Day Zero

Day Zero

Exploring the Entrepreneurial Journey of Healthcare Founders.

Latest From Series

36: As Goes the Patient, So Goes the Money, with A.G. Breitenstein, J.D., MPH, Founder and CEO of Folx Health

Meet A.G. Breitenstein, J.D., MPH:A.G. Breitenstein, J.D., MPH is the Founder and Executive Chair of FOLX Health, a virtual-first health platform specifically for LGBTQ+ patients. She is also a board member for WellSky. Previously, she was a Partner and Co-founder at Optum Ventures, and the Chief Product Officer of Optum Analytics at Optum. She also founded Humedica, the Institute for Health Metrics, and PriviaSource. She received a Bachelor’s degree in History from Yale, a J.D. from the University of Connecticut, and an MPH from Harvard University. Key Insights:A.G. Breitenstein was looking to make change in healthcare at a system’s level when she caught the entrepreneur bug. Structural Inefficiencies. Healthcare has big structural inefficiencies, but there are many factors that keep those inefficiencies in place. One person’s inefficiency is another person’s revenue stream. Entrepreneurs must understand the context of the ecosystem and have the acute knowledge of the walls they might hit. Once they reach scale, they can knock those walls down. (15:02)Building a Brand. A.G. shares that FOLX Health was intentional about branding. They wanted patients to like the packaging, the feel of the organization, and feel that the brand represented them as people in the world.Healthcare rarely focuses on brand development, which A.G. sees as a missed opportunity. (20:14)Advice for Young Entrepreneurs. Be obsessive about learning; even on your best days you will mostly be wrong. Understand the context of the healthcare ecosystem, because most often the best solutions come from inside the system. Lastly, engage and build with your patient communities. (28:21)This episode is hosted by Lynne Chou O’Keefe. She is a member of the Advisory Council for Day Zero and is the Founder and Managing Partner of Define Ventures.Relevant Links:Learn more about FOLX HealthFOLX Health was named one of the Time 100 Most Influential Companies of 2022Read “With Telehealth Platform, Folx, A.G. Breitenstein Aims To Revolutionize Queer Healthcare” By Forbes
May 31, 2022

35: I AM ALS, with Brian Wallach, J.D., Co-founder and Board Co-chair, Synapticure and Co-founder, I AM ALS, and Sandra Abrevaya, J.D., Co-founder and CEO, Synapticure, Co-founder, I AM ALS

Meet Brian Wallach, J.D. and Sandra Abrevaya, J.D.:In 2017, Brian Wallach, J.D. learned that he was diagnosed with ALS. He and his wife Sandra Abrevaya, J.D. are dedicating their remaining time together to help ALS patients everywhere. They founded I AM ALS, a non-profit organization that successfully advocated for millions in research through major legislation. Brian and Sandra also launched Synapticure, a care platform for ALS patients, with the backing of GV and other investors. They are on a mission to reshape our understanding and treatment of ALS.Key Insights:Brian and Sandra are truly inspirational, revealing how a family can go forward with a devastating diagnosis and what two people can accomplish in such a short amount of time.Founding I AM ALS. Sandra and Brian founded the non-profit I AM ALS to create policy change. Their advocacy facilitated the passage of Act for ALS, which allocates $100 million annually over five years for research and expands treatment options for patients. I AM ALS also provides a platform for patients and caregivers to get support and share their stories, and for volunteers to take “micro actions” that advocate for patients. (12:32)Founding Synapticure. Synapticure provides ALS patients a care coordinator that helps manage the administrative burden of coordinating between the patient’s entire care team. It also facilitates access to cutting-edge and personalized testing and treatment; ALS is a heterogeneous disease with many sub-types that respond differently to targeted therapies. Sandra and Brian founded this company to create the continuity of care they wished they had during their treatment experience. (21:28)Power in the Purpose. Brian gets his energy from the knowledge that he and Sandra can change the course of ALS with their advocacy. He is driven partially by necessity, but also the belief that he can make a difference, and potentially save his life and 1000’s of others. (31:00)This episode is hosted by Gary Bisbee, Ph.D. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Think MediumRelevant Links:Learn more about I AM ALS and how to take actionLearn more about SynapticureRead “I am Brian Wallach” Read “I am Sandra Abrevaya and Brian Wallach”
May 24, 2022

34: Bringing Clinical Trials to the Patient, with Jodi Akin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Hawthorne Effect, Inc.

