Rachel Sanders (MBA 2017) started her professional career working in healthcare focused investment banking. After spending four years working at Raymond James focused on middle market transactions, M&A, and the intersection of technology and business, she had a strong understanding of the opportunities to leverage technology to help people experience their healthcare in a better way. Driven by her own personal health experiences in where she constantly used a guess and check methodology to improve her health, she sought to learn how to solve health outcomes for more than just herself. “That is really the crux of why I went to HBS, and why I chose to get an MBA. I knew that I wanted to build something that would make an impact on people’s lives. “
Rachel spent her two years at HBS immersed in learning and soaking up as much information and experience as she could. “Using those two years as a time to experiment, to learn to launch something, but also to gain the skills on the operational side, and to expand my network. I was great at finance, I understood the healthcare market, but there was a lot of opportunity for learning while at HBS that I was really excited about.”
RC year gave Rachel the foundation to make decisions on the fly and with little information. “If you’re operating as the Protagonist, what would you do…the case method beyond everything else really prepares you for the cold calls that you experience as a Founder, and that preparation is hard to get elsewhere.”
Leveraging the HBS alumni network, Rachel secured an internship between her RC and EC years at naviHealth, Inc… a digital health company. This internship allowed her to make an impact at the organization by working on projects that shaped new product development and strategy, allowing Rachel to gain experience across strategy, product, and operations within the healthcare space. She took that experience into her EC year, where she was able to continue to build her network and flex her skills.
It was in her EC year that Rachel connected with Julia Austin, senior lecturer at HBS’ Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. Rachel credits her connection with Austin as the biggest influence in her journey to becoming a Founder. Austin became a mentor, which she remains today, introducing her to “Good for Her,” a cohort of female founders, and connecting Rachel into the startup ecosystem initially.
Through her relationship with Austin, Rachel connected with Alex Iskold, Coach and VC in Resident at the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship at HBS and Managing Partner at 2048 Ventures [formerly Managing Partner of TechStars NY]. It was Iskold who would ultimately introduce Rachel to Dr. Daniel Wallerstofer, PhD, her Co-Founder …….