the why and, the what now?
Yes, you read that right. I’m joining Verge HealthTech Fund as their first Associate. At Verge HealthTech Fund I’ll be supporting the fund, looking for the most promising health tech startups and the most ambitious founders that will fundamentally change healthcare and make an impact around the world.
What is Verge HealthTech Fund?
Verge HealthTech Fund is one of the few truly global early stage (pre-seed/seed) venture capital funds that specializing exclusively in health tech. Their first fund invested in 14 promising startups with exceptional founders from around the globe. From South America, to Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia. As our firm’s moto is “Health: The Greater Wealth for All” we truly believe that the most valuable thing people have is their health and living in the age of the pandemic, this is truer than ever.
What about CastPrint?
I know that for many of you this was the first question that came to mind when reading the headline! In short, CastPrint is not going away, and neither am I - it will always be my first “baby”. That being said, my role in CastPrint will change a bit, as I will not be involved that much in day-to-day activities, and will mostly focus on supporting CastPrint expansion and business development in the US market.
Why am I joining Verge HealthTech Fund?
I’ve been working in healthcare for more than 5 years with CastPrint. Over the years together with my team at CastPrint we went from just an idea to a clinically validated and regulatory approved medical device business available across two continents. I learned how the industry worked, the what, the why and the how.
While I really enjoyed the possibility to help people and create new ways of doing things, it also frustrated me when I learned over the years how often the industry in general is unwelcoming to innovation. It is bureaucratic and just old, caring more about the status quo and less about the clients the system should serve (i.e., the patients).
In the first half of this year, at CastPrint we were going through a rougher period (as we do from time to time :)) and in this case, I guess (I’m still figuring this out as I go) because our 5th year anniversary was closing in, I started to reflect on my professional and personal life more and more. After all, 5 years is quite a long period. After doing some “soul searching” and taking time off during the summer more and more I started to realize that while I still wanted to help people and make an impact, I did not want to work within the limits of some unwritten industry rules, regulations, public agencies and healthcare institutions.
I was/(am) lucky that I had close support network of people (other founders, investors, etc.) with whom I could call up and share my thoughts and get feedback on almost any challenge (business or otherwise).
One of these people in my network was Joseph. We first got in touch during Slush 2018 when I was pitching CastPrint to Verge and ever since have been in touch on a regular basis. Because of Joseph’s unique perspective as founder turned consultant, turned angel investor, turned VC, I shared with him over the years both CastPrint’s as well as my personal challenges and somehow, we always managed to find ways to mentally spar and afterwards I found myself after these conversations clearer and more energized than ever.
After one of these conversations during this year’s summer, Joseph suggested to meet up with Erki (one of Verge’s other Partners) and after some back and forth, paraphrasing one of my favorite movies, they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. :)
This decision did not come by no means lightly and before even considering this opportunity I reached out to all CastPrint investors and together with our team found a way that we all can move on. I am grateful for the support both my team and investors showed me while going through this.
So, what now?
Now it’s time for me to stop typing this letter and start to go and do actual work! I can’t wait meet all health tech founders and start seeing how it is on the other side of the table. Hopefully my experience with CastPrint will come in handy and help other health tech founders to avoid the mistakes and challenges I faced. Who knows maybe I’ll even share my journey publicly once I gather some experience how my perspective will change once seeing how it is to be on the investor side.
So, on a final note, if you happened to know an early stage health tech startup that is looking to impact the lives of millions of people, or are running one yourself, please reach out! :)