New Startups on AngelMD – March 2019

The following companies joined the AngelMD platform in March of 2019. Follow companies in the Innovation Categories of your choosing to stay up to date.

Consumer App

Reviews from Friends

Consumer Product

As Directed Plus
Sleep BioLogics, Inc.
HealthMe Technology

Artificial Intelligence



DICOM Director

Patient Care

SaRA Health


Calici Therapeutics Inc.
Icell Kealex Therapeutics

Medical Device

Nephron Technologies LLC
Addinex Technologies Inc

Mobile Health





Thompson Oncology Devices


INvaryant Inc.

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Multi-Sided Platforms: The Future of AngelMD

A multi-sided market is one in which two or more distinct companies benefit each other by the presence of a common customer. Diners Club is a prime example of this type of business. Diners Club provided a charge card which could be used to charge meals at a network of restaurants. The restaurants benefited by having access to Diners Club members, and Diners Club benefited by having customers that paid to use the card. As technology has overtaken much of our daily lives, multi-sided markets have expanded dramatically.

Today we interact with multi-sided digital platforms that enable transactions at a scale previously not thought possible. When we order an obscure product from Amazon, it ships from a seller that we might not have known about otherwise. Posting your resume to LinkedIn allows employers to find you, while helping to grow the active user base of the LinkedIn network. ln most of these cases, we would refer to these companies as B2B2C, though there are exceptions such as AngelMD in which there are many parties involved.

For example, AngelMD connects startups, physicians, investors, and advisors. In our early days, it was important to grow both the “buy” and “sell” side of our network to make it viable.  In just over 24 months from digital launch, we have over 10K physician/investors connected to over 1,200 startups resulting in over 42 investments.

Over the next year, our focus  is on scaling the network. One goal within this focus is to gather 100,000 physicians. Physicians add scale to the network by sourcing early stage startups, scoring the best companies, supporting the investment syndication process, and advising the startups post-investment.  

One way that we will help grow the number of physicians on the network is by organizing them into specialty communities. In collaboration with national societies such as the American College of Cardiology, we will be rolling out specialty homepages, online surveys, daily news feed content, and startup deal flow.

To meet the requirements of a multi-sided market, we have to do more than just cater to physicians. In view of this, startups will have access to a wide variety of services that help accelerate their success. In the next few months, the first AngelMD Boot Camp will be held at our new Denver facility. This boot camp will provide access to our new production studio for video pitches, in addition to expert instructors to sharpen the skills of our member CEOs. We are also finalizing an ecosystem of partners for regulatory, compliance, accounting, legal, go-to-market, and strategy development.  The final piece of the puzzle is our annual event that we will hold each fall. This event will provide AngelMD portfolio companies the opportunity to learn, grow, and share best practices.

An area that few people expect is AngelMD’s collaboration with the healthcare industry. Industry players will be able to expand their participation in targeted specialty communities while leveraging our network of experts to score potential acquisition targets. This scoring is further bolstered by access to physician affinity metrics that can be aligned to an industry player’s portfolio strategy. Alpha Conference 2020 will be a prime opportunity for the industry to connect to members of the AngelMD network to build their brand and market reach.

This multi-sided platform enables us to expand our market globally as well. While there are more details to come soon, at this point we will say that we are having conversations with a wide range of geographies about opening up new global markets to the AngelMD marketplace.

This series has covered the transitioning from analog to digital, the wisdom of crowds and the power of multi-sided networks. The next article will focus on leveraging big data and AI (Artificial Intelligence) on our platform.

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The Wisdom of the Crowd?

This is the second in a series of articles where we examine the macro-level trends that support the thesis of our business.

The wisdom of crowds is a well-studied business phenomenon chronicled in a book by James Surowiecki. He makes the case that, under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent and outperform the smartest individuals in the group. AngelMD believes that our digital network is the best mechanism for identifying the best healthcare innovations.

Not everyone agrees in the power of the crowd. Charles Mackay published a book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. The book could serve as in strong indictment of Twitter in spite of it being published in 1841. The fact is that groups, when properly organized, can perform at an extraordinary level.

