Laurence Girard is the CEO of Fruit Street Health, an online diabetes prevention program he has raised more than $30 million for from 500+ physicians.
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Fruit Street – Fruit Street’s website
Laurence’s Email – Reach out to Laurence via email!
3 Value Bombs
1) You don’t need a venture capital firm to be a successful entrepreneur.
2) The only thing that ever changed the world was a small group of committed citizens.
3) Shoot for the moon; if you miss you will land amongst the stars.
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**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: Crowdfunding From 500 Physicians Instead of 1 Venture Capitalist
[1:08] – Laurence shares something that he believes about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
- You don’t need a venture capital firm to be a successful entrepreneur.
[1:35] – Health is a BIG space… Why diabetes prevention as your main focus?
- He was planning to go to medical school. He realized that a lot of the patients coming into the emergency rooms had diabetes, were obese, or had a history of stroke or heart disease.
- He became interested in how to use diet and lifestyle to improve public health and prevent disease.
- He discovered a Diabetes Prevention Program was more effective than a pharmaceutical drug called Metformin.
[3:48] – Why did you go the crowdfunding route instead of looking for VCs?
- In health care you need to have a dual focus – you need social impact and a sustainable business model at the same time.
- A majority of Venture Capitalists are focused on financial returns.
- Laurence is more interested in building something for the long term
- A quote Laurence lives by – The only thing that ever changed the world was a small group of committed citizens.
[7:43] – Physicians are realizing that diabetes is a big problem – talk about what they’re doing as a result
- Physicians are realizing that they can participate in an entrepreneurial process and support ideas to improve their community.
[8:47] – A timeout to thank our sponsors, Notion, HubSpot, and ZipRecruiter!
[11:10] – Let’s talk pros and cons. What are the pros of crowdfunding instead of working with an institution?
- More time consuming to raise capital.
- It’s difficult to keep 500 people happy.
- When things are going well, you have 500 cheerleaders cheering you on.
- Warm introductions are priceless.
[15:08] – Let’s talk social impact. What is your goal for Fruit Street’s social impact in the next 5 years?
- If you have 1 million people in the program and achieve at least 5% weight loss, you are preventing hundred of thousands of cases of Type 2 Diabetes. You are also preventing the complications associated with Diabetes.
- We have people in the program who have lost weight and stopped their medication.
- The social goal is more powerful in motivating our team.
[18:46] – Laurence’s key take away for Fire Nation
- You have to set a big goal that inspires you.
- Shoot for the moon; if you miss you will land amongst the stars.
- Instead of focusing on financial goals, focus on your social impact.
[21:01] – Laurence’s call to action.
- Fruit Street – Fruit Street’s website
- Laurence’s Email – Reach out to Laurence via email!
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