Meet Jodi Akin: Jodi Akin is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Hawthorne Effect, a software service that  streamlines and decentralizes clinical trials. She is an Angle Investor and Advisor for Astia, Board  member for 510 Kardiac Devices, Inc., and the Chief Scientific Advisor for PiCardia, Inc. Previously,  she was the Vice President of Global Clinical Affairs at Edwards Lifesciences LLC. Jodi received a  Bachelor’s in Diplomacy, Economics and International Affairs from Georgetown University, and a  Master of Science in Nursing from Pace University. Key Insights: The Hawthorne Effect is changing the ecosystem of clinical trials. Defining Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is an attitude, not a stage of a company, according to Jodi. She didn’t set out to simply found a company, rather she felt a gravitational pull, a compulsion, to fix an aspect of healthcare. (10:39) Improved Patient Adherence. Hawthorne Effect brings clinical trials to the patient’s own home, rather than requiring the patient to go to a physical research institution. This removes transportation challenges for the patient, which increases adherence. Jodi cites that 97-98% of their patients adhere to clinical trials. (15:48) Hawthorne Heroes. Decentralized clinical trials are made possible by a gig network of medical professionals. This allows for geographically diverse trials, and these Heroes have additional opportunities for certification and training for different types of trials, with roles that range from patient visits to trial investigators. (18:03)This episode is hosted by Gary Bisbee, Ph.D. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Think  Medium. Relevant Links:Learn more about Hawthorne Effect Read “Startup Improves Clinical Trial Process To Ensure Better Healthcare For All” by  Forbes Listen to “Hawthorne Effect Founder and CEO Jodi Akin” on VatorNews podcasts
May 17, 2022

33: Disrupting the Healthcare Economy, with Mike McSherry, Founder and CEO, Xealth; Brandon Weber, Co-founder and CEO, Nava; and Sean Mehra, Founder and CEO, HealthTap

Meet the Guests:This episode showcases three guests previously featured on Day Zero. Mike McSherry is the CEO of Xealth, a platform that facilitates clinicians prescribing digital health tools to patients, tracking usage, and improving digital health recommendations. Brandon Weber is the co-founder and CEO of Nava, a benefits brokerage firm that facilitates high quality healthcare to employers. Sean Mehra is the founder and CEO of HealthTap, a virtual-first, affordable urgent and primary care clinic. Key Insights:Healthcare presents a unique ecosystem for entrepreneurs. No market is as complicated, regulated, and confusing as healthcare.Advancing Technology.  Entrepreneurism in healthcareis extra challenging because healthcare often lags in adopting new technology. A hospital may have cutting edge MRIs, and yet still use fax machines. Unpredictable adoption can be due variable reimbursement plans, conflicting incentives, and government regulations. (1:39)Fixing the Bottleneck. There is a huge explosion of innovation on the supply side of healthcare, but it is not reaching buyers. Part of the bottleneck is in the benefits brokerage industry. Brandon thinks the future might already be here, it’s just not evenly distributed. (3:30)Expanding the Production Possibility Frontier. In the next 5-10 years, Sean predicts that technology innovation will make supply and demand transactions more efficient, such as telehealth better connecting patients to providers, and make supply itself more efficient, like AI and algorithms to help providers. (5:39)
May 10, 2022

