Hear from our Alumni! Amy Roberts from Healthy Bytes

Amy Roberts, founder and CEO of Healthy Bytes joined Jumpstart back in 2016. Hear from her on why she chose Jumpstart Foundry as an investor, what has been the most valuable outcome of the partnership, and how Jumpstart helped her company grow. Full interview is in the link below:

“By far and away it was your deep healthcare knowledge and network Jumpstart was able to provide for us. Because we had gone through an accelerator previously, we had some connections but in reality, we just had a new company.... we were at a place where we could grow and we needed an investor partner who would be able to help us really see that growth potential. What Jumpstart was able to offer really aligned with our goals." 

Amy Roberts - Founder and CEO of Healthy Bytes

Amy Roberts - Founder and CEO of Healthy Bytes

Why you should jump on the Blockchain train...


Blockchain isn’t market ready yet.

That’s why you should start innovating with it now.

The VC business is about identifying brilliant people to translate disruptive technology into products that impact the world.  This occurs in three phases:

  1. approaching-science-fiction

  2. applied science

  3. business utility

Every few years a novel, disruptive technology or invention presents incredible potential to deliver 100X value to customers.  Some examples over the last 30 years include: microprocessor, gene sequencing, the Internet and wireless data transmission.  These inventions are disruptive in the sense that they completely change the competitive landscape and crush barriers to competition erected by large, established corporations.  The new products enabled by these technologies deliver features and value so vastly different from the status quo that products assembled before the tech aren’t even valid competition.  Literally, the world is not the same once these technologies are commercialized and brought to market

However, these new technologies require new ways of thinking and new vocabulary to describe them.  Entrepreneurs must understand the technology and envision how it can be used to deliver value to customers.  If the tech doesn’t make your head hurt while scaring and thrilling you… it probably isn’t a truly disruptive technology.

Blockchain, scary and thrilling at the same time, is a truly disruptive technology.  

Five years from now, our society will look back on 2018 as the year blockchain technology “broke out” and began to change the world.  Of course, there are challenges in translating blockchain technology into valuable products, but do not think for a moment that will stop the disruption.    All novel disruptive technology is clunky, slow and fraught with challenges while it is translated from almost-science-fiction to applied science and ultimately into business utility.  If you are as old as I am, you remember your first internet modem… 14.4 bps over the existing phone lines.  Hard to imagine today.  Still it was vastly better to look up information on the old baud modem than driving down to your local library and using a card catalog to find the necessary book.

Jump in now:

Blockchain is in this emerging, translation process – it’s not yet fully commercialized.  So, if you are looking for market-ready products – sorry.   You’ll have to wait 12-18 months at least.  BUT, if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, now is the time.  Jump in and help the rest of us create the future.  Yes, there are others in the space, but this is the opportunity of our times.  There are plenty of established industries to massively disrupt.    

Learn about smart contracts, hashing, and DAOs and DAPPs.  It will stretch your brain, but that isn’t a bad thing.  In fact, brain-stretching is the first step.  Then, the second step is to allow customer needs to inspire you.  Envision how you can combine this new technology to deliver 100X better products and services to customers.  Slightly better products are not worth the effort – Blockchain should be harnessed to deliver incredible benefit to whatever market you choose to delight.   

Photo by  William Bout  on  Unsplash

Photo by William Bout on Unsplash

Our focus – Health:

The Healthcare industry is sick.  We all know it.  Incentives are misaligned. Care decisions are made far away from the actual patient. Chronic disease is bringing pain and suffering to over 100 Million Americans daily.  Cost is out of control and the US is losing ground in terms of health outcomes.  Forty-eight other countries across the globe have longer life expectancy and higher health quality scores than we do.  

Americans want to be #1 in everything… well in healthcare we spend the most money to barely squeeze into the top 50.  The establishment doesn’t seem to have any answers.  Large, inefficient bureaucracies are trying to solve the issue by merging and creating bigger, more dysfunctional corporations.  This may be profitable for Wall Street and the executives, but it won’t help any real people, or our economy.

Four years ago, Jumpstart “jumped in” to tackle these issues.  We believe health is a human right.  Furthermore, we are optimistic that innovation will dramatically improve outcomes AND reduce costs for everyone. We believe we can Make Something Better. We are the most active venture fund in health innovation in the US.  We have made 48 health investments from across the country.  We also collect more data and catalog more inventors, entrepreneurs and start-ups than anyone, and we plan to make 18-25 additional early-stage investments next year.

What we’re doing and how you can join:

Jumpstart has been actively investing in blockchain healthcare entrepreneurs.  We understand the power of the ICO market know just how hugely beneficial non-dilutive capital can be. However, we also believe that USD can be valuable in the early phases of launching a new business.  We look for “all of the above” solutions in health.  From this point of view, Jumpstart made one blockchain investment in 2016.  This grew to two investments in 2017. We plan to make 4-8 new investments in 2018.  It will be fun (and profitable) to be a part of blockchain emerging into the mainstream.

Jumpstart is focused on translating innovation to the health market to drive better outcomes at lower prices.  Join us.  Bring blockchain to the masses to improve health for our society.  Or find another market that inspires you.  Either way, wake up and learn about the power of blockchain technology.  It will change your worldview and help you make a positive impact on society.  

