NEW YORK & TEL AVIV--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Team8, a leading company-building venture group backed by partners including Microsoft, Walmart, Cisco, Temasek, and Moody’s, today announced that Demetrios L. Kouzoukas, a former Medicare and United Healthcare executive, will join Team8 Health, a new digital health foundry focused on building and scaling transformative digital health companies. He joins former National Security Agency (NSA) Director and Team8 Operating Partner Adm. Michael Rogers, who joined Team8 in 2018.
“The unique challenges the healthcare industry is facing – including needs for new tools and technologies to collect, utilize, and secure data, mitigate staffing and equipment shortfalls and drive value-based care – demand creative solutions that maximize resources, improve outcomes, and support better experiences,” said Kouzoukas. “Together, we envision a new innovation model that ties healthcare, fintech, data, and cybersecurity together and de-risks company-building in a way that speeds time-to-market and optimizes healthcare processes and outcomes. I look forward to working with Team8 to translate that model into companies with real-world healthcare solutions that affect positive change for patients, providers, and payers.”
Team8 has an unorthodox, yet effective approach to venture building, which has been extremely successful in cybersecurity and, more recently, fintech. Instead of opting to invest in a tool or technology that gets pitched, Team8 analyzes the target market, pinpoints its greatest unmet needs, pressure tests concepts, and partners with brilliant entrepreneurs to custom design companies to meet those opportunities. Since 2014, Team8 has successfully applied this methodology to building 15 companies which include two unicorns and four that have been acquired.
Mr. Kouzoukas will join Team8 Health to apply this approach to digital health. He brings more than two decades of experience in healthcare leadership roles at the highest levels of the federal government and in industry. Prior to joining Team8 Health, he was chief executive of the Medicare program at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and a senior executive in United Healthcare’s Medicare business. Earlier in his career, Demetrios led regulatory policy across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Mr. Kouzoukas’s track record of success in healthcare leadership includes substantial experience in evolving regulatory and reimbursement frameworks, developing new business models, navigating privacy and data challenges, and operating at scale. His deep understanding of Medicare rules and regulations will also be invaluable to Team8 Health as it designs companies ready to compete in the digital health space, where both regulatory and reimbursement models are still fluid.
“We welcome Demetrios and look forward to his leadership at Team8 Health. Together, we’re in a unique position to apply lessons learned from other sectors, including intelligence, to shared pain points in healthcare,” said Adm. Rogers. “We’re finally at a place technologically where we can not only collect and analyze an enormous volume of health data, but also take action to deliver the right data, to the right person, at the right time, and in a way that protects against cybersecurity and data privacy risks.”
Team8 Health will collaborate with prominent healthcare organizations and industry experts to identify the greatest unmet needs where new solutions would have the biggest impact. If there is a viable digital health market opportunity and a clear path to adoption, Team8 will partner with founders to design and build a company with a specific solution to meet the need. Team8 Health plans to build 6-8 digital healthcare companies over the next five years, investing $5-$10 million in seed funding in each company and an additional amount through in-kind resources and services.
Team8 Health was first conceived of by Team8 Managing Partners and Founding members Yuval Shachar and Israel Grimberg. In addition to Mr. Kouzoukas, Team8 Health will be led by Kinneret Livnat Savitzky, Ph.D., a biotech executive; Assaf Mischari, Team8 founding member and former CTO of the Israeli Defense Force Unit 8200’s Cyber Division; and Prof. Varda Shalev, a primary care physician and the former founder and head of the Maccabi Research & Innovation Institute, the innovation arm of Israel’s second largest HMO.
“The healthcare system has the highest impact on people's lives but is one of the most complex and hence challenging for many tech entrepreneurs to navigate. As a healthcare operator with extensive executive experience into how the healthcare system functions, Demetrios brings unparalleled perspective to identifying, mentoring, and scaling successful digital health companies,” said Yuval Shachar, managing partner at Team8. “I believe that with his leadership, we will be well-positioned to build transformational companies with a competitive advantage.”
Team8 is a venture group that builds and backs the most innovative technology companies in the fields of cybersecurity, data, fintech, and digital health. Team8 leverages deep domain expertise, cutting-edge technology, and firsthand company-building experience to partner with entrepreneurs in founding globally successful companies.
The Team8 Health foundry partners with entrepreneurs and leverages deep data and tech tools to build category-leading health companies that will improve the quality of care and delivery of services across the healthcare industry. The foundry will utilize Team8’s unique company creation process to bring together an in-house team of domain experts and operators and a community of C-level executives and thought leaders in the healthcare space to de-risk company building and maximize the success of portfolio companies through technology, market fit, and talent acquisition.
Founded in 2014, Team8 is backed by notable companies including Microsoft, Walmart, Cisco, Barclays, and Moody's, among others. For further information, visit www.team8.vc.