Focal Health Tech: The 51 NYC Leaders You Need To Know
Get to know some of the founders we think are the city's most exciting.
Since the pandemic broke out, health tech startups have been buzzing to reimagine how the system works, utilize tech to enable better access to quality care, and turn towards underserved populations. For some, COVID-19 led to unexpected turbocharged growth. For others, it led to stiffer competition.
We've been following New York City's most promising health tech leaders and want to celebrate them in this roundup, which shouldn’t be read as comprehensive so much as a series of shoutouts. Below is a list of profiles of founders (or teams) that includes established players, exciting newcomers, as well as teams in our portfolio.
Notable misses? Ascendant stars we need to meet? Tell Sam what's what on Twitter.
Harry Ritter, CEO and Founder at Alma
During a time of increasing demand for mental health care, Alma helps mental health providers manage their private practices and makes it easy for them to accept insurance. Founded by Harry Ritter in 2017, today Alma supports over 8,000 providers licensed to practice across all 50 states with services including billing and claim management, continuing education and training, teletherapy software. They also gain access to a vibrant community of fellow clinicians. Alma was named one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces in 2022 and one of Fast Company’s most innovative health companies in 2020. Alma has raised over $220 million including a recent $130 million Series D funding round led by software investment firm Thoma Bravo with participation from Cigna Ventures.
Laura Katz, CEO and Founder at Helaina
Founded in 2019 by food scientist Laura Katz, Helaina is a startup developing a breast milk alternative that uses precision fermentation, which reprograms yeast to recreate proteins previously only available in human breast milk. Having seen the effects of a shortage of infant formula in the U.S., Laura was determined to inject some innovation into this space and offer a nutritious synthetic breast milk option that's also affordable. In 2021, Helaina nabbed $20 million in Series A funding led by Spark Capital and Siam Capital to begin manufacturing, commercialization, and implementing its go-to-market strategy. Laura was named on Forbes' 30 Under 30: The Standouts list in 2022.
Elliott Green, CEO and Cofounder at Dandelion Health AI
Driven by AI's potential to transform healthcare for the better, Dandelion Health offers tools for healthcare and life sciences companies to ethically and easily access a wide range of clinical patient datasets to develop their own AI products. Prior to cofounding Dandelion, Elliot worked as VP of Expansion and Strategic Partnerships at Oscar Health and held the position of SVP of GM Financial Services and Employers and Clarify Health. With Dandelion providing research-quality data that represents broad cross-sections of the U.S. population, AI developers can feel confident about building a product that's based on reliable, de-identified clinical data. Dandelion raised a seed investment round from Floating Point in 2020 and has gone on to land high-profile partnerships with two health systems – Sanford Health and Sharp Healthcare – to roll out a new product.
Gene Kakaulin, Cofounder at Curex Allergy
Having suffered from allergies all his life, Gene Kakaulin experienced firsthand how much they can impact the quality of day-to-day life. In 2020, he cofounded Curex Allergy alongside Alexios Shaw to provide at-home allergy treatment services, including allergy tests, immunotherapy, symptom management, and online doctor consultations. Prior to Curex, Gene was a cofounder of healthtech company Hippo Technologies and a Partner at Blink Health.
Isabelle Kenyon, CEO and Founder at Calibrate
When Isabelle Kenyon’s mom realized she needed to get her metabolic health under control, she turned to her for help. Kenyon, a leader at a pharmacy startup, found her one of the few obesity medicine doctors in their area, who recommended metabolic medication. But there was a catch. To sustain her health improvements, her mom would have to stay on medication indefinitely. This experience surprised Kenyon. First, consumers, like her mom, were not aware of these medications. On top of that, the current standard of care promoted long-term, chronic use of medications. Thus, Calibrate was born to help Kenyon’s mom and millions like her. Kenyon founded Calibrate in 2019 to set the standard of care for treating obesity and metabolic health. Calibrate’s digital program expands access to comprehensive obesity treatment that combines medication with behavior change to improve overall metabolic health. Through Calibrate, members can sustain long-term weight loss results after medication. Kenyon has raised $127M since launch from leading investors including Founders Fund, Tiger Global, and Optum Ventures.
