‘startups’ Category

Omada Health seals a $23M Series B to bring digital therapeutics to diabetics

| April 09, 2014|Tags:

The Rock Health team is proud to announce that portfolio company Omada Health has just closed their $23M Series B (full press release here) from Andreessen Horowitz and Kaiser Permanente Ventures.

I first met with the Omada co-founders three years ago when they were still employees at IDEO. We chatted over lunch at South Park Cafe, and they quickly won me over with their vision for a software-based therapy to prevent diabetes more effectively and for less money than a drug. We offered them a $20,000 grant to quit their jobs and join us at Rock Health’s first class.

The Omada Health co-founders, Adrian James, Sean Duffy, and Andrew DiMichele, at the original Rock Health office

Parenting is hard. Kinsights is here to help.

| April 08, 2014|Tags: , ,

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Every parent realizes that annual well-child visits with their pediatrician typically last around 11-20 minutes, hardly enough time to get their shots and measurements. Contemporary parents are looking online for everyday parenting tips and advice on their children’s health for the hundreds of questions that crop up in between appointments. Time spent online actually goes up when U.S. women become mothers, and the top five parenting search terms get over half a billion searches on Google each month, according to Kinsights, one of our portfolio companies.

Where are they now? ThriveOn

| March 23, 2014|Tags: , ,

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Have a startup? Only four more days to submit your business plan to hear back in April! We thought we’d check in with one of Rock Health’s seasoned veterans, ThriveOn. The company, which offers a mobile platform for personalized mental health management,  has gained serious momentum in recent months and was crowned winner of SXSW Accelerator in the health category just last week. We caught up with co-founders Alejandro Foung and Nicholas Letourneau who first came to Rock Health around this time last year.

What’s new on the homefront?
ThriveOn is now live at 30+ universities with thousands of students using it to help improve their mental health! We launched our free assessment online at SXSW two weeks ago and won first place in the health category!

How are things different from a year ago?
We have customers, active users, a live product, and a team of 7. A year ago, it was just Nick and myself trying to execute this idea.

Any amazing new hires?
Yes! We hired a core team (5 and counting) comprised of folks who build, design, and create the content for our program and product. The common thread that binds us is all having studied psychology in college and/or having been impacted personally by issues within mental health.

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to ThriveOn since moving to Rock Health’s new space?
Two of the office dogs got into a little turf war over who gets what side of the office. Some laps, beds, and prized sunny spots were stolen by both sides over the morning. The final blow came from the ThriveOn side, when Hagrid the pug decided to angry-poop in enemy territory, claiming it as his.

What’s been your favorite moment as a team?
Family trip to carmel, shopping, cooking, and embarrassingly all working out together.

Do have have any advice for startups looking to join the Rock Health portfolio?
Do it. To this day, joining Rock Health has been one the most impactful things that has happened to ThriveOn. Everything we’ve given back to the community of Rock Health, we’ve gotten back three fold.

If ThriveOn was a coffee roast, what would it be and why?
David’s Tea. Duh.

Join ThriveOn at Rock Health. Send us your pitch deck by 3/27 and we’ll get back to you in April.

Session Launches for the 300 million Americans who won’t go to the gym this year

| November 07, 2013

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This week, our portfolio company, Sessions launched their online health coaching for fitness and weight loss. Their beautiful platform connects people with their very own health coach who guides them through a structured, lifestyle modification program to change behavior and launch active lifestyles.

We sat down with their CEO, Nick Crocker to talk about how Sessions got where it is today. “I started Sessions thinking I knew a lot about behavior change,” he says. “I knew all the theories, and the biases that influence behavior and I thought Sessions was going to be about telling people those things. 10 days in and 25 customer interviews later, I quickly realized how little I knew!”

Building relationships with stakeholders: A founder’s experience at Rock Health

| October 24, 2013

Hear from Jonathan Palley, co-founder of the next-gen wearable company, Spire, on how Rock Health provides value to companies.  

Join Jonathan and apply to Rock Health. We’re now accepting applications.

