MATTER adds seasoned entrepreneurs as venture acceleration fellows to help member companies grow

Over the last five years, we have cultivated a community of executives, entrepreneurs and subject matter experts who help our member companies grow their businesses. Through our extensive programming, we help our members with all aspects of envisioning and building a business — from the moment they have a minimum viable product to when they’re ready to scale.

Our offerings are ever-evolving, and to better support our startups and supplement our venture acceleration team, we’re introducing a new role to the MATTER team. Meet our newest venture acceleration fellows, Larry Schor and Devin Gross.

Venture acceleration fellows are seasoned entrepreneurs and healthcare leaders that support the core VA team by advising MATTER member companies through Deep Dives: Focused, one-on-one sessions to dig into each member company’s key business imperatives from business strategy, to raising capital, to customer acquisition.

Devin and Larry have decades of experience building and scaling healthcare businesses. As part of our team, they will use their extensive experience to help our member companies achieve greater successes, faster.

Learn more about Larry and Devin’s experience, their advice for startups and what they’re most excited to accomplish as members of the MATTER team below.

Devin Gross

Devin has 25 years of healthcare experience with expertise in organizational leadership, sales design and execution, healthcare technology and process redesign and improvement. He is a seasoned healthcare leader with a background spanning executive leadership roles in healthcare startups, private equity firms, and consulting. He has also successfully grown, led and sold multiple businesses.

What drew you to a career in healthcare?
“When I finished college, I was looking for a career where I could combine business with ‘doing good’. I met with a local hospital CEO near my hometown and he convinced me to get an MBA in healthcare administration. I ended up working at that hospital while I went to school and was hooked from my first day of work there.”

What’s your favorite part about working with startups?
“My passion is in working with early-stage healthcare companies and helping mentor teams as they grow their businesses. I love being part of the energy and passion of early-stage companies and helping to harness the excitement to accelerate growth.”

What’s the most important piece of advice you share with startups?
“It always takes twice as long and costs twice as much as expected.”

What area of innovation makes you most excited or optimistic about the future of healthcare?
“I think the healthcare system is beginning one of the most significant transformations we have seen. We need to continue to find new and more efficient ways of supporting the system and transforming both care delivery and financing of care. The innovation opportunities are limitless and it is impossible to pick just one area.”

Larry Schor

Larry is a digital health expert, healthcare IT strategist and new market developer with more than 25 years of experience accelerating growth and performance for ventures at all stages — from seed to scaling. He brings extensive market knowledge of analytics, clinical decision support, population health management and digital health solutions.

Over the next six months, Larry will exclusively work with companies selected through the Chicago Proactive Response COVID-19 initiative, a collaboration between MATTER, 1871 and mHUB to accelerate solutions that fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.

What drew you to a career in healthcare?
“I had a very early interest in medicine that led me to apply to medical school, but I found that I’d rather focus on the integrative whole person model rather than disease. That disillusionment with western medicine and a growing interest in health policy and politics (where I might make a larger impact) led me to graduate school in public health where I studied epidemiology and biostatistics.

“After working on a public health program for young moms in Massachusetts, I joined a startup, The Health Data Institute, which became one of the pioneering healthcare data analytics firms. That startup went on to become Caremark, which was the fastest growing company in history in the day — $100M in annual revenue in just 72 months. It was quite an experience!

“My bent for policy and analytics would lead me into business, sales and leadership roles where I discovered that I had a skill for strategy and a point of view about where healthcare was going. That strategic mindset and a talent for sales brought new opportunities in general management, operations and sales. About six years after that first programmer analyst position, I became the CEO of a competing healthcare data analytics company.”

What’s your favorite part about working with startups?
“I often share with founders that the best part of my role is to accelerate their success. I have deep respect and appreciation for the entrepreneur and know from experience what it takes to leave a well-paying job and set out to pursue an idea, to solve a problem.”

What’s the most important piece of advice you share with startups?
“I find that I consistently share three key points:

“First, assemble a balanced team with shared values around the work culture and the problem they want to solve — NOT the product they imagine building.

“Second, be empathic, self-aware and receptive to new data that you can use to iterate toward the winning product market fit.

“Third, choose the right early customers who share your values and goals. Getting this last one wrong is pretty common for first-time entrepreneurs who will sell to anyone that takes their call. The mismatch can destroy a young business or lead it in the wrong direction.”

What area of innovation makes you most excited or optimistic about the future of healthcare?
“I am more energized today than at any other time in my career because infrastructure advances, data science and digital technologies are converging at a rapid pace and offer the potential for that personalized consumer-first/integrative care/whole-person model I have envisioned for over 35 years. I look forward to seeing us replace the “sick care” model that has long been on the brink of economic collapse, and that has been underperforming for decades.”

Want to learn more about the opportunities available to MATTER startups? Learn more here or reach out directly to our venture acceleration manager, Courtney Zhu.