Josh Poretz, CEO and Founder at J2 Health
Many Americans receive healthcare through a provider network of doctors, hospitals, and other care facilities that are contracted by health insurers to deliver quality, affordable care. However, insurers often encounter challenges when building these networks because of patchy data and complex processes, which have traditionally been carried through manually. J2 Health wants to change that by helping healthcare organizations better manage and improve the performance of their medical care provider networks with its data and analytics software. Founded in 2020 by Josh Poretz, a former executive at Oscar Health, J2 Health went on to raise $4.5 million in seed funding this past spring to expand its product offering and grow the team.
Toyin Ajayi, Bay Gross, and Iyah Romm, Cofounders of Cityblock Health
Cityblock Health emerged from Google-backed Sidewalk Labs in 2017 with the aim of helping marginalized communities with complex health needs access care. Cityblock partners with community-based organizations and health plans to deliver medical care, behavioral health, and social services virtually, in-home, and in their clinics. In 2021, the startup landed $400 million in late-stage funding led by SoftBank, putting the company's valuation to $5.7 billion. The company currently serves Medicaid, dually-eligible and lower-income Medicare beneficiaries in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., North Carolina, and Ohio.
Alexi Nazem, CEO and Cofounder of Nomad Health
Nomad Health is an online marketplace that connects clinicians with healthcare jobs nationwide. In a time when healthcare staffing shortages are widespread, it allows doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to easily search for opportunities and review compensation details upfront. Since launching in 2015, Nomad has garnered a number of funding rounds. Most recently, it secured a $105 million investment co-led by Adams Street Partners and Icon Ventures to expand its marketplace to include lab technicians and physical therapists, among others. Previously a hospital doctor, Alexi is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Pan Chaudhury, CEO and Cofounder at Perry Health
About 1 in 10 Americans live with diabetes, and many are unable to receive the care and supplies they need for treatment between doctor visits. Perry Health is a remote care service that wants to fill that gap for people with chronic illnesses. The company provides members with diabetes with a cellular-connected glucometer and unlimited testing supplies, which transmits data to Perry's team of endocrinologists, nutritionists, and nurses. Perry is able to deliver proactive remote care based on this realtime data to their members from the comfort of their own homes. “We're uniquely positioned in the space in that we’re direct to consumer but our services are billable," explains CEO and cofounder Pan Chaudhury, "This allows us to offer our services to patients who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a concierge care experience like this.” In 2022, the company raised a $23.5 million Series A.
Emily Yudofsky and Stefan Bauer, Cofounders at Marker Learning
Marker Learning set out to create a modern approach to learning disabilities: evaluations, diagnosis, and support. Cofounders Stefan Bauer and Emily Yudofsky both struggled with dyslexia in school, but were lucky to have parents that were able to spend significant time and money getting them tested. Late last year the team raised a $4 million seed round from Divergent Ventures, Operator Partners and Primary, and others.
Katie Reed and Kelly Froelich, Cofounders of Balanced
Shaped by experiences with their grandparents during COVID-19, Kelly and Katie started Balanced to offer a lively digital fitness platform with live workouts, on-demand classes, access to trainers, and an online community for people over 65. During their time in quarantine, the duo realized how limited the fitness options were for older adults and sought to change that with their subscription service. Balanced launched out of beta in November 2021 and has since secured $6.5 million in seed funding to expand its content offerings and hire more trainers.
Romanos Fessas, Seung Bak, and Oren Shatken, Cofounders of Jukebox Health
90% of Americans want to avoid senior living and prefer to stay in their homes as they age. Unfortunately, fewer than 10% of homes have been modified to support safe aging. Romanos Fessas, Seung Bak, and Oren Shatken founded Jukebox Health to make it easy and cost-effective to reduce fall risks at home. Families are overwhelmed by figuring out what changes to make, sourcing the right products and finding a qualified installer. Jukebox Health is an “easy button” for home modifications. The company matches its clients with an occupational therapist to identify barriers to safety, comfort and independence. Once a family decides which products and services are best for them, Jukebox Health dispatches an installer from their vetted, national network and ensures the job is done right.
