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.
First, I worked to gather seed money to buy RestoreHealth, a 20-year old medical company aching for a revival. In three years with RestoreHealth, we created America’s leading personalized medicine company by connecting doctors with technology that allowed them to adjust dosages in prescriptions, eliminating “one-size-fits-all” medications.
I sold the company in 2015. But the road to revolutionizing healthcare was only the beginning.
In 2016 I started Carie Health, my current venture, where my team and I are working tirelessly to reinvent the way doctors see patients in the U.S. so that we can no longer claim healthcare costs as the #1 reason for personal bankruptcy in the U.S.
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.
Carie Health is 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 in business.
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.