Everyone is always asking me what it is like being an EIR and why I decided to do it after my 5+ years working on Google Health.  First of all, for those of you who are not familiar with the term – an EIR stands for either Entrepreneur in Residence or Executive in Residence.  In the case of Morgenthaler Ventures, they were looking for a person with extensive experience in the Health IT sector at an executive level. This differs from a more traditional EIR title (entrepreneur in residence) where you are asked to incubate a startup from scratch with some support and resources.  As an Executive in Residence, I work hand in hand with the firm’s partners to author the current health IT investing thesis, map out the industry, source companies that match our areas of interest, and help with diligence. The goal of my EIR term is to find a company that Morgenthaler can invest in and then join that company as part of the executive team. I picked Morgenthaler Ventures because of their track record in health IT (invested in Practice Fusion before Health IT was in vogue) and their leadership in the industry with the creation of the first DC to VC conference.

In its 3rd year, DC to VC was initially started by Rebecca Lynn, IT Partner at Morgenthaler Ventures to bring the venture capital community together with Washington D.C. policymakers.  This year, I am proud to say that I am co-directing the DC to VC event and the health IT startup contest along with Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya from Health 2.0. The contest will take place on the last day of the 2012 Health 2.0 Annual Fall conference in San Francisco on October 10, 2012.  Online applications open today, June 4, 2012 and stay open until August 3, 2012.

To apply, you must be a health IT startup ready for your first venture round (seeking approximately $2M to $5M), have a product you can demonstrate and some proof that customers or clients use your product. Contestants need to be legal residents of the U.S. or employees of privately-held companies based in the U.S.  Applications will be evaluated based on the promise of the venture, total addressable market size, founding teams, use of innovative technology and business models, and customer traction. Ten (10) finalists will be announced on Monday, September 10, 2012. Each finalist will be paired with two (2) industry mentors who will help the finalists prepare for their on-stage presentations on October 10, 2012. Finalists will present to a panel of VC and Angel judges who will offer commentary on stage. Winners will be selected by a combination of the judges’ scores and audience feedback via instant-voting technology.

I think DC to VC will be outstanding this year because there is so much innovation out there. At Morgenthaler, we have personally seen or talked to over 200 + health IT companies in the less than the 6 months that I have been there. Other interesting factoids around health IT investing to note are:

  • In 2011, capital investments in heath IT generated at 86 deals worth $633M (Dow Jones).
  • Venture capital funding in the Health IT sector for Q1 2012 totaled $184 million in 27 deals, the highest number ever recorded (Mercom Capital Group).
  • There are over 5 startup health IT accelerators across the country devoted exlusively to health IT: Blue Print Health, Health Box, Startup Health, StartXMed, Rock Health, etc.) as well as government and privately sponsored app challenges.
  • More and more VC firms that were once exclusively focused on life sciences and devices our broadening their theses to include health IT.

So, if you are part of a health IT startup, check out DC to VC and apply today.  We think it is a ripe time to invest in health IT due to positive market and regulatory conditions as well as new technology entrants in healthcare such as cloud, social and mobile. These factors are making healthcare more open for disruption than ever before.

Missy Krasner is the executive in residence at Morgenthaler Ventures and a former Google Health founding member.

 

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