It’s the right, simple, little changes that together, give us massive progress.
From interbank trading tech to real estate, and international microloans to American healthcare, I’ve applied a four-step philosophy to every strategic investment opportunity I’ve encountered:
Ignore the norm.
Find the holes.
Fix the problem. Spread the impact.
And I’ve got no plans to slow down. Here’s how it all started:
Two decades ago, I was an anonymous, penniless student on a beach in Ecuador with no ID and no way home, wondering what my next step would be after having everything in my possession stolen.
Less than a week later, I was Head of Sales at Datatec, S.A. With a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Oregon and 90 days of Spanish tutoring sponsored by Datatec, I went on to open offices for the interbank trading tech company in Bogotá, Colombia, and Santiago, Chile.
Returning stateside in 2001, I dove deep into real estate while living in Miami, learning the ropes in leadership positions with American Invesco and Newmark Knight Frank.
While at Newmark, a few friends and I formed Alterra Capital Group — my first business venture. Through Alterra, we raised money and bought hundreds of apartments at a time, in an effort to fix workforce housing throughout lower-income communities in the southeast. Nearly five years later, in 2009, I enjoyed the highest of highs and the lowest of lows: I married the love of my life, Lisa, while Alterra was forced to shut down as the real estate market collapsed.
It was during this time that I saw the need for corporate capital in the microfinance world, which sparked my second co-founded venture: EverGift. To date, we’ve accelerated the flow of capital to social enterprises that design innovative, market-based solutions to break the cycle of poverty worldwide with nearly 2,000 microloans circulating throughout 84 countries.
Newly-married and fully invested in getting EverGift off the ground, my wife and I moved from Miami to New York City, where I began an MBA at NYU’s Stern School of Business in 2010.
My next pivotal turning point came on a trip to India that same year, where I saw Apollo Hospitals using telehealth at scale to deliver remote care, at cost, for millions of Indians who wouldn’t otherwise have access.
It was the epiphany that struck the match for Carie Health. But it would take a few years to get there.
After spending some time working with my families concierge medical practice in New York City, I assembled some capital and acquired RestoreHealth, a 20-year old specialty pharmacy company aching for a revival. In three years with RestoreHealth, we created technology that connected over 3000 concierge medical providers to interface with our pharmacy and laboratory services digally. It had become America’s leading personalized medicine company easily allowing them to adjust dosages in prescriptions, and eliminating “one-size-fits-all” medications. We were the 8th fastest growing company in America according to Inc. Magazine. We sold RestoreHealth in 2015. But the road to revolutionizing healthcare was only the beginning.
In 2016 I started investing aggressively to build Carie Health, truly reinventing the way doctors see patients. Telehealth technology had come a long way since my introduction back in 2010. With a great team and an ambitious plan we designed a platform that allowed people to see their own local doctors from the comfort of their home, office, wherever!
By 2020 as the Co-Vid 19 pandemic hit home, the need for the platform solution we had built at Carie was no longer an esoteric tech concept in the eyes of healthcare technology industry. By mid-March our company had received a couple of good offers and by April it had been fully acquired by a publicly traded healthcare company that is now working to deploy the solution at national scale. It was good timing for all, with telehealth valuations at an all-time high, it was the right time to sell.
After a few sweet summer months (of lockdown), I was introduced to the world class venture team at Ignite Venture Studio and fell in love with the vision they had architected to comprehensively tackle the cold and flu from home, at a time when even a few sniffles and a sore throat were enough to send my family running out for CoVid tests, there was a better way to use technology and improve healthcare delivery. When I see something broken, its in my blood to roll up sleeves and get to work.
Im off and running now as the CEO of °Fluent Health. I am surrounded by some of the most intelligent and sophisticated partners and investors in the industry. While its always tempting to sit back and take it easy, thats not my jam. This year again, were gonna take everything we have learned and build something incredible to make healthcare more simple and convenient, the way it should be!
In everything I’ve done and everything I find worth doing, I’ve learned a few things to be universally true:
- It doesn’t matter how great an idea you have — if it doesn’t help people, it won’t win.
- I’m only as good as the people around me. When I get a lot done, it’s because I’ve got a team of people behind me who really get it.
- To make real change, you must question everything — and you have to be able to translate passion into action.
- Nothing matters more than family and friends.
- If I’m standing on a longboard at age 75, it means I’ve done everything right.
It is still just the beginning:
Though I may have traded jumping out of airplanes and flying off of cliffs for raising three young kids and nurturing my love affair with tacos in my personal life, I won’t be slowing down anytime soon, don’t you either, lets rock and roll.
Being able to ignore the norm, find the holes, and fix the problems is a passion which fuels my happiness.
This story’s hardly over, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.