Our founding partner, Steve Shapiro, recently took the time to sit down with Gregory Montalbano on the MIDI Product Development to discuss his work with eHealthVentures. Steve is a renaissance man, with experience in computer service, wireless, social media, and digital health sectors with a long history and professional experience ranging from start-up to successful exit.
This fascinating podcast gives an in-depth look into our leading Israeli VC from an insider’s perspective and delves into which characteristics make entrepreneurs, partners, and companies successful. The conversation covered all things eHealth Ventures, beginning from the formation of eHV with Talor Sax, partnering with Maccabi Health care Services and continuing to the present-day incubator, portfolio companies, and CEOs.
When Shapiro receives an investment proposal from a company, he asks himself two questions: “Firstly, are they really solving a problem or is it just cool technology. Secondly, does the entrepreneur have the drive and commitment when trying to make this a reality. Is he or she flexible, trainable, and a team player?”
Once the eHealth Ventures team finishes assessing what the company can offer the portfolio, they take an introspective stance and pinpoint what the portfolio can offer the company. This idea of creating value is foundational at eHV, as Shapiro explains, “We only add a company into our portfolio if we feel that we can add substantial value. Our focus is on the development of the technology, the planning, and the understanding of the revenue model. How can we identify the problems, how can we help the company to build, and how can we commercialize?”
When looking to create partnerships, the eHealth Ventures model is involved and hands on. As Shapiro explains “We have to be effective, and not just sign a partnership and that’s the end of it. We want to only go with a partner who will truly roll their sleeves up with us and add great value to our companies.”
These partnerships offer a strategic advantage to the eHV portfolio companies, complimenting the resources and knowledge offered by the expert team. Shapiro shares that the goal of partnerships is really about “understanding the market, understanding the technology, and understanding who are the resources that you can pull in. No one knows everything, and you have to know what you know and know what you don’t know.”
There is great pride surrounding the portfolio company CEOs, as Shapiro shares “They are mission driven and fully committed, and these are great attributes to have in a successful entrepreneur. We look for these high-driven people that have the ability to execute.”
Shapiro’s parting words speak volumes about his entrepreneurial spirit, advising startups: “Don’t fall in love with the solution, fall in love with the problem. Because your solution is going to change as you learn more and more about the markets.”
This podcast is a must-listen for anyone who is interested in the Israeli startup ecosystem, and is available at the MIDI Innovation Vault Channel under the name “The Ultimate Medical Accelerator & Incubator Lab with eHealth Ventures Stephen Shapiro” on all podcast platforms.
Link to SoundCloud:
2:44-5:26— Steve’s Background
5:27- 7:05— What we look for in an entrepreneur
7:06-12:44— Formation of eHv with Talor
9:48-11:05— Maccabi Healthcare
13:00-15:28— Why Israel
15:30-27:50— About our incubator
27:50-30:00— About company’s CEOs
30;00-38:40— (DermaDetect, Tik Talk Olive Diagnostics and efa)
38:40-40:23— What types of partners we are looking for
40:23-44:00— Why a company would join our incubator
44:00-48:21— Summary and closing
About eHealth Ventures
The eHealth Ventures partnership is a leading investor in early-stage digital health companies.
It includes 2 VC funds and a technological incubator with an exclusive focus on digital health and significant government non-dilutive funding. Partners include Maccabi (a leading Israeli HMO), Amgen (global biotech giant), the Mayo Clinic, Medison Ventures, Arad Investments, and the Hadar Group. The team has reviewed over 1,650 companies to date and invested in a portfolio of 24 highly innovative companies (digital diagnostics, therapeutics, home care and Bioconvergence).