At the startup pitch contest at INVEST Digital Health this week, an event hosted in collaboration with Health Wildcatters in Dallas, eight companies focused on improving the employee benefits space. Only one walked away with the trophy. Among the companies that took part were:
And the winner is (drum roll)….TALON!
Led by CEO Mark Galvin, TALON’s mission is to educate, empower, and incentivize American healthcare consumers to meaningfully reduce costs and create a healthier ecosystem. The business offers a group of software services designed to fulfill the requirements of the Transparency in Coverage Rule and No Surprises Act. The company seeks to protect healthcare stakeholders from overpaying for care while enabling seamless integration into the payer’s existing architecture,
Each company presented to a group of three investor judges who then asked questions of their business. Participants were evaluated using the following criteria:
- Completeness of overall business plan
- Business idea
- Market opportunity
- Revenue model
- Experience of the founder(s)
- Whether it provides and/or improves ROI on employee benefits
Following the event, judge and Cigna Ventures Principal Matthew Blum talked about how the judges came to pick the winner.
“There’s a strong market opportunity. Obviously some of it is opportunistic with the regulation change. Some of it is an inflection point of the company.”
Blum also noted that the management team’s background involved not only building the company but also experience with developing regulatory changes so “they’re making their own luck.”
“Being a part of Cigna, I understand what the need is come January 1, , especially with small and midsized health plans.”
Blum noted some of the challenges of shifting to the new price transparency rule for insurers. He pointed out that for large payers, much of the underlying data of the different negotiated prices is located in multiple systems across the enterprise. That data is not easily retrieved. That system will need to change for the data to be usable for consumers and insurers are working under a deadline.
“TALON has already created the pipes to move the data and they’ve already created the front-end expertise to showcase it and make it useful, which makes it compliant.”
As part of their prize, TALON will receive an editorial profile, which will be published in MedCity News in the coming weeks.
We thank all the startups who applied and participated!