By Vic Gatto, CEO and Co-founder of Jumpstart Foundry

The X-Factor

by Daniel Oppong, Talent Director

If you’re a startup founder, you’re probably used to the multi-tasking and context switching that comes with the gig.  One minute you’re operating as the CEO, COO, and / or CFO, and the next, you’re focused on product development, customer acquisition strategy and customer success.   Let’s not forget the energy - or at least what’s left of it - that you’re focusing on fundraising and meeting payroll, all while being available for the inevitable fire drill that could pop up at anytime.  Sound familiar?  

The life of a Founder is a busy one, filled with long days, late nights and plenty of priority juggling.  With all of the seemingly competing responsibilities, it’s easy for founders to de-prioritize what we believe at Jumpstart is the secret sauce, and that is Your Culture & Your People.


Photo by  rawpixel.com  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash


If I’ve learned anything in my time working with startups in the Jumpstart ecosystem, it’s this: you can get a lot of things right, but if you get your people and your culture wrong, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not going to make it.

At Jumpstart, we believe two things:

  1. All things being equal, talent and culture are the X-factor

  2. You can’t build a great company without great people

These ideals are so central to our value system that we’ve designed our company, our culture and our services around them.  Not only will we give you money ($$$cha-ching!), but we’ll collaborate with you on your organizational design (which is basically just a fancy way of saying “how your organization is set up”),  we’ll identify the right strategic advisors that align with your current stage and future growth goals, and we’ll strategize with you on how to create a culture that attracts and retains top talent.  Sure, having a great product is cool, but having a kick-ass culture with kick-ass people is magic.

Your culture matters to us and it should matter to you, too. Call me biased, but I’m of the opinion that of all the things that make Jumpstart an ideal partner for your startup, this one should be at the top of the list.

The Future of Healthcare



As healthcare innovators, I'm sure that you're all constantly thinking about the ever evolving landscape of the industry in the U.S. That's why I wanted to share a great piece from one of our partners, Dave Vreeland, Managing Director of Jumpstart Capital. He recently published an article on the U.S. healthcare industry and the ways in which it’s ripe for innovation. In this 3-part post, he offers a comprehensive view of U.S. healthcare - highlighting the fact that this country spends significantly more on healthcare than others without outcomes to justify the costs. As Dave puts it:

Shockingly, the U.S., perhaps the most advanced economy and the world’s only superpower, is one of the least healthy countries in any list of peers, with nearly half of our population suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, the symptoms of which include “heart disease, strokes, diabetic retinopathy which can result in blindness, kidney failure, and poor blood flow in the limbs which may lead to amputations.”[4]

After establishing the problems that exist with both outcomes and ever increasing spend, Dave discusses some of the ways in which he can see the industry adapting to overcome these challenges. Most notably, he wraps up by offering a peek at his view of the type of company that could lead us into the future of healthcare. Read a few of his thoughts below:

A Great New Healthcare Technology Company

“As a thought experiment it seems to me that this business would require a large, cash rich firm the likes of Amazon, Walmart or Google; with a retail orientation and big technology skill base. You’d start with a couple billion dollars and build a mobile app that’s fully encrypted and HIPAA compliant. Patients/customers would be able to use a single visit for free, but would then be required to sign up for a quarterly or annual subscription for primary care services at a reasonable amount - $50/person/month. For this the person would get unlimited consultations with a nurse or mid-level provider, and a physician if necessary.

The business would own no offices or facilities, however to make it work the financial backer would probably have to buy a national mail order pharmacy and negotiate prices with the pharma manufacturers to ensure that the prescribed meds were available at a reasonable price. Obviously the Amazons of the world already have the logistics expertise, infrastructure and subcontracts in place to get items to patients’ homes quickly so this is a prerequisite as well.

Taking the thought experiment to the next logical phases isn’t hard. Over time this business builds a large enough base of customers to eliminate insurance companies for primary care. Extensive agreements with service providers like specialists, hospitals, surgery centers and imaging centers aren’t a stretch to imagine and the concept of scale enables this company to command substantially large discounts, taking the costs of healthcare for their customers down substantially.

As this company’s customer base grows from ten million to one hundred million (a third of the U.S. population), think about the possibilities for totally reordering the healthcare economy in our country. Hundreds of smaller companies who are ahead of the curve on this vision will be started; some of which will get acquired along the way. Several new “healthcare platforms” will come out of this new trend. May sound far-fetched but it happened in a half dozen other industries and companies that most you can rattle off of the top of your heads. And so on.”

Whether you agree with Dave or not, everyone seems to agree that there is a lot of room for improvement. I highly recommend checking out the entire article, which provides much more depth!

Are you making healthcare better? Tell us how! Apply today for funding from Jumpstart Foundry.


To learn more, check out the original posts: 

David Vreeland’s Recent Posts


How a Pedicure Prevented a Foot Amputation: Belle

Portfolio Highlight: Belle

The Company: Armand Lauzon, CEO of Belle, joined the JSF portfolio in 2017. Following Jumpstart Foundry’s investment and with the team’s guidance, Belle pivoted from an on-demand beauty company to a in-home nail service after witnessing seniors and their families using Belle’s nail services as a preventive care measure.

The Problem: Self foot care frequently becomes impossible for those aging and less flexible leading to diabetic foot ulcers and foot amputations -costing the United States up to $39B each year. Foot amputations are a immense cost outlier to our health system with one amputation costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Intervention: A nail technician was able to recognize an out-of-the-ordinary condition with her client during a preventative pedicure. This was able to prevent a major amputation— saving $100,000!


One pedicure prevented a foot amputation. As Belle continues to grow, Jumpstart looks forward to seeing many more ‘wins’ for Belle.

Are you looking to partner to grow your early-stage company? Apply today!