Today's Entrepreneur: Ann Garnier

Kristin Karaoglu · May 20, 2019 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4e01

You need to build a strong team of people who complement you and are more talented than you are

Today's Entrepreneur is Ann Garnier, founder, and CEO of Lisa Health. Lisa Health fuses clinical and behavioral research, women’s health experts, and the latest technology to create simple, impactful web and mobile well-being programs for midlife women.

Ann is a seasoned healthcare leader, helping to create, launch, and scale innovative tech companies and products that have improved patient outcomes and access to care.

At Lisa Health, Ann leads the team to enhance the well-being of midlife women. She is passionate about women’s health and advancing research beyond pregnancy and fertility to reduce the serious and costly health risks that women face as they age and help them celebrate the start of something great.

Prior to Lisa Health, Ann was COO at CarePayment, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Operations at RelayHealth (McKesson), and Vice President, Strategy and Marketing for Paradigm Health (Alere/Optum). Ann sits on the advisory boards for FemTech Collective and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Bay Area chapter is a CSweetener mentor, and an ambassador for AnnieCannons.

Ann has a BA degree in Communications with a minor in Business Administration from California State University - Fullerton. She also attended executive programs at Stanford University on Marketing Management and Strategy and Organization.


Companies I’ve founded or co-founded

I founded Lisa Health about eighteen months ago to tackle the taboo topic of menopause as well as midlife women’s health. We’ve created the first modern digital guide to menopause and midlife health. Using artificial intelligence and virtual coaching, we help women successfully navigate midlife health challenges and menopause through personalized science and expert-backed lifestyle actions, curated resources and products, education, and community. We meet women where they’re at, empowering them to take control of their health, break through the stigma of menopause, and celebrate the best chapter of their life.

In addition to starting a company focused on lifting women and helping them thrive, I am on the advisory boards for the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association San Francisco chapter, a global organization helping advance the careers of women in healthcare, and FemTech Collective, a trade organization connecting the rapidly growing female technology ecosystem. I am also a mentor for CSweetener, a non-profit that helps women in healthcare ascend to the C-Suite and an ambassador for AnnieCannons, a non-profit that teaches women who were formerly human trafficked or sexually abused how to code.


Companies I’ve worked for:

I’ve worked in femtech and healthcare technology and services my entire career as an entrepreneur, executive, and advisor. A few of the companies I’ve worked for include RelayHealth and Paradigm Health. I was part of the founding team of RelayHealth and was Senior Vice President, marketing and operations. We created the first online patient-physician communication platform and the WebVisit. RelayHealth was acquired by McKesson. I was also a member of the founding team of Paradigm Health and was Vice President, Strategy and Marketing. Paradigm was an early pioneer in predictive analytics for health outcomes and cost and developed new models for complex care management. Paradigm is now part of Alere, which was acquired by Optum.

If you are an entrepreneur, why?

I want to change the world! There has never been a more exciting time to be in healthcare. With the rapid developments in technology, we are moving the needle more quickly on solving problems. On the digital front, it is incredibly rewarding to develop technology that empowers people to take charge of their health and improve their well-being. I am especially proud to be part of the burgeoning FemTech community, and not only helping to solve longstanding women’s health problems, but also helping remove the shame and stigma surrounding many areas of women’s health.


Why did you start your current company?

After spending my entire career helping other people start and grow companies I figured it was time for me to start my own. At the same time, I found my passion in improving health outcomes for midlife women, and eliminating the shame and silence associated with menopause and make midlife women visible. Midlife women are an under-researched and underserved segment in healthcare, yet we are so vital to the family, workplace, and society. There are about 53 million non-elderly women in perimenopause and postmenopause in the U.S. alone. We are the chief healthcare decision maker, backbone of the family and workplace, and the world’s most powerful consumer. It’s time midlife women get the attention they deserve.


What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

I like to move very fast, and the pace of entrepreneurship and innovation in healthcare can be slower than I like, especially when you are a startup with limited resources and working on something new.

Entrepreneurship and innovation can be enormously rewarding. For me, working with a blank canvas to solve tough healthcare problems is intensely creative and rewarding. When you are an entrepreneur you are taking a lot of risks and I love the thrill of working without a net.


What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

That’s a tough one. We all make mistakes, even experienced entrepreneurs like me. It’s inevitable when you are doing pioneering work and taking risks. If I were to pick only one mistake, it would be that entrepreneurs who have never raised money don’t usually have a network to rely on and don’t spend enough time creating that network before they need to raise money.


What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

You have to get very comfortable with asking people for help and being sincere in expressing your gratitude for that help. You have to get used to putting yourself out there and into situations that you may not be comfortable in, especially if your true nature is being an introvert like me. You need to build a strong team of people who complement you and are more talented than you are, and nurture them and your culture.

Why aren’t more women founders getting venture capital in healthcare?

I am hopeful that the tides are turning and investors are increasingly seeing the value of investing in female founded and led companies. I would also love to see more funding going toward companies solving problems that affect women’s health and overall well-being.

 

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Kristin Karaoglu

Woman of many skills: Database System Engineer; SplashX event producer; Author of Startup Teams

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Ann Garnier

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Founder and CEO at Lisa Health