Brainnovations graduate startup AIdoc is well on its way to success, with an initial investment round of $3.5M and a first prize win in Geektime’s startup competition. Interview with CEO Elad Walach, with some advice for digital health entrepreneurs.
This has definitely been a good week for the team at aidoc. The young Israeli startup announced an initial investment round of $3.5M from VC’s Magma and E.MERGE, and won first prize at Geektime’s Techfest Startup Competition. AIdoc (previously TailorMed) just graduated from the second cycle of IBT’s accelerator Brainnovations in September. We sat down with CEO Elad Walach to get some perspective on the company’s plans in light of the exciting events of the past week:
“Expectations are high, now we need to deliver, and we’re very excited to do it,” says Walach. aidoc’s solution uses artificial intelligence to streamline the workflow of radiologists diagnosing scans, improving accuracy and increasing efficiency and speed of diagnosis. “There is a huge bottleneck in radiology,” explains Walach. “More people are getting more CTs and MRIs, but there are not many more radiologists to decipher them. We identified a real market need and developed a solution that can play a major role in releasing this bottleneck, resulting in faster, better patient care.”
So how did three friends who met in the Israeli Defense Force’s elite technology unit Talpiot decide to forego cyber and IT and take the difficult path in healthcare? “We knew from the beginning that we wanted to bring our expertise in algorithms to healthcare, and make a positive impact on people’s health and lives,” says Walach. “We batted around a few ideas until we hit on the one where we felt there was a real unmet need that we could provide an effective solution for.”
aidoc’s participated in IBT’s Brainnovations accelerator, which provides 4 months of intensive mentoring and guidance to startup teams involved in BrainTech, who are at the very early, pre-seed stage. “Brainnovations was exactly what we needed, and it has played a very critical role in our success so far,” says Walach. “The network of IBT experts, the amazing mentors who guided us, and the process of working with us to build an effective business model – all of these brought us to the next stage.”
Today aidoc is working out of the Microsoft accelerator, which is geared at more mature startups, and is helping the team work in a very methodical way on
go-to-market strategy company building. The company is gearing towards pilot installations at hospitals in the U.S. and Israel in the beginning of 2017. Besides Walach, aidocs co-founders are CTO Michael Berginsky, VP R&D Guy Reiner, and radiologist Dr. Gal Yaniv.
Many Israeli digital health startups are looking at what aidoc has been able to achieve at this stage and are inspired. What would Walach advise young entrepreneurs? “Get all the help you can get! Each of the founders in our team has a number of mentors in different arenas. This is critical, especially in healthcare, which is complex to navigate.”
And besides participating in effective accelerator programs and getting lots of support from mentors, what’s the secret to aidoc’s success so far? “The team, definitely the team. All of us have each other’s back 100% of the time. We are all committed and working hard towards our common goal. It really has been an amazing week for us, and now we’re looking ahead,” concludes Walach.
View Elad Walach interviewed on ILTV: