I recently invested in and became a mentor for Blueprint Health, which is a program in NYC that helps very early stage health technology companies get started. The founders have been really interesting to work with over the last couple of months and so I wanted to share what I learned, and to encourage others to join Blueprint.
Brad and Mathew contacted me over the summer inviting me to become a mentor. I spoke to them, liked them, and agreed to join. They then gave me a login as a mentor and I was amazed at the tool they had built for identifying, targeting and recruiting mentors. I could see that they had targeted me a while back and eventually gotten an introduction to me through a friend. They were quite systematic, and they had built a great network of mentors which I am quite proud to join.
I then asked about investing, because I had been looking for a healthcare-focused seed fund. Winning Seedcamp back in 2009 was amazing, and we got so much support from being part of Europe’s top seed fund. The one thing I wished I had had was health care mentors, as Seedcamp does not focus on any one industry. (It is quite an education learning with founders from so many different sectors.) And the one thing I knew when founding Patients Know Best was how much health care needed start-ups to deliver innovation to patients and professionals.
Interviewing Brad and Mathew’s references was fun. There were lots of people who thought these two were amazing people, but what struck me was how – even when extremely busy with their own start-ups – each of them spent time mentoring others. This is really the spirit on which Blueprint is built.
Finally, I was pleased that they had set up the seed fund in New York City. A lot of press attention is focused on Silicon Valley, a truly wonderful place for web 2.0 start-ups, and a completely irrelevant one for health care. London, Boston, the Midwest, and NYC are where health care innovators cluster, and where their innovations are adopted into medical practice for global distribution. Brad and Mathew had started in a great location and had access to a great pool of entrepreneurs.
So, if you are thinking of creating a health care start-up, I highly recommend you speak to them. And of course, as a mentor and investor, I would be delighted to do my part and speak to you as well. Drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org and I look forward to learning about your innovations.
About Blueprint Health
A charter member of the TechStars Network, Blueprint Health is a mentorship-driven startup accelerator based in NYC that helps first-time and experienced entrepreneurs seeking to build innovative companies at the intersection of health and technology. We provide teams with $20,000, office space and mentorship for 3 months. The program begins January 9 and we are now accepting applications. If you are interested in getting involved or applying go to www.blueprinthealth.org.