32: L.O.V.E. to Lead, with Sean Lane, Chief Executive Officer, Olive

Meet Sean Lane:Sean Lane is the CEO of Olive and CEO of Circulo Health. Previously, he was an Intelligence Officer for the National Security Agency. He was also founder and Chairman of the Board for Betamore, and Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Digital Harbor Foundation. Sean received a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Government from Miami University. Key Insights:Sean Lane is freeing up healthcare’s scarcest resource: time. The Inspiration for Olive. Sean was trying to address prescription drug abuse challenges in his community when he realized that healthcare doesn’t have the internet. Healthcare systems and software don’t communicate, rather healthcare relies on humans as routers to complete repetitive tasks and manually share data. (7:46)What Olive Can Do. Using artificial Intelligence, Olive automates repetitive healthcare tasks to free up human capacity. It started with revenue cycle, but expanded into areas of administration and operation. (15:05)Challenges. To Sean, Olive’s biggest challenge is scale. There are billions of hours of human capacity wasted on repetitive tasks that could be automated. In order to have an impact on the industry, Olive needs to get big enough to matter. (16:26)This episode is hosted by Gary Bisbee, Ph.D. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Think Medium. Relevant Links:Learn more about OliveCheck out Sean’s websiteWatch “A plan to redirect a trillion dollars in the US healthcare system with Olive CEO Sean Lane”
May 3, 2022

31: How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way, with Rasmus Hougaard, Founder and CEO, Potential Project

Meet Rasmus Hougaard:Rasmus Hougaard is the Founder and Managing Partner of the Potential Project. He is the author of “The Mind of the Leader,” “One Second Ahead,” and recently published “Compassionate Leadership: How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way.” Rasmus is also a contributor for the Harvard Business Review, Forbes and Business Insider. He received a Master’s degree in Organization and Behavior Studies from Roskilde University.Key Insights:Rasmus Hougaard is on a mission to create a more human world of work.Behind the Why. While working for a large corporation, Rasmus realized that many of his coworkers were burned out, drained of creativity, and not living up to their potential. Armed with meditation and other practices he learned from Buddhist traditions, Rasmus set out to found the Potential Project and change the working world. (1:02)Rethinking the Great Resignation. An unprecedented number of employees are quitting, or considering quitting. Rasmus reframes this as an opportunity for leaders to be compassionate to their existing employees, and a chance to attract new talent. (19:32) Get Enough Sleep. Get enough sleep and make time for yourself. Self-compassion is fundamental to resiliency. Before you can take care of others, and the world, you need to take care of yourself. (25:30)This episode is hosted by Gary Bisbee, Ph.D. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Think Medium.Relevant Links:Learn more about the Potential ProjectCheck out Rasmus’ book “Compassionate Leadership: How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way”Read Rasmus’ contributions to Forbes on Leadership Strategy
April 26, 2022

Day Zero

Day Zero is a podcast where founders share their unique journeys. Behind every company is an individual or group of individuals with ambition, goals, and dreams. On Day Zero, you’ll hear the engaging voices of these founders as they tell their stories, from their perspectives, and in their words.
View All Episodes


Advisory Council

Advisory Council

Our Advisory Council members are influential innovators and entrepreneurs in healthcare who have daily contact with the most interesting and impactful founders. Drawing from their individual body of work, knowledge and experience, each member of our Advisory Council contributes to the curation of unique and compelling stories of founders and their journeys.

-Aaron Martin, EVP and Chief Digital Officer, Providence; Managing General Partner, Providence Ventures

-Julie Yoo, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz, Co-founder, Kyruus

-Marcus Osborne, Senior Vice President, Walmart Health

-Lynne Chou O'Keefe, Founder and Managing Partner, Define Ventures

-Suchi Saria, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Bayesian Health

-Nathan Bays, Healthcare M&A, Citi

-Donald Trigg, Former President, Cerner Corporation.

-Rich Roth, SVP and Chief Strategic Officer, CommonSpirit Health

You may also like

Top Health Podcasts. Delivered to Your Inbox and Eardrums.

Join Our Newsletter

Proudly supported by:

What Will Variant Sigma Look Like? with Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D., Regents Professor, Division of Environmental Health Science; Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) University of Minnesota