Rock Health's CEO shows off the amazing female founders her fund is supporting. By Halle Tecco (Co-founder & CEO, Rock Health)
I thought it would be a good time to look into (and publish) data on entrepreneur demographics at Rock Health. The data is interesting. I’ll spread this over a few posts, today’s post will focus on gender.
Looking at the active Rock Health startups, 30% of our portfolio companies have a female founder.
My initial thought was we need to do better," so I decided to also look at the application data to get an idea of the supply with which we’re working. In 2013, to my surprise, exactly 30% of the companies that applied to Rock Health had at least one female founder. 19% had a mix of male and female founders, 11% were all female founders, and 70% were all male founders.
All applicants are treated equally when applying to Rock Health. We look at the experience and capabilities of the founding team, along with the sustainability and scalability of the business. We’d love to see more diverse applicants, and have invested quite a bit into supporting women in particular (via our XX in Health initiative).
I think one of the best ways to encourage more women to join us at Rock Health is to show off the amazing female founders we currently support. So without further ado, here are the incredibly bright, inspiring, and hard-working women leading the digital health revolution:
Shalini Ananda, PhD, co-founder of QuantifiedSkin, has written software for over ten years. Her areas of focus are image analysis and machine learning. As an inventor in both nano particles and algorithms, she brings unique insight into development of personalized skin care products. Her prior work on image analysis resulted in one of her software patents being issued to a multi-national organization.
Kathy Bellevin, co-founder and COO of Wildflower Health, has 15 years of broad experience in leadership roles for start-ups and enterprises across healthcare, retail, media and sustainability. With a focus on product strategy and design, Kathy has brought products to market for diverse brands such as Medco, Time Warner, Martha Stewart, Sephora, NBC, and Stanford University.
Elizabeth Buffalo, co-founder of Neurotrack, studies the neural mechanisms that support learning and memory under normal conditions and when memory is compromised due to aging or disease. Dr. Buffalo received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Wellesley College and earned her master’s in philosophy and her doctorate in neurosciences from the University of California, San Diego. She completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Mental Health in the Laboratory of Neuropsychology.
Jennifer Chung is the co-founder and CEO of Kinsights. Previously, she was the Chairman of the Board at the San Francisco SPCA and led strategic planning and physician marketing at Genentech for a multi-billion dollar oncology product. Before that, she managed business development efforts at CNET. Jennifer received a BA from Stanford University and her MBA from Harvard University.
Dr. Sara Creighton, co-founder of Studio Dental, previously co-founded Washington Square Park Dental, a thriving practice in the North Beach district of San Francisco and what Inc. Magazine described as the "Coolest Office in the World." She decided to use her experience in the dental industry to launch and grow a new practice that reorganizes the dental experience around you – the patient. Dr. Creighton received her BS in Biology from Wake Forest and her DDS from University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco.
Maudie Hampden Shah, co-founder and Head of Product at Paré Labs, was formerly co-director of Studio Shah, a Bay Area visual design and UX shop. She ran product design projects for consumer, analytics, and big data clients, including RentJuice. She has a BS in Electrical Eng. from Cornell University.
Elli Kaplan, co-founder and CEO of Neurotrack, has two decades of experience in the public and private sectors, at the White House, the State and Treasury Departments, and the United Nations Development Program. She has also held senior positions with AIG Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs and multiple startups. Elli is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Christine Lemke, co-founder of The Activity Exchange, is a serial entrepreneur in the data analytics space. Christine was previously the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Sense Networks, developers of the first machine learning platform for mobile activity data. She’s also held roles at 3iGroup (Paris), Microsoft XBOX and co-founded product analytics firm Channel Velocity/IQ.
Maria Ly, co-founder of Skimble, is a health and fitness fanatic. Maria has technology experience in international product and marketing at Google, Flurry, and Cypress. Maria graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BASci in Computer Engineering and minors in Management Sciences and International Studies.
