Dr. Kyle Hoedebecke is a Certified Physician Executive with nearly 20 years of leadership experience.
Within healthcare, he served in many leadership roles across the clinical, insurance, bio-pharma, and military sectors.
As an executive advisor and coach, he work with small/medium-sized business of all sectors.
In the startup community, he serve as a mentor and angel investor with a focus in healthcare technology, wearables, AI, AR/VR, 3D printing, energy, IoT, and bio-pharma spaces. He currently serve in advisory roles and angel investor in 40+ startups and am always looking for the next win-win situation!
In the following interview, Dr Kyle talks about his entrepreneurial & angel investor’s journey, struggles and the lessons learned along the journey.
You are a doctor, can you please tell us about your life journey?
I started off in the military, where I also received my medical education and Board Certification as a Family Physician. I did 10 years of clinical medicine (seeing patients) as well as serve as an assistant professor teaching medical students. I transitioned to a leadership role in the insurance/payor sector of the US healthcare system.
I’ve had the opportunity to employ my knowledge and skills in healthcare systems in 120+ countries and now in the startup environment as well.
When did you first discover your angel investor spirit and how it is giving feedback from life?
I have invested in real estate for 15+ years and dove into angel investing during the past 3-4 years. I really see this as an opportunity to remain on the cutting edge of innovation while simultaneously making the world a better place.
What has been the biggest success and biggest failure stories you went through?
My biggest success would be my current company Oscar Health going public 3 weeks ago. The IPO process has been a great success and will help us continue to improve the healthcare system. As there are high levels of risk involved with angel investing, my biggest failure would be from companies that have failed.
Tell us about your latest endeavor.
I have several ongoing endeavors currently. I am excited about one startup called Covimro – who has a natural molecule that has been shown effective against COVID-19 and HIV viruses. Another is called HECOLL, which has created a biodegradable fabric that also protects against COVID-19, smog (pollution), and UV light.
How did you get involved with Angel investing?
I first joined a startup accelerator/incubator as a physician mentor. I then found many amazing startups and founders who I mentored wanted me to join as a formal advisor as well. I find being an advisor and an angel investor is a nice fit where possible.
What do you look for in a startup as you evaluate it for a potential investment? I look for the “3 Ts” – team, tech, and traction.
How does someone get you excited and willing to commit?
The stronger the 3 Ts – the more excited I get. There needs to be a good balance in all 3 areas.
Besides providing capital, what additional support do you offer as an Angel investor?
I am also available for advisor roles in the right situations. My situation is unique because I have the clinical background as a board certified physician, but I also bring a strong business pedigree with 4 Master degrees. I have a background in various sectors within medicine across 5 continents and speak 4 languages.
My specialties are AI, wearables, medical devices, SaaS, 3D printing, and AR/VR.
What are the red flags for an angel investor?
There are several! Some common ones include poor/incomplete business plans, aiming for a market that is too small, no way to protect against copy-cats (i.e. a patent, trade secret, or trademark), and excessive debt.
In your opinion, what are the hurdles that keep people away from starting an entrepreneurial career?
These include fear of failure, not believing in oneself, and lack of mentorship.
What advice would you give to the new angel investors?
Check out crowd funding angel investor sites like StartEngine and Republic. Build your network of more seasoned angel investors for deal flow and mentorship. Never invest in startups more than you are willing to lose (ie If you lost ALL your money in a single investment, would you still be able to survive?).
Like the stock market, also diversify your angel investing portfolio. Lastly, do your research and due diligence!