#78 - Esther Dyson: Building a Healthier Society by Investing in Healthcare Startups

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In this episode we chat with long time healthcare startup investor, Esther Dyson. Esther has been very influential in the healthcare investing space for quite some time. It’s very hard to run into anyone doing anything meaningful in the broader healthcare space and not find a connection to Esther in some way.

She’s the executive founder of Way to Wellville, a non-profit dedicated to demonstrating the value of investing in health, including how the benefits of investing in health accrue over time and not always to the investors directly. Esther spends her time investing in startups, a lot of them in the health space, and she is a board member at a bunch of companies such as 23&Me, Meetup, Yandez, as well as being an early investor in Square and many others.

You can connect with Esther here: LinkedIn, Twitter, Wellville Website

What If Fellowship Program: https://whatif.vc/fellowship

HERE ARE SOME THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT:

  1. Esther shares how she found her way into the mental health space as an investor and as an advocate encouraging more people to invest in the space.
  2. We talk about the difference between short-term and long-term thinking regarding health solutions and how society needs to decide to invest in better health overall rather than focusing on only the individual.
  3. Esther shared her opinion on what is actually beneficial to making a healthier society. It’s not what is being focused on now because we are too busy focusing on the short-term solutions.
  4. There’s a disconnect between the number of people who want to fix the healthcare problems and the money that is actually being put towards the solutions. Esther shares why she thinks there is a disconnect and what can be done about it.
  5. We discuss the wide range of the meaning of the word addiction and how it is not a moral failing, but rather a learned behavior.
  6. Esther shares what early investors should be looking for when choosing which companies to invest in to avoid investing in predatory companies and how to evaluate your investing opportunities to find the right one for you.
  7. We talk about what is the most important problem to focus on in the health space and how your personal mission affects your opinion on which problems are the main priority.
  8. We talk about the effect that the poor educational system is having on our country and how fixing the health issues around kids in school will hopefully lead to a better future with a healthier society with better access to care.

Connect with the What If Ventures and the Stigma Podcast in the following ways: What If Fellowship, Patreon, Website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Email

Connect with host Stephen Hays here: Stephen Hays Personal Website, Twitter, LinkedIn, What If Ventures (Mental Health Venture Fund)

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