Aequitas Partners
Q1 2019 > VOLUME 6

Q4 came and went, much like the rest of 2018. It’s truly remarkable how quickly time goes, aided by doing work that we love, alongside people we really care about. Predictions abound for what 2019 holds in Healthcare, but we’re generally optimistic about the way the industry is maturing, and winners are emerging. This quarter, we sat down with Dr. David Berman, Founder and CEO of Slingshot Health to talk to him about building the next game-changing healthcare marketplace. Nina Mermelstein kicks off a multi-part series focused on Entrepreneurship, and Steven Berman dives into the nascent Digital Therapeutics space. Her own fascination with entrepreneurs has led to her spending time with numerous founders in recent months, and she’ll be keeping us all up to date on what she’s hearing. Wish you and yours lots of health, luck and happiness in 2019.

— Tim Gordon, Founder & Managing Partner

An Interview With Dr. David Berman, Founder & CEO of Slingshot Health

Interview with Boulder Care

Dr. David Berman is a career Gastroenterologist, with over 30 years in practice, and is also the Founder and CEO of Slingshot Health. Slingshot Health is a marketplace that connects patients and providers directly, allowing individuals to bid on a physician’s time, leading to convenience, decreased cost and increased price transparency. Slingshot already serves the Greater New York City region, and is rapidly growing nationally.

Tim: David, you’ve been a practicing physician for over 30 years – entrepreneurial in your own right – but you’ve plunged headfirst into a health tech startup, as the Founder of Slingshot Health. Why now, and why Slingshot?

David: Those are questions I’m still trying to answer, believe it or not. I think a lot is just destiny. Having always dedicated my life to making the world a better place, through what naturally constitutes taking care of people – human beings – one person at a time. And I am just now transitioning to hopefully helping millions at a time. So why Slingshot Health? Well, it took 30-some-odd years to learn how to practice medicine – to get me to being a real doctor – and then, I think that the same reason I went to Medical School – that quest for knowledge – has always led me to exploring different parts of the world, not just medicine, but economics, politics, religion, history – and you acquire a certain knowledge base over time, and you may be presented with that ‘aha’ moment, where you combine all that knowledge over decades of life experience, and that’s what happened. In the space of a second, an idea was born. Actually, I think I was shaking – saying ‘wow, this is it, this is it!’ So it was a combination of life experiences and just an operating system of always having your eyes wide open and trying to be the best person you can be.


Coffee Chats With Nina: Understanding
the Entrepreneurial Mindset

By: Nina Mermelstein

Taking the Leap: Part One of an Ongoing Series

Since joining the Aequitas Partners team last December, I’ve immersed myself in the healthcare technology space through interactions with clients and absorbing all the information I find about industry trends and the large financial investment going into this sector. The industry’s growth has captured my curiosity and I now find myself looking for additional answers to a different set of questions. Who are the entrepreneurs who are driving innovation in this space? What motivates founders of health-tech startups to make the precarious journey from a promising idea to a full-fledged business? Who are their role models, what are their influences, and what have they learned from past failures?

Given our team’s focus on talent, I figured that the best way to get into the entrepreneurial mindset is to do what I do best – interview executives. Over the course of a year, I am meeting with digital health company founders and CEOs to get the inside scoop on what it takes to build a company from the ground up in this industry. These leaders differ in age, gender, and professional backgrounds. Their companies are focused on different facets of the health tech industry, spanning from disease management to care coordination.

My candid coffee chats have already brought to light a number of trends that I’m excited to share with our newsletter readers through a series of articles. For this first installment, I focus on the initial phase in various entrepreneurs’ journeys—the point in time when they realized that it was time to build their companies, and how their professional backgrounds have prepared them to take that leap.


Digital Therapeutics:
Why Your Next Pill May Be an App

By: Steven Berman

Although clinical therapy has long been the cornerstone of the Healthcare industry, the Digital Therapeutics subset of digital health is slowly-but-surely establishing its own foundation. The nascent industry offers patients and doctors alike the ability to treat chronic diseases without solely relying on prescription medication. This disruptive technology is empowering patients while redefining how healthcare is delivered – and doing so for a large assortment of chronic conditions with minimal downside risk.

What are Digital Therapeutics?

Digital Therapeutics are essentially software tools that can improve a patient’s health much in the same way a drug can, minus the side-effects. Although such software has been around for nearly a decade, it wasn’t until 2013 that the term ‘Digital Therapeutics’ first entered the public lexicon. That was when Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health, began floating the concept at conferences and marketing events which he used to promote his pre-diabetic coaching software aimed at preventing full onset of the disease by encouraging patients to exercise more and lose weight.


AQP Journal

John Carreyrou, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning investigative Journalist with the Wall Street Journal, uncovers the truth behind CEO, Elizabeth Holmes’ biotech startup, Theranos. Bad Blood offers an astonishing inside look at Theranos’s fraudulent claims, and the lengths Holmes went to protect her reputation despite the cost.
Bad Blood - Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
54 # of mergers and acquisitions in Digital Health in 2018
47 % of young doctors and pharmacists interested in shifting to tech companies and away from clinical practice, according to a LinkedIn study
$7.6B value of the 13 M&A deals for which details were disclosed
Aequitas Partners
New York, New York