There are a number of examples where the crowd’s wisdom outperformed smart individuals. In 1968, Naval Officer John Carven was responsible determining what happened to the US submarine Scorpion. The vessel disappeared on its way back to Newport News, VA from a tour in the North Atlantic. The Navy started a search in an area 20 miles wide and in water many thousands of feet deep based upon the recommendation of a few experts.

After a fruitless search, Carven assembled a team with wide knowledge including mathematicians, submarine specialists, and salvage experts. He did not allow the group to meet together but rather to provide their best estimate of where the submarine might be based upon limited available knowledge. Carven utilized Baye’s theorem (probability of an event, based on prior knowledge of conditions that might be related to the event) to process the individual recommendations. The group pinpointed the location of the sub within 220 yards of where it was located. No individual in the group had performed to the collective wisdom of the crowd.

A fun example is the old TV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire. A contestant was asked multiple choice questions that got progressively more difficult. If stumped, the contestant could have two answers removed (odds now 50%), call a friend who they had designated as the smartest person they knew, or ask the studio audience. Over time, experts provided the right answer 65% of the time while the audience picked the right answer 91% of the time. Contestants soon learned that the crowd was the best choice for the most challenging questions.

There have been a number of research projects conducted by experts that have validated the power of the crowd. Each of these studies identified that groups performing independently of each other came to the best answer. We also see this played out daily through sporting lines generated by casinos in Las Vegas. The bookmakers publish the initial line for the game and the crowd can then move the line based upon their “individual” wisdom. In the end, the casinos make money because the line evenly divides individual wisdom between winners and losers.

James Surowiecki determined that there are four required elements to form a wise crowd:

  • Diversity of Opinion – Each person should have private information…even if it is just their interpretation of the faces.
  • Independence – People’s opinions aren’t influenced by the opinions of others in the group.
  • Decentralization – People are able to specialize and draw upon local knowledge.
  • Aggregation – Some mechanism exists for turning private judgements into a collective decision.

At AngelMD, we believe in the power of the AngelMD digital network. Our model for evaluating startups closely follows Surowiecki’s recommendations.

  • Diversity of Opinion – AngelMD scores startups in the network by individually polling physicians and experts electronically.  
  • Independence – The scores from AngelMD members are captured independently of one another.
  • Decentralization – The AngelMD members that score companies are geographically disperse and represent a number of healthcare delivery mechanisms including teaching hospitals, community hospitals and physician practices.
  • Aggregation – The AngelMD Metis scoring engine provides the mechanism for turning our member judgements into a collective decision.

AngelMD believes that our network is the best platform to source, score, and finance the best healthcare startups. The most critical role, however, may be the function that our network plays in advising the companies after the investment event. Whether it be providing product feedback, tuning the go-to-market model, or unlocking access to healthcare buyers our members are actively involved in helping startups achieve the best possible outcome for patients, investors and startups.

In our next article, we will discuss the proven power of digital networks and multi-sided markets. Ready to get started? Become a member of AngelMD and impact the trajectory of healthcare by scoring startups in our network.

Recommended reading: The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki which served as the basis for this article.

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Investing Catches Up to the Technology that it Funds

As we discussed in a recent blog post, naming your company can be one of the biggest, early challenges. But long before you settle on a name, you first need to find an area where the market could use a better answer. This is the same process that we went through as we founded AngelMD. In this post, the first in a series, we will examine one of the macro-level trends that helped form the thesis of our business.

Digital technologies have transformed a multitude of analog industries that Americans rely on daily. We skip teller lines by banking online, conducting transactions on our mobile devices and securing cash across a connected a globally-connected network of ATMs.  We avoid travel agents by shopping for tickets online, bypassing security lines with fingerprint scans and boarding planes with barcodes on our phones. We eschew stock brokers to make stock trades on our mobile devices while managing our 401K online via access to a wide range of investment options.

With all of this progress, why haven’t angel and early-stage investing followed suit? Angel and early-stage investing are processes that continue to rely on analog methods, with deal flow localized to limited geographies.

