While there is no shortage of brilliant ideas to upend existing business models in healthcare, finding the scratch needed to fund them remains a major challenge—and one that Stoakes and fellow StartUp Health co-founder Steve Krein are eagerly embracing. They're going well beyond that, in fact, providing advice and network connections in addition to seed money. So far, its companies have raised more than $150 million, and three have been acquired. "From our perspective, this is the most exciting time. Every aspect of the industry is being reinvented and redesigned," Stoakes enthuses.
For now, the biggest hurdles for StartUp's army of entrepreneurs continue to be how to manage change in an industry that can seem quite change-resistant. That said, change is coming whether the healthcare world likes it or not. "Over the next two or three years, you will see health and wellness designed into virtually every aspect of our lives," says Stoakes. "It will be in our homes, cars, offices and clothes. It will be a much bigger part of our lives in unexpected and exciting ways." —Sarah Mahoney