THE EQUITABLE INVESTMENTS INITIATIVE
RockHealth.org’s Equitable Investments Initiative supports and amplifies the work of underrepresented and underfunded digital health innovators and catalyzes greater investment in those leaders. We invite you to read RockHealth.org’s inaugural report–Reimagining Opportunity and Innovation in Digital Health–and join us as we work to ensure an equitable digital health future for all. To learn more about the Equitable Investments Initiative, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Rock Health has documented, the pace of growth in digital health is expansive and is well on its way to transforming health for all humanity. However, a stark reality presents itself when examining who is developing digital health ventures and where venture investment dollars are flowing.
By the numbers
Rock Health’s Diversity in Digital Health survey and report found that though there is a diverse group of founders developing digital health innovations—of 253 digital health founders, 46% self-identified as white, 25% identified as Asian, 11% identified as Black, 6% identified as Latinx, and 1% identified as multiracial. Meanwhile, 55% of survey respondents identified as men, and 45% identified as women. There is unequal access for these founders to receive venture-backed investment.
When disaggregated by founder race/ethnicity, funding-related data showed that:
- Among white-identifying founders (n=117), 55% were venture-backed, 16% were angel-backed, 23% boot-strapped, and 6% leveraged other capital forms.
- Among Asian-identifying founders (n=63), 63% were venture-backed, 10% were angel-backed, 22% boot-strapped, and 5% leveraged other capital forms.
- Among Latinx-identifying founders (n=14), 43% were venture-backed, 21% were angel-backed, 21% boot-strapped, and 14% leveraged other capital forms.
- Among Black-identifying founders (n=29), 24% were venture-backed, 17% were angel-backed, 41% boot-strapped, and 17% leveraged other capital forms.
When disaggregated by founder gender, funding-related data showed that:
- Among men founders (n=141), 62% were venture-backed, 18% were angel-backed, 14% boot-strapped, and 6% leveraged other capital forms.
- Among women founders (n=104), 40% were venture-backed, 13% were angel-backed, 38% boot-strapped, and 8% leveraged other capital forms.
When considering these facts within the context of digital health, we must ask—what is the lost opportunity to all of us if we don’t meaningfully support a diverse pool of entrepreneurs addressing our most pressing health concerns? And what is the opportunity if we do?
The Equitable Investments Initiative works with digital health leaders—including digital health innovators, venture investors, impact-oriented funders, advisors, physicians, and tech executives—to increase the flow of investment resources to underrepresented and underfunded digital health (UUDH) innovators, specifically women+ innovators and innovators of color.
elevate the challenges that UUDH innovators face when attracting venture investment resources
amplify the impact and work of UUDH innovators
catalyze increased investment interest in UUDH innovators
dismantle barriers that hinder scaled innovation by UUDH innovators.
shift narratives about investing in the power and potential of their innovations.
expand the flow of investment resources across the digital health landscape—including financial capital, strategic support, and broader network access.
RockHealth.org’s inaugural report—Reimagining Opportunity and Innovation in Digital Health—highlights the barriers that underrepresented and underinvested digital health innovators face when attracting investment resources and the lost opportunity associated with their undercapitalization. Check out insights, innovator spotlights, and opportunities for change from that report here.