AngelMD is transforming angel and early-stage investing. We are doing this by building a digital platform that brings scale and efficiency to this neglected investment category.  The goal of this multi-sided market is to source, finance, and support the world’s leading healthcare innovations. We accomplish this goal by driving healthy returns for investors, successful outcomes for entrepreneurs and industry, and ensuring that patients receive the most effective new advancements possible.

AngelMD is the online community for physicians to connect with their peers to identify, evaluate, invest, and advise healthcare startups. The 42 investments made by AngelMD thus far were sourced by physicians on the platform. No longer are physician/investors limited to healthcare innovations from locally-circulated business plans. The funnel of startups on the network is curated for potential investment by online scoring tools completed by physicians and experts.

Physicians and accredited investors have participated in 29 funding syndicates or as limited partners in the 13 investments made by the AngelMD Catalyst fund. The online community has finally become a platform for physicians to learn about early-stage investing while growing their business skills and professional networks.

Startups are able to digitally promote their company across the ten thousand plus members on the network. They are able to validate the fit and finish of their product via surveys pushed to physicians in the AngelMD community. The best companies receive funding with a single item on their cap table from the AngelMD network.   Finally, companies are able to leverage the network for advice on how to best grow their companies.

Industry merger and acquisition teams also benefit from early deal flow becoming digital. They can measure and test out physician affinity for new product categories. The digital platform allows potential acquiring companies to test, within the AngelMD network, the choices that they are making when it comes to spending their generational cash reserves. In summary, industry players will bring efficiency to their M&A teams by subscribing to the AngelMD platform.

Fundamentally, AngelMD is a technology company focused on transforming early-stage investing much like technology has disrupted other analog industries.  Our roots in Seattle allowed us to benefit from watching Amazon transform shopping, Expedia change travel, and Zillow provide transparency to real estate values.  Our vision as a business is to redefine and own the global healthcare investment ecosystem.

In our next article, we will discuss the power of crowds as it relates to investing. Ready to get started? Become a member of AngelMD and join our journey.

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OKRs: Fad or a Foundation?

John Doerr, a renowned venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, gained insights to the concept of OKRs early in his career from Andy Gove at Intel in the 1970s. After John left Intel and later joined Kleiner Perkins, he utilized the 30 slides that Andy had built to introduce the OKR concept to his portfolio companies.  

The concept of OKRs is relatively simple in design and powerful in its impact.  The Objective is what we want to have accomplished. The Key Results are how we going to get it done. The objectives are typically longer lived. They’re bold and aspirational. The key results are aggressive, but always measurable, time-bound, and limited in number.

One of Doerr’s portfolio companies was Google and the founders quickly implemented the management tool with great success. Eric Schmidt in this book “How Google Works” claimed that the introduction of OKR’s in 1999 “changed the course of the company forever.”

There are only three to five objectives for the organization. For each objective, there are three to five key results. The discipline of the system is determining what are the most important things for the business.  Each employee should then create their own OKRs tied to the same “True North” objective for the company. The system also should be transparent to the entire organization. Even today, Google employees can look online at any of the OKRs for each employee in the organization.

We believe that OKRs can be implemented with great success from small startups to large organizations.  John Doerr has recently written a book “Measure What Matters” which should be a must read for startup CEOs.  In the book, John identifies the five key benefits of the OKR system.

  1. Focus –formalizes the most critical objectives for the organization.
  2. Alignment – the entire organization is aligned around common objectives
  3. Commitment – transparency creates accountability
  4. Tracking – measuring progress is critical
  5. Stretching – set 10x’s goals, if you shoot for Mars and fall short you make it to the moon!

The above spells out FACTS which makes it easy to remember.

During the December annual planning summit for AngelMD, we went through a process of determining the OKRs for our company. The objectives centered around membership growth, member online engagement, and growing assets under management. Each team created a series of key results that aligned to these true north objectives. In the next month, we will bring up an online platform for making the OKRs transparent across the organization.

We believe so strongly in the power of OKRs that we will begin encouraging our own startups to use the system. We believe that the best ingredient to a great idea is great execution. In our view, this is not a fad but rather the foundation to a successful startup.

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