Ara Chackerian on The State of Healthcare Technology Startups

The stock market has been reaching all-time highs as of 2018, making Amazon a trillion-dollar company and many others gaining extreme highs with it. Many companies are having IPOs (initial public offerings) and enjoy the great success that comes with the overall market. However, this is not the case for all companies, most notably within the healthcare sector. Founder of many healthcare technology startup companies, businessman and philanthropist Ara Chackerian who created a healthcare company based on the technology of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation knows all too well the hardship of getting funded compared to startups in other sectors.

As the co-founder and creator of Limonapa Teak, a green teak tree company based in Nicaragua which provides jobs that are desperately needed to the local community, Ara knows a thing or two about startups. Being into startups for decades, he has seen many companies arise to no avail of a merger, acquisition, or IPO. He notes that 2017 was a great year for raising capital for startups overall, with New York City being a hub which raised $703 million across 79 startup companies. Yet for healthcare technologies, the road is admittedly harder. According to NYC Health Business Leaders, the “…conditions in the city that foster startups, such as access to capital, proximity to major universities and support from local and state government.” For healthcare technology startups like those for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, “One of the issues is that health tech startups often lose money initially” according to VP of NYC’s “OrbiMed” Irman Babar. The early decrease in cash “makes it more difficult to find a buyer or declare an IPO.” Jonathan LaMontia echoes Babar’s thought: “Although there were dozens of life-sciences IPOs last year, no digital health companies debuted on the public markets.” Thankfully, Ara Chackerian notes that the sentiment is changing… that the “wind is starting to pick up” due to the market’s enormous recent gains.