Rebecca is an Investment Principal at Yamaha Motors Ventures where she focuses on Health Tech investments and working with our portfolio companies to accelerate their business. Previously she was a Venture Partner at 500 Startups, focusing on health tech and has led 40+ investments in companies that span digital health, insurance, care delivery, Pharma, and therapeutics, among others. Prior to that, she founded Cake Health (acquired in 2015), to help individuals track and manage their healthcare expenses, and was a TechCrunch DISRUPT finalist.
Rebecca is recognized as one of 70 Digital Leaders by the United Nations, and has also been an advisor to the White House on health data standards for patient access during the Obama administration.
C. Light Technologies
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"We can do hard things." ― the late Marilynn Woodcock
What do you look for the most in early-stage startups?
The most important thing about an early stage company is the team. What gives them their unfair advantage? Is it their background? Is it their technology knowledge? Is it their network or customer acquisition experience? Ideas may change, but a great team will figure out how to make a great company.
I am drawn to companies that are making data and AI useful enough and smart enough to make decisions for us. In 2011, I launched a startup that was using machine learning to mine data from the insurance companies and normalize it to give to the end user. It was not very scalable at the time, however in 2012 I joined the White House CTO as an advisor to set data standards in the US for health data. The infrastructure has come a long way, but now we have a plethora of new data sources from sensors and wearables which has not been made "useful". Interoperability and data standardization is still a challenge for many industries, especially ones like healthcare, but I’m convinced it will get there.
What do you love to do outside of work?
As a new mom, trying to make my little girl laugh has become my number one activity. Aside from that, I have been “biohacking” for decades trying to extend my healthspan as well as my lifespan, to uncertain decgrees of success. In my spare time, I try to keep up with my husband’s kiteboarding (he’s training for the Olympics).