Seven Questions with Deborah Livneh

We want to spotlight some of the greatest minds behind the mission of MedHealth–our steering committee members. Learn about the people who help direct our work, why they enjoy what they do, and what gets them through their work day.

Today, we’re featuring a long-standing member of our steering committee–Deborah Livneh, director at WECAN Investors.

Questions and Answers

What is your day job?

I connect investors to promising, innovative startup companies in my role at WECAN Investors. As a director, I lead the angel group in funding, connecting, and mentoring young innovative ventures.

WECAN Investors is a partner at Equation Angels with 125 angel investors members. We offer investors attractive deal flow, a wide range of expertise and networking opportunities, and support in due diligence.

My involvement with the healthcare innovation sector started many years ago. I cofounded a medical device startup company and sold it to a larger U.S. company. Later, I led the Canadian plant of the multinational Olympus Medical Corporation.

Why do you enjoy what you do?

Since my exit from my medical device corporation, I was looking to give back and help startup entrepreneurs be successful. I have enjoyed coaching innovators on launching their innovative product and preparing them to pitch to investors.

Today, I relish the opportunity to connect investors to vetted innovative early stage companies. At the same time, I am delighted to help entrepreneurs access capital and connections offered by angel investors.

How has your participation in MedHealth initiatives, such as steering committee, matchmaking events, and working groups, benefited you and your organization?

Seven years ago, we launched MedHealth with the desire to connect the medical innovation ecosystem on both sides of the Detroit-Windsor border. We also hoped to ease adoption of medical technologies.

My involvement since the beginning was aimed to provide a unique benefit to WEtech Alliance entrepreneurs and to create a gateway to the U.S. for Canadian healthcare innovation ventures. It has been rewarding that several Windsor startups were able to connect to hospitals, payers, and investors in the U.S. through the matchmaking events.

I have enjoyed meeting numerous innovators and a few U.S. investors at MedHealth matchmaking events. My participation allowed me to refer several innovators to apply to pitch at Equation Angels.

What is one thing in healthcare that you’re excited about in the next five years?

We have been experiencing the biggest digital transformation of healthcare of our lifetime, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the drive to remote delivery of healthcare. It is exciting that MedHealth is playing a supporting role in convening this amazing healthcare delivery transformation.

If you could choose anyone as a mentor, who would you choose?

It is true that “my mistakes have been my greatest mentors.” Yet, if I could choose anyone as a mentor—my choice would be the greatest innovator, Elon Musk.

What’s one thing—either industry related or not—you learned in the last month?

Proper preparation promotes peak performance.

When you are a healthcare innovation entrepreneur planning on pitching to investors or approaching a healthcare provider, make sure you are well prepared. Know your audience, understand the value you can add, and practice your pitch to perfection.

What’s one must-have that gets you through your work day?

It is inspiring to meet so many amazing innovators. I love learning about their new ideas, technologies, and aspirations.

Deborah Livneh, director at WECAN Investors