Today's entrepreneur: Heather Fernandez

Steven Loeb · June 27, 2019 · Short URL:

Find early employees and advisors that give you energy and believe

Today's entrepreneur is Heather Fernandez, founder and CEO of Solv, a company focused on transparency in healthcare.

Solv helps patients find immediate care locally, starting with urgent care centers. The company also shows the cost of each service, including if they've met their deductible, and what insurance will or will not cover, while also allowing them to get seen in nearby clinics same day.

The company has seen over 1.5 million same-day visits booked through the Solv platform, with over $36 million in medical bills saved by patients and over 46,000 hours saved by helping patients avoid the waiting room.

Solv has raised $23.1 million from investors that include Benchmark, Aspect Ventures and Greylock Partners. Members of its board of directors include Benchmark's Bill Gurley and Greylock Partners' James Slavet.

As Solv's CEO and co-founder, Fernandez brings more than a decade of executive management experience with leading consumer startups to the company. After experiencing firsthand how dramatically the real estate industry could be changed by creating a transparent and simple consumer experience, she founded Solv to transform healthcare for consumers.

Prior to Solv, she served as senior vice president and general manager of business services at Trulia, Inc., where she led advertising product, market and sales strategy, which accounted for nearly $200M in annual revenue, through its acquisition by Zillow (NASDAQ: ZG) in 2015. She currently serves on the Atlassian (NASDAQ: TEAM) board of directors and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Editor's note: Fernandez will be a speaker at Vator, HP and UCSF's salon - "Future of Clinics" is on June 27. Need relationships to grow your digital health startup? Register and network with fast-growing startups and established healthcare companies, such as HP, Dignity Health, Sutter Health, One Medical, Crossover Health and more. 

I am a(n):


Companies I've founded or co-founded:


My favorite startups:

WeCroak, Gixo, Marco Polo, Atlassian, Shopify

Why did you start your current company?

With Solv, I have the opportunity to build something that meaningfully changes peoples lives. Where my passion for shifting power to consumers and my ability to build consumer marketplaces intersected. It was too good an opportunity to pass up.

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

Frustrating - wanting to develop a perfect solution that solves and end to end problem...but recognizing the you need to get traction against a narrow problem first to earn the right to build further.

Rewarding - getting traction! Proof that you can make an impact and build a business.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Taking on too much cognitive load. For themselves and their teams.

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

Listen to the criticism (there will be lots), then make a call without regret. You can always change later.

Make entrepreneur friends. They will share in the small (seemingly insignificant) joys and understand your pain.

Find early employees and advisors that give you energy and believe.

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Something is working in healthcare today–convenient care. This year, roughly 170 million people in the U.S. will receive quality, same-day convenient care on their schedule and on their terms. They’ll visit an urgent care clinic in their neighborhood, walk into a retail clinic at the drugstore or speak with a doctor on a video call from the comfort of their homes.

What’s incredible is that convenient, high-quality healthcare is shifting consumer expectations–today, 3 out of 4 consumers will not choose a doctor who can’t see them within one week. This demand for a better day-to-day healthcare experience now accounts for nearly 20% of ambulatory visits per year. And, it’s causing much of the healthcare industry to take note.

Yet still, lack of transparent, clear information and common consumer technologies makes it nearly impossible for you to feel like you can make a simple or fully informed healthcare decision. Calling around to multiple offices, waiting months for an appointment, spending hours in a waiting room, and struggling to understand your insurance is still very much the norm.

That's where Solv comes in. We partner with high-quality providers across the country who share our goal of making access to high-quality convenient care simple, friendly and transparent for consumers, the way it should be. We equip them with technology that improves the quality of your service and the performance of their practice. For consumers, we get them in front of a provider in just a few taps, by helping them know where they can go, when they’ll be seen, and how much it will cost. We are building a world where we can all access healthcare that is convenient and affordable.


Heather Fernandez

Joined Vator on

Started career in DC - Capitol Hill, McCain2000 presidential. Cal undergrad. Start up life post Stanford business school. Built Trulia over 10 years. Founder/CEO Solv, working to make same day healthcare available. Mom of three (11, 8, 5).