Marina Tarasova and Guillaume ("G") Cohen-Skalli, Cofounders at Paloma Health
Founded in 2018 by Marina Tarasova and Guillaume "G" Cohen-Salli, Paloma Health set out to be the first virtual clinic to treat and care for hypothyroidism. For G, this topic is personal – after watching his best friend suffer from the most prevalent symptoms of hypothyroidism and losing his job. With an integrated care platform, Paloma Health combines medical care, lifestyle interventions and chronic condition management tools that make it easy to get expert, personalized treatment for hypothyroidism—all from the comfort of home. So far, the company has raised a total of $4.1 million in funding.
Allon Bloch, CEO and Cofounder at K Health
From the early days of K Health in 2016, Allon Bloch and his cofounders imagined a clinical AI platform that would offer access to higher-quality, affordable healthcare 24/7, from anywhere. Following the pandemic, with virtual care being more accepted, K Health's web and mobile platform is consolidating the knowledge of thousands of doctors and billions of clinical data insights to get people trusted information and quality care fast—and it just happens to be remote.
With partners including Elevance (formerly Anthem), Mayo Clinic, and Maccabi Healthcare, K Health offers a Symptom Checker to help people understand how those with similar symptoms and conditions were diagnosed and treated, and, through professional affiliated entities, the option to chat with a clinician without insurance for less than a copay. Clinicians practicing on K Health can diagnose and treat hundreds of urgent, chronic, and mental health conditions remotely, and have access to the clinical insights from the AI to help them optimize treatment and patient outcomes. Most recently K Health announced its collaboration with Mayo Clinic Platform to use Mayo Clinic medical data to augment Primary Care clinicians in real time with intelligent treatment planning for hypertension. Named as one of FastCompany's World’s Most Innovative Healthcare Companies of 2022, K Health has over 6 million users and has raised over $270 million.
Saad Alam, CEO and Founder at Hone
At 35, Saad Alam found himself having low energy, difficulties concentrating, and gaining weight despite leading a healthy lifestyle. After seeing a bunch of different doctors, he learned that his testosterone levels were that of an 80-year-old man – and that low testosterone levels weren't uncommon for men over 35. This experience led Saad to founding Hone Health, a telehealth startup that wants to help middle-aged men improve their health by addressing hormonal imbalances and low testosterone levels. Launched in 2020, Hone's platform provides virtual physician consultations, personalized treatment plans, and medications shipped to your home for a monthly subscription. Since its launch, Hone has raised two undisclosed rounds of funding.
Michael Meng, CEO of Cofounder Stellar Health
Michael Meng was investing in healthcare companies long before he cofounded his own, Stellar Health, in 2018. By then, he had heard enough about the problems facing the industry to pinpoint a problem to solve. With the aim of helping healthcare providers deliver high-quality care, Stellar has built a platform that integrates patient data, tracks provider workflows, and suggests actionable insights to improve patient outcomes. Following a $60 million Series B in 2021 led by General Atlantic, the health tech company has hired two new executives and said it manages over 500,000 patients.
Neel Madhukar, CEO and Cofounder of OneThree Biotech
A spinout of Weill Cornell Medical College and graduate of Cornell Tech's Runway Startup program, OneThree Biotech uses its biology-driven AI platform to find new treatments for diseases like cancer. Since its founding in 2018, the company was selected as part of the 2020 class of startups for Grand Central Tech and has announced collaborations with multiple bio-pharmaceutical companies like Jubilant, SPARC, and AstraZeneca to better understand the underlying biological mechanisms that drive cancer and help identify new treatments. OneThree Biotech raised a $2.5 million seed round in 2020.
Rachel Blank, CEO and founder at Allara
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common reproductive and hormonal conditions among child-bearing women. Previously a director of health tech company Ro, Rachel Blank founded Allara because she was diagnosed with PCOS ten years ago and felt that she never received the care she needed. In 2021, the startup launched its virtual care platform to help women identify and manage symptoms of PCOS with a suite of support services, including access to medical specialists, a personalized care plan, and counseling. Allara has secured $2.5 million in seed funding led by Global Founders Capital.
Zachariah Reitano, CEO and Cofounder of Ro
Ro is a leading direct-to-patient healthcare company with a mission of helping patients achieve their goals by delivering the most convenient and most effective care possible. Founded in 2017, Ro is the only company to seamlessly connect telehealth, in-home care, diagnostics, and pharmacy services nationwide. As one of the fastest-growing consumer companies ever, Ro raised $150 million from existing investors in February 2022, bringing its valuation to $7 billion. The round was led by ShawSpring Partners with participation from General Catalyst, FirstMark Capital, TQ Ventures, SignalFire, among others.
