In this episode, Kerry Amato, executive director, health innovation at HIMSS, speaks with Emma Cartmell, founding partner of Cartmell Ventures on the current landscape of healthcare investing. They discuss how COVID-19 has impacted not only digital health but investing in it as well. Emma talks about what she looks for in a startup and the value of investing in underrepresented geographies, specifically non-coastal companies. She also shares her unique perspective on women in leadership roles within the investment space.
Much has changed in the world of healthcare investing and Emma Cartmell has seen plenty of that action. With churn in the landscape, COVID-19 catch up presented huge opportunities for startups and investors. Based in Austin, Texas, she makes deals in the center of the country where valuations are not as high.
“The industry at large has just exploded. We’ve never had so much capital in digital health. We have that conversation every couple of years and here we are again. In funding for digital health, we are at an all-time high of $9 billion globally. It just shows there is still tremendous opportunity for innovation and a lot of players moving into this space, from big tech, healthcare, consumers—all pushing towards healthcare to really cash in on a very exciting time in our market,” Cartmell said.
She talks about the trend toward decentralizing healthcare, with a new focus on convenience. This has been driven by deregulation in telehealth. Other trends include consumers wanting care from home and better leveraging of pharmacists to provide patient care. Cartmell also shares her insights on why to invest in high-value companies in the middle of the country rather than on the east or west coasts.
Cartmell observes that startup founders often have very personal stories and passions that drove their innovations.
“You don’t start a health tech company to become rich. You start a health tech company because you are absolutely passionate about saving lives. That passion, along with knowledge and commitment, is what keeps you going over the 10- or 15-year journey,” she said.
Cartmell shares in the episode her love for mentoring founders of small companies and spreading the word to the U.S. investment community, one that is open to entrepreneurs. She is always excited to see what is coming next in early-growth companies and healthcare investing. She shared tips for startups and common mistakes she has seen, including underestimating how much seed capital they need to raise.
Cartmell concluded with tips for women leaders on joining boards and advancing in male-dominated environments. She has committed to mentoring others the same way she benefited from strong mentors, encouraging others to “reach up and reach down.” A U.K. native, she shared her personal relaxation and productivity tips: a tea break, regular morning exercise, and laser-sharp mental preparation for the tasks at hand each day.
The views and opinions expressed in this content or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.
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