5 Questions with Matt Kozlov, Managing Director of Techstars Healthcare sponsored by Cedars-Sinai, Point32Health, UCI Health, and UnitedHealthcare

Sep 06, 2022

Matt is the Managing Director of Techstars Healthcare sponsored by Cedars-Sinai, Point32Health, UCI Health, and UnitedHealthcare, Techstars Los Angeles powered by J.P. Morgan, and Techstars Space. He has invested in over 80 rapidly growing deep tech, healthcare, B2B, and ecommerce companies. Graduates include: OrbitFab, Morpheus Space, Pixxel, Tasso Inc., AppliedVR, Deep6 AI, WELL Health, Silversheet (acquired by AMN Healthcare) and NarrativeDX (acquired by Press Ganey). Prior to joining Techstars Matt was the Head of Corporate Development at Telesign, a leading antifraud firm and one of LA’s fastest growing technology companies (acquired by BICS). Previously he was CEO of Moonshark, a venture backed by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and Qualcomm bringing to market original mobile entertainment. He has also worked at Sony Music Entertainment (VP, Web & Mobile Products), Yahoo! (corporate strategy, product development) and Bain and Company (management consulting). He graduated from Harvard, where he studied economics.

01. What are you looking for in startups for the Techstars Healthcare sponsored by Cedars-Sinai, Point32Health, UCI Health, and UnitedHealthcare accelerator?

We are fortunate to be working with four of the top innovators in healthcare, especially from within the payor and provider sectors. Accordingly, we’re looking for companies who can help solve some of their biggest challenges as they seek to improve access, quality and efficiency of delivering healthcare at scale.  Examples of topics we’re interested in include but are not limited to: women’s health, social determinants of health, physician efficiency, clinical trial innovation, mental health, patient experience, payment and billing innovation, digital therapeutics, pediatric care, and beyond.  Most importantly, though, I’m looking for remarkably passionate founders who are deeply committed to the problem they’re solving and who are excellent at asking for and receiving help, mentorship, and feedback.

02. What are some of the biggest learnings from your career and entrepreneurial journey that you bring to being a Techstars Managing Director?

A+ teams can adapt their business and find a path forward even in the grimmest of times. Grit, passion, commitment, and creativity are essential qualities in a founding team. I also believe that when a hospital or payor engages with a startup in the right way, magic can happen. Product/market fit and scale can accelerate dramatically. A successful implementation with an important customer can have an unexpectedly large impact on a company’s sales pipeline and investor interest.

03. What is your favorite thing about the Los Angeles startup and healthcare scene?

I love LA. Our city is a vibrant, beautiful, rapidly changing, multicultural, multi-industry community. I believe fervently in its value as a region not only rich with incredible investment opportunities, but also as a city that can attract and nurture companies not yet here.

We are a community of wildly diverse startups run by diverse, passionate, creative, and highly technical teams. To put LA into perspective, if the Greater LA region were a state, we’d have a higher population than 46 states! We are a melting pot of cultures, and our culture as a city reflects that (art, literature, cuisine, TV, film, music…). 

As a healthcare hub, we are home to many of the top hospitals in the world (Cedars-Sinai, UCLA, UCI Health, City of Hope, CHLA, CHOC), and we have phenomenal access to tech talent and venture capital. And the Techstars community here is large and growing, with over 200 companies who have graduated from our LA programs and another 70 alums from other programs who reside here.

04. What do Cedars-Sinai, Point32Health, UCI Health, and UnitedHealthcare bring to the accelerator?

Each organization in this program brings an immensely valuable viewpoint and set of resources to our startups.  

Cedars-Sinai is a nationally ranked, large, and complicated academic health system that embraces change and innovation. They’ve successfully implemented solutions from dozens of startups that they have mentored and invested in and bring deep expertise from across their entire organization including clinicians, administrators and IT teams.

UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurance company, is a Fortune 10 organization serving more than 50 Million patients and contracts directly with more than 1.5 million physicians and care professionals, and more than 6,700 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Through our program, UnitedHealthcare brings subject matter experts and senior executives to act as mentors. They also actively make introductions on behalf of startups to internal leaders throughout their company along with contacts at strategic partners. Through our program, UnitedHealthcare is committed to creating enduring partnerships and driving transformation in health care.

Point32Health is a leading health and wellbeing organization, delivering an even-better health care experience to everyone in their communities. Building on the quality, nonprofit heritage of their founding organizations, Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, they work to guide and empower people by bringing together wide-ranging partners and perspectives to create new approaches that make a real difference for their community, their industry and their 2.2 million members across New England. Their leadership is deeply dedicated to innovation and are committed to sharing learnings, making connections, and building relationships with the startups in this program.

UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine. As Orange County’s only academic health system, UCI Health reflects the resources, discovery and innovation of a world-class public research institution. It is committed to providing founders with honest feedback about products and their fit with internal operations and/or care delivery services. For startups addressing healthcare delivery, UCI Health experts can help founders validate their solution in a real-world environment.

05. What does Give First mean to you and how do you apply it in your work and life?

I first learned about “Give First” as a mentor for the Techstars Disney program in 2014 and have been mentoring as many Techstars programs as possible ever since. I also mentor startups participating in some pretty fantastic non-Techstars programs as well (like KidsX and Patriot Bootcamp). Having worked across a variety of industries (entertainment, mobile gaming, cybersecurity, healthcare, aerospace) I’ve met some truly wonderful, interesting and accomplished people, and whenever I meet a great founder I can usually come up with a handful of introductions that can really move the needle for the company. I also love helping companies refine their product and go-to-market strategies and think critically about their own business. Frankly, I’m one of the luckiest people in the world in that I get to basically #GiveFirst for a living!