Troy Bannister, CEO and Cofounder of Particle Health
After watching Joe Biden speak at the Health Datapalooza in Washington D.C. about how difficult it was to transfer his late son's health records from one hospital to another, Troy Bannister realized how big of a problem this was in the US. So, in 2018, he started Particle Health alongside Dan Horbatt with the aim of making health records more accessible to patients and transferable within the healthcare system. Particle offers a user-friendly API platform that allows healthcare companies to access data securely and seamlessly across nearly every electronic health record vendor and hospital in the country. In 2020, the startup raised a $12 million series A round led by Menlo Ventures to further develop its product.
Ariel Katz, CEO and Cofounder of H1
A graduate of Y Combinator in 2020, H1 had a healthy start when it raised $70 million in total funding less than a year after a grew its team to over 200 people. The company has built a platform that aims to be the go-to destination for global healthcare data and research for all stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem to facilitate collaboration and drive innovation. In June 2022, H1 announced that it closed a Series C extension round bringing its total Series C to $123 million and pushing the company's valuation to $773 million.
Gil Addo, CEO and Cofounder at RubiconMD
RubiconMD is leading the mission to democratize medical expertise through its virtual-first specialty care solutions. The RubiconMD eConsult and Behavioral Health platforms remove barriers to specialty expertise by rapidly connecting primary care clinicians to a board-certified panel of experts. These solutions empower clinicians to deliver higher-quality care plans in a timely manner. In 2020, RubiconMD raised an $18 million series C led by Deerfield.
In October 2021, Oak Street Health, a network of value-based primary care centers for adults on Medicare acquired RubiconMD for $130 million.
In an interview with MedCity News, Gil shared “Over time, we think we can become the operating system for specialty care for any organization that’s trying to do value-based care…Oak Street Health has obviously been a leader in primary care and so we came together with them. We get a lot closer to primary care centers to be able to innovate to support our clients.”
AJ Loiacono, CEO and Cofounder of CapitalRX
Driven by the vision of a more transparent way of pricing and selling prescription drugs in the US, Capital Rx is developing a more equitable framework for drug pricing and offering pharmacy benefit management software for employers, municipalities, and unions. Earlier this summer, Capital Rx raised $106 million in Series C funding led by B Capital Group, bringing the company's total funding to $175 million. AJ Loiacono was also recognized as EY's Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 New York finalist.
Gina Bartasi, CEO and Founder of Kindbody
Kindbody is Gina Bartasi's third fertility venture, following two successful exits with FertilityAuthority and Progyny. After navigating her own fertility treatments, Gina wanted to offer a service that was transparent and drastically different from what she experienced. Launched in 2018, Kindbody provides comprehensive fertility treatments and family-building services at an accessible price through in-person and virtual care services. In 2021, the company raised $62 million in Series C funding led by Theresa Sexton, Managing Partner of Claritas Health Ventures, bringing the company's valuation to $612 million. In 2022, Kindbody acquired Vios Fertility Institute, a network of fertility clinics, and Phosphorus Labs, a genomics company, to further expand
Arel Lidow and Florian Otto, Cofounders at Cedar Health
Patients are often frustrated with confusing medical bills, so Cedar Health was launched in 2016 by Arel Lidow and Florian Otto to bring some simplicity to this process. The company has built a user-friendly digital platform that reduces the frictions that come with billing and administrative process – for payers, healthcare providers, and patients. In 2021, Cedar landed a $200 million Series D funding round led by Tiger Global Management, bringing the company's valuation to $3.2 billion.
Cédric Kovacs-Johnson, CEO and Founder at Flume Health
On a mission to make healthcare plans easier to manage, Flume Health dubs itself as a "Health-Plan-as-a-Service platform" that empowers health insurers and care providers to build health plans tailored to their patient's needs. In March 2022, the health tech startup raised $30 million in a Series A rounding led by Optum Ventures. With the financing, Flume plans to further develop the product and onboard key health plans.
