Season 4: Episode #118

Podcast with Justin Norden, MD, Partner, GSR Ventures

“We are unlikely to see digital health investments doubling again this year”

paddy Hosted by Paddy Padmanabhan
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In this episode, Justin Norden, Partner at GSR Ventures, shares his personal story to inform the investment thesis behind GSR Ventures’ health tech-focused venture fund. Justin is both a physician and a computer scientist by training and has a real passion for the Medicaid sector. He discusses the many challenges in healthcare for startups and points to the potential that lies with the Medicaid population and how technology can help turn it into an opportunity. GSR Ventures specializes in funding early-stage digital health companies.

Justin talks about the digital health funding environment and why he thinks that in 2022 we won’t see the same levels of investment as in previous years. He shares his advice for founders looking to launch digital health companies and what it takes to successfully sell to and partner with health systems. He also offers thoughts on how the entry of big tech in healthcare will open new opportunities for startups. Take a listen.

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Show Notes

05:41Last year, USD 30 billion was pumped as venture capital into digital health startups. What's your outlook for 2022?
09:25There's a lot of risk for health systems betting on a startup that is unproven or surviving from one funding cycle to the next. How do you square this influx of capital here with growth in the number of startups?
11:21The big techs are making big investments. What does it mean for your portfolio companies and the competitive landscape they are operating in now?
13:57 When you talk to your portfolio company founders and teams, what do you see as significant challenges they grapple with on an ongoing basis?
16:59There is a criticism that technology startups tend to look at everything through a technology lens. How would you respond to that on behalf of your founders in your portfolio?
18:52 What is your piece on the Medicaid space? Where do you see an opportunity to serve the population and make money?
22:32 There’s an acute talent crisis in the tech sector. How does that factor into your investment decisions? How are your startups working through this challenge?
24:45If I were a startup founder with a great team of engineers, a great idea to serve the Medicaid population, and listening to this podcast, how would I be able to appeal to you?
25:34What is your advice to founders listening to this podcast, wanting to build a digital health startup and make a difference?

About our guest

Justin Norden is a Partner at GSR Ventures, where he focuses on early-stage investments in digital health. Prior to GSR Ventures, he was the CEO and co-founder of Trustworthy AI which was acquired by Waymo (Google self-driving). He worked on the healthcare team at Apple, co-founded Indicator (an NLP based platform for biopharma decision making) and helped start the Stanford Center for Digital Health.

As an academic he is an award-winning machine learning and bioinformatics researcher with 20+ publications. Finally, Justin is a former professional athlete and 3x world champion in ultimate frisbee.

Justin received his MD from Stanford University School of Medicine, MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, M.Phil in Computational Biology from the University of Cambridge, and BA in Computer Science from Carleton College.

About the host

Paddy is the co-author of Healthcare Digital Transformation – How Consumerism, Technology and Pandemic are Accelerating the Future (Taylor & Francis, Aug 2020), along with Edward W. Marx. Paddy is also the author of the best-selling book The Big Unlock – Harnessing Data and Growing Digital Health Businesses in a Value-based Care Era (Archway Publishing, 2017). He is the host of the highly subscribed The Big Unlock podcast on digital transformation in healthcare featuring C-level executives from the healthcare and technology sectors. He is widely published and has a by-lined column in CIO Magazine and other respected industry publications.

The Healthcare Digital Transformation Leader

Stay informed on the latest in digital health innovation and digital transformation.

The Healthcare Digital Transformation Leader

Stay informed on the latest in digital health innovation and digital transformation.

The Healthcare Digital Transformation Leader

Stay informed on the latest in digital health innovation and digital transformation.