Where are they now? Cellscope

| October 16, 2013|Tags: ,

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We caught up with Cellscope, one of Rock Health’s 2011 portfolio companies. From a feature on The Colbert Report to hiring a former space scientist, the Cellscope team took a quick break from building their suite of remote-diagnostic devices to share what they’ve been up to in the last two years.

What’s new?
Since “graduating,” we went from an idea in a bioengineering lab to being a venture-backed mobile health startup. We are very excited about our upcoming product launch at AAP (the national pediatrics conference) in late October.

At this point, we are ear experts! We’ve seen a lot, from dual ear drum perforations from a July 4th firework accident to pulsating ear drums to an artificial ear bone graft (check our blog). Finally, we got our prototype onto the Colbert Report!

What’s the difference?
We started at Rock Health with a team of three and a clunky lab prototype. Today we are a medical device company with a team of 8 (and growing!), a huge vision and an exciting upcoming product launch.

Where are you?
We recently moved to a great space in SOMA that’s more than three times larger than our original space. We have an open layout, lots of sunlight and one of our conference rooms faces the Transbay Center construction so we get to see powerful machines defy gravity and rearrange impossibly heavy objects. Our office has an incredibly resonant gong that we use to celebrate wins, both big and small.

Any amazing new hires?
Yes! From our original team of 3 during our Rock Health days, we are now a team of 8 including our mobile app developer, engagement manager, quality engineer, mechanical engineer, imaging scientist and web developer! Amongst our talented team we have a former circus clown, space scientist, published fantasy author, cyclists, music-lovers and a capoeira-dancer. And we’re looking to hire more: data scientists, regulatory director, customer service manager and office manager. Check out our website for more info.

What’s your favorite office snack?
Dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joes – once you start, you can’t stop!

If your company were an animal, what would it be and why?
An elephant — because they’re awesome. And wouldn’t it be cool to see an elephant’s tympanic membrane?

Europe’s digital health scene: to stay or go?

| March 15, 2013

Is Europe an attractive region for health startups – or should we all ship off to Silicon Valley?

Frank Boermeester  is a partner at HealthStartup, a European conference on digital health. 

The digital health scene is on a roll, no doubt. But this is mainly a U.S. story.  Have you heard of one European health startup that is really breaking through?  Probably not.  We know of Withings (a maker of personal body monitors) and Scanadu (developing personal diagnostic devices). To call Scanadu European would be a stretch – it has Belgian roots but set up shop in Silicon Valley at its founding.  Will this export of talent and ideas to the U.S. be the fate of Europe’s digital health sector?  Or will European stars like Skype and Spotify show us the way? (more…)

A Look Back: Omada Health

| March 07, 2013

Sean Duffy (right) is co-founder & CEO of Omada Health, a member of Rock Health’s first class.  We caught up with him to get his insights looking back at his time at Rock Health.


Tell us a little bit about Omada Health.  Where did the idea for the company come from?
Omada Heath started as an internal project at design firm IDEO. My co-founder and I were tasked with thinking about how the best disease prevention medical literature could be turned into effective, engaging, and beautiful digital products. We quickly narrowed in on prediabetes as a place to start, and our first product Prevent (http://preventnow.com) is an online program for people with prediabetes to help them lose weight and reduce their risk of getting type 2 diabetes.


Where was Omada when you decided to apply to Rock Health? (more…)

3 Burning Questions in Digital Health

| February 15, 2013

What is digital health?
Digital health is mainframe turned mobile, and it hit its cardinal stride in the crosswalk between technology and medicine. Now, it’s everywhere.

From sensors to apps to platforms, most of the wireless tools that aim to make you healthier fall under the digital health umbrella. Sometimes referred to as mHealth, mobile health, eHealth, telemedicine, connected health, telehealth, health IT, wireless health, and health 2.0, the categories that best and most comprehensively define the digital health domain are: (more…)

LabDoor Launches: Scan a Barcode, Find Out What’s Really in Your Energy Drink

| January 29, 2013









Last week LabDoor, a member of Rock Health’s fourth class of startups, launched a web and mobile app that provides free quality and safety ratings of dietary supplements and energy drinks. With this venture, LabDoor CEO Neil Thanedar aims to bring product reviews and ratings that incorporate real science to consumers hungry for information in this $36 billion market. (more…)