Mikki Nasch, co-founder and CEO of The Activity Exchange, has more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur helping build high growth technology companies. A mobile startup expert, Nasch has worked with more than 15 nascent companies helping them grow markets and generate revenue. She has held executive leadership roles in Sense Networks, Fair Isaac, Company DNA, and BackWeb.
Feyi Olopade, co-founder and CEO of CancerIQ, received an MBA from Wharton with a focus in venture capital. Feyi led CancerIQ’s spin-out from the University of Chicago. She previously worked at McKinsey and Credit Suisse.
Yukkee Poh, co-founder of Cardiio, won the best Ph.D. dissertation in biomedical engineering at Columbia University in 2010. She designed and built two handheld diagnostic devices that were field-tested in Rwanda – one featured in Popular Science and the other published in Nature Medicine.
Somaira Punjwani, co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer of Medmonk, has over ten years of pharmacy experience. She spent her career with Walgreens as a lead pharmacist at a specialty pharmacy focused on treating HIV, Oncology, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hepatitis.
Ann Scott Plante, co-founder and Co-CEO of Wello, was a strategy consultant at Bain and Co. Ann worked with clients ranging from healthcare to consumer packaged goods and conducted due diligence for private equity clients. She was also the first employee at a financial advisory firm, Apollo Philanthropy Partners. Ann earned a BA at Dartmouth, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Thea Runyan, co-founder of Kurbo Health, is currently the Lead Behavior Coach at the Packard Pediatric Weight Control Program at Stanford. She was most recently the Health and Wellness Director for the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District, where she oversaw a multi-year, million dollar grant and implemented the Coordinated School Health Model. Thea received her BA from UC Berkeley and MPH from San Jose State University.
Amy Sheng co-founded Cellscope and leads product operations. Her path into the medical device world went from working on an artificial heart to an automated imaging and classification analyzer for blood cells to smartphone-enabled diagnostic tools. Most recently Amy managed the cell phone-microscopy work in the Fletcher Lab at UC Berkeley, with a focus on infectious disease diagnosis in the developing world. Amy received a BS and MS in mechanical eng. from Stanford University and an MBA from Berkeley-Haas.
Kathleen Sidenblad, co-founder of Amplify Health, is a technologist with a background in software development and data analysis. Kathleen developed the software and data infrastructure for LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, a pioneering disease management company during the time it grew from 5 to 1200 employees. She develops robust, scalable systems that solve real world problems. Kathleen has a BS in Mathematics from Santa Clara University, and an MS in Operations Research from Stanford.
Leslie Silverglide, co-founder and Co-CEO of Wello, previously co-founded Mixt Greens, a quick-service restaurant chain that serves tossed-to-order salads and focuses on a health conscious clientele. Mixt Greens was sold to Nestlé’s investment arm, Inventages. Leslie received her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, her BA from the Johns Hopkins University, and an MSc from the University of Oxford.
Leah Sparks, co-founder and CEO of Wildflower Health, has more than a decade of experience in the healthcare industry, with a focus on creating new strategies and business models. She held a variety of strategy and business development roles at McKesson Corporation and led business development for DNA Direct, a personalized medicine startup ultimately acquired by Medco. Leah founded Wildflower Health in June 2012.
Joanna Strober, co-founder and CEO of Kurbo Health, has vast expertise marketing to women and families from two decades of advising and investing in successful consumer Internet companies such as BlueNile, Babycenter, eToys, Flycast, and Gloss.com. She received a BA from University of Pennsylvania and a JD from UCLA Law School.
Also Stacey Borden and Meghan Muntean, the founders of ChickRx which was recently acquired!
This post originally appeared on the Rock Health blog. About the blogger: Halle Tecco is co-founder and CEO of Rock Health, a full-service seed fund at the intersection of healthcare and technology. Previously she worked in business and corp finance roles at Apple and Intel, and founded the non-profit YogaBear. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School.