A 23-Year-Old You've Never Heard Of Is About To Change Healthcare

Grant Verstandig, Audax Health

Photo: Audax Health

The author of this post, Kevin Bijas, is a partner at Daversa Partners, a Silicon Valley recruiting firm. The company he describes, Audax Health, is a client of Daversa Partners, which has recruited several senior executives for the company.A Ping-Pong table is the first thing you see when you walk into the entrance foyer.

There are whiteboards on the walls in every direction with multicolored workflows, shocking healthcare statistics, customer acquisition models and names like Autism Speaks, Value Options and some of the largest payers in the country that they’ve recently added as clients.

And at any given time, you’ll find stacks of aluminium trays in the fridge from the previous night’s order of dinner for 60; one of the many ways to ensure that great code is being written around the clock. 

If you’re thinking this is the description of another Silicon Valley Internet start-up, you are partially right. This is Brown drop-out, Grant Verstandig’s Audax Health; a high octane Internet start-up tucked away in Georgetown, Washington DC, that is radically redefining how people manage their health.

These guys have employed the fundamentals of gaming and social media to create a platform on which people can manage all things personal healthcare.  Oh and by the way, they sell it to large health plans so they can reduce the staggering costs of their member populations by keeping them healthy: a value proposition sorely needed by their buyers.

The Five Reasons Audax Health Is About to Transform Healthcare:

1.) They have built a phenomenal product.  With engineering and product talent from places like Adobe, IAC, LinkedIn, Zynga and Yahoo and a head of platform from SecondLife, Grant has built an industrial strength, highly intuitive web product with an analytics back-end that convinces health plans to pay lots of money to engage their members in this clever new way. And with a new office in San Francisco, they will have an even easier time recruiting top technology talent.  

2.) A powerhouse management team and board.  Recruiting is not easy in a busy private sector given the demand for talent and Grant has succeeded admirably from the very early stages of Audax’s development.  Here are some highlights (in no particular order):

  • Jack Rowe, Director (former CEO of Aetna)
  • John Sculley, Director (former CEO of Apple)
  • Miles Reidy, CFO (former COO and CFO of Network Solutions, former CFO of Sears Holdings)
  • Brian Dolan, Chief Customer Solutions Officer (former CCSO of ActiveHealth Management)
  • Frank Ambrose, EVP Platform and Technology (former SVP Global Technology, LindenLab/SecondLife)

3.) The healthcare industry in the U.S. is approaching nearly 20% of our country’s GDP because of waste and poor outcomes (among other things). Investors have put ~ $300M into private healthcare technology companies in Q2 of 2012 alone, after a strong show in 2011. Audax is solving an important problem for the consumer and business buyer which positions them very well in this rapidly expanding market.

4.) Youthful exuberance. Grant is as fearless as he is mature and logical and possesses the industry knowledge of a 20-year healthcare veteran at 23 years old. He fires on all cylinders, at all times.

5.)  Audax Health has a product culture and vision that reminds us of other great founders we’ve worked with that run companies like Twitter, Groupon, Pinterest, Square, Zynga, Gilt etc.

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