Leveraging Software to Lower Costs and Improve the Quality of Care

This panel focuses on investing in innovative digital health products that bring new efficiencies to the healthcare system, change how care is delivered or managed, and how patients are involved in their own care. Panelists will explore topics related to investing in digital health, including:

  • In what kinds of digital health technologies are they interested in investing?
  • What metrics and evidence do you look for in a digital health startup?
  • How can an early stage digital health company demonstrate the value of their products?
  • What are the main challenges for startups raising capital in this space?

The moderator and panelists will discuss this rapidly evolving field of healthcare investment, and will introduce the audience to the key fundraising opportunities and challenges facing digital health entrepreneurs today.


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Jeffrey Ries, Managing Director, Healthbox (Moderator)

Jeff manages the DaVita Venture Fund. Previously, he led the Intermountain Healthcare Innovation Fund where he led investments in Zebra Medical Vision, Syapse, Sera Prognostics and Collective Medical Technologies. Jeff was formerly at Oxeon Partners where he focused on building and investing in healthcare companies. He was also an investor at Sandbox Industries where he helped manage BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, a $600M healthcare fund. While at Sandbox, Jeff started several tech-enabled startups and helped raise capital for Cultivian Sandbox, an agriculture-technology venture fund. He began his career at LaSalle Investment Management, a private equity firm with $50B AUM. Jeff resides in New York City and received his BA in Economics from Northwestern University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Tom Gibbs, Director, Debiopharm Innovation Fund

Tom Gibbs is Director at Debiopharm Innovation Fund, Switzerland where he is responsible for new investments in smart data companies in the healthcare space. He is currently a Director on the boards of Nucleai, Carevive, BC Platforms, Immunexpress, and Acteon. Previous board positions include Biocartis and GenePOC. Tom holds a PhD in molecular microbiology from the University of Warwick and has 30 years’ experience in the commercialization of life science technologies in start-ups and established companies in Europe and the USA (including Molecular Devices Corp, Covalys, Med Discovery, Debiopharm). His responsibilities have included quality assurance, operations, late-stage product development & marketing, and business development. He is excited to apply this breadth of experience to the digital health revolution, helping companies make a medically meaningful impact.

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Patrik Sobocki, Investment Director, Industrifonden

Patrik has a profound interest in deep innovation in Deeptech and with a specific passion for technologies applied in healthcare. Prior to joining Industrifonden, Patrik held the position as business franchise leader with IMS Health responsible for data and technology business in Europe, Asia and Africa including responsibility for M&A in HealthTech. His previous experiences include having built two HealthTech start-ups which were both exited to US buyers (United Health Group and IMS Health), the last as CEO and part of integrating the technology into the global IMS Health tech stack and offering. Prior to that he held international R&D and commercial leadership roles with BigPharma companies in Glaxo Smith Kline and AstraZeneca. Patrik holds a Master of Science in Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics, a Master in international management from the Community of European Management Schools (CEMS) and a PhD in Medicine from Karolinska Institutet. He currently holds an Associate Professorship in health economics and epidemiology with Karolinska Institutet and has published research in over 40 international peer-reviewed journals.

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Brenda Irwin, Managing Partner, Relentless Venture Fund

Brenda is the Founder and Managing Partner of the Relentless Venture Fund. Relentless is a health technology venture capital fund that invests in preventative and proactive solutions that optimize health, activity and longevity. Relentless’ four primary themes for investment are the conditions most affected by aging: Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease Risk, Mobility and Mental Well Being. Prior to launching Relentless, Brenda was a Partner for the Healthcare Venture Capital team for the Business Development Bank of Canada.

A seasoned VC and Board Director, Brenda has been a member of 19 private and public companies as well as non-profit organizations. She currently sits on the boards of private medtech companies Canary Medical and Orpyx Medical, and serves on the investment committee of the national medical technology consortium, MEDTEQ.

Brenda’s industry honours include being declared as one of BC’s Most Influential Women in Finance and a Top 40 under 40 award recipient.

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Chirag Shah, Principal, Define Ventures

Chirag Shah is a Principal at Define Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm focused on digital health. Chirag’s experience in healthcare has spanned startups, investing, and finance. Previously, he was the Vice President of Commercial Strategy at Imagine Health, a startup that builds and operates high performance narrow networks for self-funded employers. He was responsible for the firm’s go-to-market strategy and execution across sales, business development, marketing, and provider contracting. Prior to that he led the firm’s Analytics team, which was responsible for network and market development; prospect feasibility and post-launch reporting; and internal tools and dashboards. Prior to Imagine Health, he led Analytics at Castlight Health, which builds tools to improve the employee and employer experience across the care continuum. Earlier in his career, Chirag worked at The Carlyle Group on the healthcare buyout team and at Morgan Stanley in the investment banking division. Chirag earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Pre-medicine from New York University.