As the summer wraps up at Koa Labs, we’re going to take some time to highlight some of our recent investments that we have made over the past few months. First up on the list is Hey Jane, a digital clinic addressing telemedicine abortion and other stigmatized women’s* healthcare needs.

Hey Jane logo

Hey Jane sits at the center of our thesis at Koa in every sense — a first time founder building a digital health solution to make the world a better place. …


Andrea Ippolito, founder of SimpliFed

We’re excited to share this guest blog from Andrea Ippolito, founder of SimpliFed, a telehealth lactation clinic helping mothers gain access to high quality lactation consultation wherever they are. Andrea is a Koa Labs portfolio veteran (co-founder Smart Scheduling) and an experienced telehealth operator who recently launched SimpliFed while raising two young children. At Koa Labs, we are committed to backing female founders, in this guest blog Andrea sheds light on how investors and VCs can do more to support female founders.

While COVID-19 has been devastating for working women (in particular working moms), there have been some silver linings…


Today the team at Upstart achieved a huge milestone — their Initial Public Offering — now listed on NASDAQ @ UPST. An IPO is just a financing event in the journey of a mission-driven company like Upstart — but it is a unique moment to take stock of amazing progress in a short period of time by a world-class team. My first and second posts on Upstart from 2012 are here and here.

Anna Counselman — kickass Co-Founder @ Upstart

I’m thrilled to have been a part of the incredible journey @ Upstart as Founding BOD Member for 8 years from January 2012 thru December 2019. When…


Recently, Tamr joined The Board Challenge as a Pledge Partner. This means we are commiting to add at least one Black director to Tamr’s Board of Directors in the next twelve months. Black leaders are significantly under-represented in America’s boardrooms, including ours. It’s time to accelerate change and set an example for others.


Introducing Bloomer Tech

This week we are highlighting our investment in Bloomer Tech. Founded by MIT engineers, Bloomer Tech is helping advance women’s cardiovascular health by creating a smart bra that incorporates cardiovascular monitors into women’s daily wear. Recently, founder Alicia Chong Rodriguez delivered a powerful Ted talk on the importance of data in women’s cardiovascular health and how a smart bra could bridge that gap (published only a week ago and already at 600k+ views, tremendous work Alicia!!).

Bridging the healthcare gap

Women with heart disease are under-diagnosed, under-studied, and under-treated. Studies show that there is a significant…


Congratulations and many thanks to my friend Gerald Chan on the Morningside Foundation’s groundbreaking donation to the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The UMass Chan Medical School and it’s three graduate schools — the T.H. Chan School of Medicine, the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing and the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will serve as beacons of progress and excellence in science and medicine for generations to come.

As Gerald remarked in a speech Tuesday, “Science is now the engine for progress in medicine.” The growth, development, and support of biomedical research is of the utmost importance for…


This article originally appeared on the Tamr Blog.

“The source is not the master.”

That statement hit me like a ton of bricks when I first heard it.

It came from a conversation with Elena Alikhachkina, who at the time was leading a significant digital transformation initiative at Johnson & Johnson.

But it should be a key mantra for any Chief Data Officer or data executive charged with delivering the data so desperately needed to support ground-breaking analytics, more efficient operations, and dramatically better data-driven decision making.

When practicing data mastering, it is too easy to think that the original…


It’s been a great 6 months at Koa as we’ve kicked off Fund 2 with $1.4M invested in 11 companies since the beginning of the year. We’ve made a series of great investments since January 1, 2021 including Bloomer Tech, MemoryWell, LuminDX, Appland, and Ottertune.

As a reminder — our investment profile is:

  • First time founders with technical or scientific background
  • Our founders usually represent an underserved community — women, immigrants, founders of color…
  • Our average check size is $150K and we never invest alone — always with another seed fund and usually with one of our affiliate funds (see…


Why I am Backing AppLand

It’s an honor to announce that I am backing AppLand as an investor and advisor.

I have a long history with the founders — Elizabeth and Kevin. I was a founding board member at their first company, Conjur, and have been privileged to be part of their entrepreneurial journey for many decades. Kevin and I started working together at Trilogy back in the 1990's.

Why I decided to invest in AppLand?

What Elizabeth and Kevin are doing at AppLand is transformational. By building a system to enable the visual representation of code, AppLand has the…


As active angel investors at Koa, we take a lot of pitch meetings with founders. There are tons of great resources on how to give a good pitch, even at the earliest stages of a company, but individual investors are idiosyncratic, and some techniques that work with some investors don’t work well with others. We firmly believe that each side should be looking to maximize the return on the investment of their precious time. The key KPIs that matter for founders are time to decision, and dollars invested per hour of interaction. …

Koa Labs

Located in the heart of Harvard Square, Koa Labs is a Seed Fund for promising start-ups. http://koalab.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store