Aequitas Partners
Q3 2020 > VOLUME 11

Well, we thought the world was off its axis when we wrote to you in Q2, but at this point, it’s looking tame in hindsight. The pandemic has accelerated, unchecked in many states, and threatens to close schools in the fall, and potentially restaurants again once the weather no longer fits with outdoor dining. In parallel, we’ve witnessed the largest social uprising in our lifetime. Layer on quarantine, the loneliness that can result, and you’ve got a recipe for a looming mental health crisis. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Throughout late Q2 and early Q3, we’ve seen some major investment into health tech and digital health, and our industry has effectively been catalyzed by the strain Covid has put on the healthcare system. Normally we interview an entrepreneur each quarter here, but we’ve saved that space this time for some thoughts about how we as a company are approaching our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives. Jess & Emily have their bi-annual installment of the AQP Book Club with Pale Rider, which looks at how the unfolding of the 1918 Spanish Flu closely mirrors the events of today, and Steven Berman dug in with some talent leaders across the industry to see how they’re adapting to a distributed life. We hope you enjoy, and look forward to seeing you in person soon.

— Tim Gordon, Founder & Managing Partner

Why We Do What We Do:

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
By: Tim Gordon
Why We Do What We Do

2020 has not been the year that anyone expected. At most, it has destroyed lives, families, companies, industries, futures, and dare I say, hope. At least, it has changed the way almost everyone thinks about everything. It’s a lot for 5 months. It pales in comparison to the suffering that many BIPOC communities, and specifically the Black community, have faced for decades, so the last 5 months have felt like a planetary revolt to me. Mother Nature finally got tired of waiting for us to figure this all out on our own, and said ‘enough.’ The national outcry, and subsequent protests of the murder of George Floyd had a visible impact on our team. At the same time, quarantine had forced us into these perceived personal “bubbles,” where watching these events unfold on TV and social media seemed like a bizarre, detached experience – a continuation of the disaster flick that Covid unleashed on us. It took more than a moment for me to realize that this is happening. With that realization, we talked about it. First, about how it made us all feel, and second, about what we were going to do about it.

I’ll admit, having grown up comfortably in the suburbs – not spoiled, but not wanting for anything I needed – while also going to high school in West Philadelphia, I struggled with this issue. I never fully understood what I was supposed to do about racism, besides not be racist. Be nice to people, treat them fairly, respectfully. At the same time, when I saw successful people of color, I frequently thought to myself, ‘they undoubtedly had to work harder and overcome more than I would have to find myself in the same place’ – and not because I’m so awesome. Was that racist? Or was that an acknowledgement of the stacked deck that I inherently knew existed. Either way, what could I actually do about it? That uncertainty about what action to take or what real impact I could even have, made entering into our open team discussions about the state of race relations in our country both exciting, and extremely uncomfortable.


When Teams Go Remote:
Tips on Scaling in an Ever-Changing Landscape

By: Steven Berman
When Teams Go Remote

Long before COVID-19 reared its ugly head, there was already a massive shift towards distributed workforces, and it only seems to have been accelerated by the need to remain socially distant. As we gain momentum in fighting this terrible virus, and companies look to reopen their headquarters, there is a sentiment that this shift to a remote workforce is here to stay. Last quarter our Managing Partner, Tim Gordon, wrote a fascinating piece on how companies were starting to react to this rapidly changing landscape. This sparked my curiosity about the tangible approaches companies have been taking in an effort to attract talented employees and keep their current ones engaged and happy. Over the past few weeks, I’ve sat down (virtually of course!) with leaders at six different digital health companies – Cohere Health, ConcertHealth, Eden Health, Stellar Health, Virta Health, and Wellth -to get their take, soup to nuts, on hiring and maintaining culture in this new environment.


AQP Book Club | Pale Rider:

The Spanish Flu of 1918
and How it Changed the World

By: Jessica Horn & Emily Bak
Reflecting On Our First 5 Years

Part 1 | History Repeats Itself

We knew that selecting a book about the Spanish Flu for the second installment of our book-club series in the midst of a current global pandemic was going to be unsettling. What we could not have possibly braced ourselves for was just how scary it was to read about a time, more than a century ago, that so closely mirrors what we’re living through today. Curious to learn more about how our past would relate to our present, “Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed The World,” written by Laura Spinney, left us spooked and wondering what could have been learned to avoid similar mistakes today.


AQP Journal

Ben Horowitz, co-founder and general partner of acclaimed venture
firm, Andreessen Horowitz, and co-founder and CEO of Opsware, pens a
career memoir that is anything but rosy. The book offers an honest
view of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur at the behest of
uncontrollable forces – a feeling that is all-too-familiar in today’s
environment. His account is particularly refreshing as we all “embrace
the struggle.”
Book blurb:
Pale Rider recounts the story of The Spanish Flu of 1918, one of the greatest human disasters that is somehow largely forgotten. This pandemic infected a third of the world’s population, killed more than 50 million people, and in many ways shaped the world we live in today. Through her narrative, Spinney reveals the lasting impact on society, and how it has forever changed the course of healthcare, global politics, and race relations in our modern world.
Pale Rider
By the Numbers
728 Active jobs in
healthcare on
The Health
Talent Exchange

300+ Healthcare leaders in The Talent Network

71 Different leading
HCIT and Digital
Health companies on
The Health Talent Exchange
Aequitas Partners
New York, New York