Diversity Woman Magazine

SPR 2019

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/1096324

Contents of this Issue


Page 22 of 51

We Mean Business > d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m S p r i n g 2 0 1 9 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 21 A Healthy Investment CEO Woman By Ruchika Tulshyan S tar Cunningham wants you to know that women can build billion- dollar companies. She also wants you to know that health-care profession- als do eat pizza. Occasionally. e Chicago-based founder and CEO of 4D Healthware, an online health manage- ment platform, was enjoying a successful career in Corporate America as an IBM ex- ecutive. But as someone living with multi- ple chronic health conditions, Cunningham envisioned a health-care system run much more efficiently and transparently than the one she was experiencing as a patient. So she took a leap into entrepreneur- ship. Now patients with chronic medical conditions can use 4D Healthware's plat- form to manage medication and connect with their doctors via video chat. eir physicians can also easily track their prog- ress. So simple, yet unheard of before Cunningham started her company. Entrepreneurship is a move she likens to jumping from a plane. Fortunately, the risk is paying off: her eight-year-old com- pany has raised $2.7 million from inves- tors and is on track to make $1 million in monthly revenues by the middle of next year. Cunningham tells Diversity Woman that she's just getting started. Divesity Woman: How did the idea for 4D Healthware come about? Star Cunningham: I was a victim of my health information not being where and when it needed to be for the person most invested in my health—me! So I did what any respectable woman would do: I opened a bottle of Merlot with a friend in front of the fireplace, and we talked about a future when people would man- age their health using their smartphone. is was well before the Fitbits and Nike watches of the world. at's how the idea came to be. DW: As an entrepreneur, how do you keep yourself going in the tough moments? SC: ere's so much about the way health care is consumed and delivered that sim- ply doesn't make sense. For example, I was flabbergasted to find out that the health-care industry is keeping fax ma- chines alive! ere's enough frustration on a daily basis that when you move the needle even a little bit, you have to take time to celebrate because it took so much arduous effort to make it happen. DW: What motivates you to keep grow- ing your company? SC: We have to get to the point where health care is not the big amoeba that nobody understands. is country is not providing the best care for the best out- comes. We do a great job diagnosing and treating people, but we can do so much better with prevention and education, as well as teaching people how to better self- manage their health. Especially with the tools and technologies we have available to us now. DW: Women get 2 percent of venture funding, and black women founders get 0.2 percent of all VC funding in the United States. Can you talk about how you managed to get funding? SC: I'm excited for the conversation to move away from how black women raise zero percent from venture capitalists, to how we are going to build new and inclu- sive models that allow us to tap into solu- tions and deals that no one else seems to be interested in. Of the $2.7 million I've raised, none of it has been from venture capital. at does not mean that I have not built a vi- able business that produces revenue and provides a lifesaving service to those who As entrepreneur Star Cunningham demonstrates, personal need often launches the best ideas

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Diversity Woman Magazine - SPR 2019