Meet the Panelists of Weill Digital Health Series #3: Securing Financing and the Founders Experience
April 15, 2021
Investment in the U.S. digital health sector has significantly increased from $7.5B in 2019 to $14.1B in funding in 2020 . With that number in mind, in the last session of the series, we bring together founders and investors to discuss the increased investors’ interest in digital health innovations, the investment opportunities, and the founders’ experience in this sector.
Katie Baker is a Director of Innovation for the Anthem Digital Innovation team. In this role, she launched the Challenge Series for the Anthem Digital Incubator (ADI). Katie is currently heading the expansion of ADI into additional markets. Additionally, Katie supports establishing pilots for both Medicaid and Behavioral Health.
Prior to joining Anthem, Baker was at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation leading external innovation for the Entrepreneurship team for 12 years. In that role she ran the iBridge Network – a platform that created pathways for 300 universities to license their intellectual property. She also created, led strategy and business development for iStart – a platform that hosted over 500 business plan competitions. Most recently she led the strategy for community facing projects utilizing external processes, methodologies and technologies that were repurposed for economic development in communities across the country.
Katie has coached startups for SXSW for over a decade, she has also coached for HatchPitch, Venture2Venture, Inventure$, Cherie Blair Foundation and Rise of the Rest among others.
Michael Laskoff is an experienced telehealth entrepreneur, executive, and advisor focused on combining emerging technology and business model innovation to commercialize and scale behavioral and population healthcare solutions. Over the past decade, he has raised over $30M from highly regarded venture funds – including .406 Ventures, Sandbox/BCBS Ventures, HLM, Canaan Partners, and AXA Strategic Ventures – to start and grow two, technology-enabled healthcare services companies, Annum Health, and AbleTo. AbleTo was acquired by the nation’s largest health plan.
He has a BA in political science from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives with his wife in New York.
Alex Morgan is currently a Partner at Khosla Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm which invests broadly in technology from seed stage funding to later stage capital. Alex has a special focus in biotechnology, healthcare, data science, and AI/ML and serves on the boards of a number of Khosla Ventures portfolio companies. Alex has an MD and PhD in biomedical informatics from Stanford. As a scientist, he has published over 50 scientific publications, primarily at the intersection of computer science, biology, and healthcare, and has licensed IP to three separate companies. Prior to working in venture capital, Alex was involved with a number of startups, and worked as a senior artificial engineer for the MITRE Corporation.
Example Investments: Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies, Arpeggio Bio, Atrendex, BioAge, Bionaut, Cellino, Deep Genomics, DiscernDx, Docbot, Earli, Ellipsis, Faeth, Flow Neuroscience, Fountain Biotherapeutics, Hello Heart, Invoy, Karius, Kernel, Known Medicine, Loop Genomics, Menten AI, Mirvie, Nebula Genomics, Ochre Bio, Oncobox, Overture, Pardes Bio, Prellis, Probably Genetic, Rubedo, Q Bio, StimScience, STIMIT, Syllable Corporation, Vitro Labs
Asaf Zviran is the Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Strategy Officer of C2i Genomics. C2i Genomics helps doctors and patients fight cancer by providing doctors and patients with tumor burden information, starting with only a blood sample. Its service, called C2, uses software that performs pattern recognition on data from whole-genome sequencing of the blood sample. Physicians can use the service to monitor their patients’ response to treatment and detect treatment failure or disease recurrence well before they do otherwise. Physicians can also use the service to measure treatment response in clinical trials.
Dr. Placanica is Senior Managing Director, Center for Technology Licensing at WCM. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing WCM’s activities in technology management, marketing, licensing, and outreach to support Cornell’s goals in commercializing technologies, promoting start-ups, and building partnerships.
Prior to joining WCM in 2020, Dr. Placanica held the position of Managing Director, Business Development and Licensing at Mount Sinai Innovation Partners. In this role, she was responsible for managing a team of business development professionals focused on identifying, advancing, and partnering therapeutic technologies developed at the Mount Sinai Health System and acted as deal team lead for closing complex intellectual property transactions. Dr. Placanica also was a Licensing Manager in the Office of Technology Development at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where she focused on development and commercialization of cell and gene therapy related inventions and previously was a key member of the Cell Biology research group at Athersys, Inc in Cleveland, Ohio.
Dr. Placanica received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Weill Cornell Medical College where she studied the biochemical composition of gamma secretase and its role in Alzheimer’s Disease in the laboratory of Dr. Yueming Li at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She holds a B.A. in Biology from Cornell University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with Distinction.
In 2013, Dr. Placanica became a Certified Licensing Professional.
More information on Weill Digital Health Series:
 DeSilva J., & Zweig J. 2020 Market Insights Report: Chasing a new equilibrium. Rock Health Report.