Your Podsite trial is ending soon. Put the final touches on it with our tips on how to make a great podcast website.

Claim your custom domain name todayClaim your domain

S6: #053: Fred Toney of Launchpad Digital Health in San Francisco

37 minutes

2017 was a banner year in digital health on multiple levels, and one key metric is investment in digital health companies. Startup Health reported $11.5 billion in investments in digital health startups in 2017, topping 2016’s record of $8 billion. Series A funding grew it’s share of overall funding for the third year in a row; it is now 36 percent of the total funding in digital health. While seed funding has grown in terms of real dollars, it’s share of the funding pie has continued to decline since 2015, but it still makes up 29 percent of the total funding. See the full report from Startup Health below.

Seed funding plays a key role in developing the companies, leaders and innovations that are needed to transform health and wellness. We spoke with Fred Toney to learn more about how his company is leading and succeeding in this challenging and dynamic market. Fred is the CEO & Co-Founder of Launchpad Digital Health, which is the most active institutional lead investor in digital health at the seed stage in the U.S. He has more than 20 years of financial and executive management in the digital health, medical, life sciences and financial sectors. He’s served in executive and Board capacities for 30 public and private companies, and he’s founded, funded, managed and sold numerous companies. Fred is currently a board member or board observer for over 20 digital health companies.

Fred and I recorded this interview over the holidays so we didn’t have the full 2017 numbers to discuss, but we covered some of the tips for companies looking for seed funding, some of the areas they focus on at Launchpad Digital Health, and the success they’ve had in identifying and supporting female-led startups. He’s also shared some information about their Ground Zero program – which you can download below. Enjoy!

Episode Download:

Information about LDH's "Ground Zero" Program

Today's Topics:

  • What companies should achieve before raising a seed round
  • How the Ground Zero program can help startup companies succeed
  • Why Launchpad Digital Health is investing in female-led startups
  • How children and young adults are being affected by technology, and how they can help preserve and restore mental health

About Launchpad Digital Health:

  • 2014 – 2017, 3+ year journey thus far
  • 1,000+ companies screened, fifth cohort, one every 9-12 most
  • 28 funded startups (including current group underway), led seed round, highly selective, + follow-ons
  • Most active seed investor in the U.S. in digital health deals
  • 80-90% already received outside follow on funding, avg. 3x step-up
  • Many are already strong M&A candidates (~50%)
  • 50 Advisory Board members

Launchpad Digital Health Portfolio Companies:

* Indicates companies with female CEO's

Links and Resources Mentioned:

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

More episodes from Digital Health Today 360 with Dan Kendall

S11: #110 Introducing the Host of the New Asia Pacific Edition: Tony Estrella

"In this episode, I'm excited to introduce you to yet another outstanding health innovation leader who is hosting another new show on Digital Health Today. His degrees are in engineering …

S11: #109 Introducing the Host of the new Digital Therapeutics Podcast: Eugene Borukhovich

In this episode, I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of the health sectors leading innovators, and probably one of the best known and, dare I say it, most loved, leaders I’ve had …

Coffee Talk: How Corporations Adapt in the Face of New Challenges

In this episode I welcome two executives from Bayer G4A. Bayer G4A has been a longtime sponsor of Digital Health Today. I caught up with Dominick Kennerson, Global Head G4A, Digital Health …

Coffee Talk: How Digital Health Startups Respond and Thrive in a Global Pandemic

Imagine this: You’re the founder of a digital health startup. You’ve been carefully selected and invited to participate in a brand new accelerator in …

S11: #108 - What the Clearance of Akili's EndeavorRX Means for the Company, Users and the Industry

If you’ve been tuned into nearly any news channel recently, you’ve probably seen the announcement by Akili about the clearance they announced on June 15 for their product EndeavorRX. It is …

Coffee Talk: How Innovative Companies can Partner with a Global Pharma Brand

For this special Coffee Talk, I invited Sophie Park, Chief Strategist for Bayer G4A Partnerships to discuss the opportunities for innovative companies to grow and partner with a global …

How you can listen to this podcast

You can listen to episodes right here on the website, or if you prefer, in a podcast app. Listening in an app makes it easier to keep track of what you’ve already heard, listen without using your data plan and many other conveniences.

Recommended apps
Start listening to S11: #110 Introducing the Host of the New Asia Pacific Edition: Tony Estrella
Start listening to S11: #110 Introducing the Host of the New Asia Pacific Edition: Tony Estrella