When it comes to creating and growing startups, Greg Cangialosi has had a role in many parts of the process as an entrepreneur, investor and incubator founder.
Over the last year, the Baltimore tech community leader started a new role that combines each of those parts to lead a team that’s building startups inside an existing tech company.
Cangialosi is serving as the managing partner of Olive Ventures, the in-house venture studio of digital health company Olive. Olive’s platform, which automates healthcare processes, is used in just over 950 hospitals, and has grown quickly over the last four years. With the venture studio, the company is providing technologists access to its platform and a team to help build new products using its technology, data and distribution.
“Olive is on a mission to build the internet of healthcare and to help carve a trillion dollars of administrative waste from this industry. We have a bold, big mission and vision, and, that said, we know that Olive just won’t get to all of the areas in healthcare that need to be transformed, disrupted or innovated in — so Olive Ventures was formed to address other areas in the industry as we evolve into a platform company,” Cangialosi said. “A true technology platform company allows other businesses to be built on top of its tech stack, and be their own standalone businesses.”
The connection that led to this role at Olive came by way of Betamore, the Baltimore tech incubator and education nonprofit. Cangialosi and Olive CEO Sean Lane were both cofounders of Betamore in 2012. They’ve kept up over the years, and the two got talking about the venture studio opportunity.
“Sean’s journey at Olive has been incredible to watch over the years,” Cangialosi said. “After 27 different product pivots, Olive hit the perfect product-market fit a little over four years ago. After many discussions with Sean about his vision and watching the execution of that vision, it was very clear to me that Olive was well on its way to building the internet of healthcare.”
Cangialosi started as managing partner in October of 2020, and built a team that includes general partners Keith Saffles and Joel Chakra. The team began its program to create companies in March of this year, helping them to”get started, validated, and spun out on their own,” Cangialosi said.
“Our program consists of a very hands-on approach,” he said. “We start with an idea for a business, then we put our market research and analyst team on it to do a full market research report, figure out the total addressable market, and layer in the Olive advantage that we bring to the table, which is really where things get interesting.”
A true technology platform company allows other businesses to be built on top of its tech stack, and be their own stand alone businesses.
It then begins a “build” over six to eight months, in which Olive’s team contributes operations, engineering, revenue and analysis expertise, along with the tech platform.
Olive Ventures also brings in a capital partner that makes a minimum $250,000 S.A.F.E. note investment, and the company puts in a $250,000 investment in services. It also offers shared services as companies spin out, as well as other benefits like cloud services through the AWS Activate Program.
The studio identifies a pilot customer, with whom the fledgling startup works to validate the technology.
“Once the company is ready for institutional investment, we connect them to our investor network and support them through the fundraising process, and spin out,” Cangialosi said. “From there we are building out a portfolio impact network to continue to support the growth of our companies.”
So far, the process has created companies such as Rotera AI, which develops custom AI “coworkers” for healthcare, which is officially spinning out on Oct. 1. A second, called Violet, is a bank for healthcare.
Baltimore, where remote-first Olive opened a “substation” to cluster distributed teammates at Betamore in Port Covington last year, is one of the base cities for Olive Ventures, along with Olive’s founding city of Columbus, Raleigh and Denver.
“We expect to build out regional programming once we go through our first cohort of companies and get our processes standardized the best we can,” Cangialosi said. “We are really looking to scale Olive Ventures out as an initiative here at Olive. It’s a very exciting opportunity and exciting time for Olive, and we couldn’t be more excited to get this initiative going.”
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