Nate Maslak and Nate Fox, Cofounders of Ribbon Health
With the goal of powering every care decision to be accessible, affordable, and high quality, Ribbon Health's data platform fuels healthcare enterprises with actionable provider data including insurance coverage, prices, and performance. Personal experiences with the healthcare system led Nate Fox and Nate Maslak to co-found Ribbon in 2016. They were determined to help patients connect to high-quality healthcare providers and enable well-informed decisions about their care. In 2021, Ribbon closed a $43.5 million Series B funding round led by General Catalyst with participation from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), BoxGroup, and Rock Health among others.
April Koh and Adam Chekroud, Cofounders of Spring Health
Spring Health is a comprehensive mental health solution for employers and health plans that utilizes clinically validated technology to pinpoint delivery of care, including the startup's peer-reviewed machine learning models to match team members to the right mental healthcare providers. Services include meditation, coaching, therapy, medication, and more. According to the company, it works with more than 800 companies, including Whole Foods, General Mills, and DocuSign among others. After the pandemic broke out and mental health issues surged, Spring closed a series of financing rounds, culminating in the latest $190 million Series C investment in 2021 led by health investor Kinnevik, putting the company at a $2 billion valuation.
Steven Gutentag and Demetri Karagas, Cofounders of Thirty Madison
Thirty Madison focuses on modernizing health care services to manage chronic conditions in areas such as migraine, hair loss, skincare, and sexual and reproductive care. Thirty Madison's unique care model delivers accessible, affordable care, and superior outcomes for hundreds of thousands of patients with Keeps, Cove, Picnic, Nurx, and Facet. In 2021, the health tech company raised a $140 million investment led by HealthQuest Capital, bringing the company's valuation to more than $1 billion.
Felicity Yost and Carolyn Witte, Cofounders of Tia
As a twenty-something living in New York City, Carolyn Witte saw for herself how difficult it was to address women's health issues through the existing healthcare system. Motivated by helping other women have a better experience with doctors, Carolyn and her friend Felicity Yost launched Tia in 2017 with the aim of designing comprehensive modern healthcare services that are catered to women. A membership to Tia means you get online and in-person appointments for your whole health — physical, mental and reproductive — an integrative care team with coordinators to handle insurance, and referrals to specialists. In 2021, Tia raised a $100 million Series B round led by Lone Pine Capital, bringing its total funding to $132 million. Tia Since its launch, the company has expanded to provide fertility and abortion services integrated into their women's primary care offering as well.
Mario Schlosser, Kevin Nazemi, and Joshua Kushner, Cofounders of Oscar
One of the early players in the insurtech space, Oscar Health uses its full stack tech platform to offer a range of services including an app to connect and contact care providers and a dedicated team to help you wade through the healthcare system. In 2021, Oscar's shares sold at $39 a piece and secured a valuation of $9.5 billion. As of June 2022, the company claims to have over one million members using the platform.
Matt McCambridge and Scott Sansovich, Cofounders of Eden Health
Eden Health offers concierge health services to employees through its mobile app. It was founded in 2016 and partners with employers to provide 24/7 virtual and in-person care, specialist referrals, COVID-19 support, as well as a "navigator" to help support with insurance-related issues. Clients include the likes of Rent the Runway, Harry's, and Emigrant Bank. In 2021, Eden raised $60 million in a Series C round led by Insight Partners to scale its business across the country.
Thomas Lee, Founder and CEO of Galileo
Thomas Lee is a seasoned health tech entrepreneur. The Havard-trained internist founded healthcare tech platform One Medical and medical reference app Epocrates. His latest venture? Galileo, subscription-based platform that offers 24/7 access to care providers, medication renewals, and specialist referrals. In April 2022, Galileo launched its platform in Spanish, making it one of the rare bilingual healthcare platforms in the U.S.
Carolyn Starrett, Nat Turner, Zach Weinberg, Flatiron Health
On a mission to improve cancer treatment and advance research, Flatiron Health offers technology and services to enhance patient care. Currently, the company says it works with more than 280 community cancer centers, 8 American academic centers and over 20 developers of oncology therapeutics across the globe. In 2018, Flatiron was acquired by Swiss pharmaceutical juggernaut Roche for nearly $2 billion and became an independent affiliate of the group. Since 2021, Carolyn Starett has taken the helm as the new CEO of Flatiron.