Meet Grapefruit Health
Grapefruit Health, founded by Eric Alvarez, is the latest edition to The Fund Midwest portfolio. We're stoked to have them in the community!
I met Eric Alvarez through our General Partner in Chicago, Jennifer Fried, a HealthTech Founder/CEO and Venture Partner at Portfolia.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned my founder Spidey-Sense before, right?
So, for as long as I’ve been mentoring and advising, I’ve always been able to spot the founders who will do whatever it takes to get their startup off the ground and make it a success. Hoping this translates well in VC🤞
Anyway, my Spidey-Sense went off as soon as I met Eric, so I wanted to introduce you.
Here’s Eric Alvarez, talking about his company, Grapefruit Health.
There’s some great advice and insights here!
“The US healthcare system is going to be short 3.2M workers by the year 2026.
At Grapefruit Health, we’re addressing this massive staffing shortage by creating the first and only healthcare workforce, composed completely of clinical students.
A clinical student is anyone pursuing clinical education, from Medical Assistants, and Medical Doctors.
Grapefruit Health works primarily with nursing, social work, and pharmacy students. We recruit and train these students to perform work remotely one behalf of healthcare organizations through our HIPAA-compliant software system. Once trained and working, we manage them.
Today, we’re performing programs such as Diabetes Prevention Enrollment, Medication Adherence, Health-risk Assessments, Senior Isolation and Lonliness, and much more.”
“Our first fulltime employees are a Junior Full Stack Engineer and a Director of Clinical Services.
We tried tapping our networks, AngelList, LinkedIn, and several different communities with Slack channels. Ultimately, it was LinkedIn that wound up being best for us for both applicants.
It was a huge challenge finding the absolute best to join our early team.
Between the two roles, we had well over 500 applicants to review and process, which was difficult to balance. We couldn’t be happier with how it all came together, thanks to lots of luck and hard work.”
“Since it’s still so early, our fuck ups have been limited so far, but we know there’s going to be a significant amount of fucking up along the way.
I think our biggest one to date was our strategy/approach to fundraising originally. We set the strategy in the beginning of this year (2022) and did’t adjust at all when startup investing took a huge dump.
We wasted probably 30+ early investor meetings that could have been great fits for us — had we approached them differently.
If we could go back and unfuck up what we fucked up, we would have lowered our post-money cap goal earlier than we did and raise less money for a true super early pre-seed round.
Another option would have been to just raise a tiny bit of capital and then wait until we got to revenue before going out to raise.
I don’t think I would be exaggerating to say that we were 10X less efficient in the process than we could have been.”
“We all want to move really fast. The most overused advice is that ‘startups aren’t a sprint … they’re a marathon.’ I’d modify it to say:
‘Startups are marathons run by people who run 4:50 min miles!’
Your limbs and lungs are burning the entire time and you’re giving it as much as you can at a pace that will allow you to finish the entire race. All it takes is everything you got.
My advice is to do all of that, but to also say this affirmation each morning: ‘I choose to be patient and trust the process.’
All you can control is working hard and smart. You have to give the rest time to shape itself (ie. waiting on response from investor, getting a MVP built, etc.).”
“Sales. It comes very natural to me and I feel like a sales-first mentality has always been part of who I am.”
“ Since it’s so early, it would be great to connect with as many people on LinkedIn and brining awareness to what we are working on.”
That said, connect with Eric! And side note: There may be a little room left in the round. Just sayin’.
Big thank you to Eric Alvarez for sharing! I can’t wait to follow the journey.
Until next time,
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