IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of 7wire Ventures

IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of 7wire Ventures

August 3, 2016

It is a sign of a healthy and evolving association when new members join the IVCA. The success of the membership in both networking and taking advantage of what the IVCA has to offer continues to be attractive to new firms who join, and one of the newest members of the IVCA is 7wire Ventures, which specializes in healthcare venture capital.

The following is a Q&A profile with 7wire Ventures, which explores the firm’s background and their expectations for interacting with the IVCA.

New Member: 7wire Ventures

Representative: Robert Garber, Partner

IVCA: What is the background and history of 7wire Ventures, and how did the focus become healthcare ventures?

7wire Ventures: Glen Tullman and Lee Shapiro started 7wire to invest in companies that were revolutionizing healthcare. Health and healthcare technology was chosen as the focus because of the deep experience of the team in growing health tech companies like Allscripts and Enterprise Systems. However, more importantly, we believe we’re at a unique moment in the development of healthcare. We are at the start of a consumer technology revolution that will fundamentally alter the health and healthcare landscape. 7wire was created to support and participate in this unprecedented shift.

IVCA: Your focus is on the technology of communication and analytics in the healthcare industry. How has this changed in the last twenty years, and what do your portfolio companies want to achieve in evolving or innovating what has changed?

7wire Ventures: We consider our focus to be on consumer-focused health and healthcare technologies. While these often include communications and analytics, our perspective is much broader covering solutions focused on consumer decision support, population health, and chronic care management, among others. 

While there’s been gradual change in the last 20 years, the most exciting changes have taken place in the last five to ten years, as healthcare has begun to undergo a technology transformation away from enterprise-based platforms toward those that fuel better consumer engagement. We have a chance to re-imagine how care is delivered, improve and save lives, and reduce cost through technology.

IVCA: The healthcare industry in America is famously volatile. How does the technologies that 7wire promotes help to control costs, especially as healthcare financials continue to be an issue?

7wire Ventures: The 7wire companies principally reduce costs through improved health outcomes and increased efficiency. While some people may say the healthcare market is volatile, we instead see this as part of the fundamental shift away from a fee-for-service system toward one that is more focused on quality and value. Innovation in care models and technology are driving real opportunities for health tech start-ups to create companies that dramatically reduce costs and improve health through consumer engagement.

IVCA: What are examples of the diverse technologies that your portfolio companies are working on, and how are they working to – as your website puts it – change the status quo in healthcare?

7wire Ventures: Livongo Health is a great example of a 7wire company that’s changing the status quo and improving lives.  Livongo is built with the mission of empowering people with chronic disease to live better, starting with diabetes. Livongo combines technology and healthcare expertise into the first comprehensive diabetes solution in the market. 

Using a smart cloud, cellular-connected glucose meter, and diabetes-specific coaches, Livongo knows real-time when someone is trending into dangerous territory and can intervene to help them manage their diabetes as needed. Livongo empowers people with diabetes by always being there to support them as they live their life.

IVCA: Since you work with early stage companies, what mentoring or guidance has been most effective in evolving these companies once you begin to invest and work with them, to get them and you to the next level?

7wire Ventures: Through our long and successful, entrepreneurial careers we have been fortunate to have made most of the mistakes and experience most of the pitfalls early-stage companies typically face. This gives us the benefit of pattern recognition fueled by many data points. We know what works and what doesn’t when building a company and we use this insight to guide the entrepreneurs with which we partner.

This guidance ranges from how to create high-performing healthcare sales organizations to how to develop products that fit into existing healthcare workflows. Given our extensive network across the industry we also provide top-level access to key decision makers that can dramatically accelerate a portfolio company’s growth. Lastly, we are keenly focused on helping entrepreneurs hire great people and build scalable businesses. High-caliber talent can overcome many challenges, and we leverage our deep networks to identify and recruit key team members that can have maximum organizational impact.

IVCA: What does 7wire Ventures hope to achieve in their interaction with the IVCA?

7wire Ventures: While our focus has been primarily on the national and global healthcare markets, we are looking forward to deepening our connections with other venture leaders and companies in Illinois through the IVCA. We have already made a number of investments in the Chicago area and expect to make more in the future.  We are excited about the growing venture community in Chicago and Illinois and look to be a key contributor to its continued success

For more information on 7wire Ventures, go to www.7wireventures.com