Varda Shalev (right), Demetrios Kouzoukas, Assaf Mischari, and Livnat Savitzky | Photo: Team8
Varda Shalev (right), Demetrios Kouzoukas, Assaf Mischari, and Livnat Savitzky | Photo: Team8

Team8 group expands to digital health with new foundry

Demetrios L. Kouzoukas, the former Director of Medicare, the single largest healthcare payer in the US, joins Team8 to launch new digital health foundry from the group’s New York headquarters

Team8, a leading company-building venture group backed by partners including Microsoft, Walmart, Cisco, Temasek, and Moody’s, today announced that Demetrios L. Kouzoukas, a former Medicare and United Healthcare executive, will join Team8 Health, a new digital health foundry focused on building and scaling transformative digital health companies.

In addition to Mr. Kouzoukas, Team8 Health will be led by Kinneret Livnat Savitzky, a pioneering researcher in the field of computational biology, who built and led many publicly-traded pharmaceutical companies, and brings with her extensive and significant operational experience in the field; Assaf Mischari, Team8’s former CTO and former CTO of the Israeli Defense Force Unit 8200’s Cyber Division, a cyber and data expert who played a central role in the building of many Team8 companies, including cyber unicorn Claroty and others; and Prof. Varda Shalev, an active primary care physician, entrepreneur, researcher, and former head of the Research and Development Institute of Maccabi Health Services.

Team8 has an unorthodox, yet effective approach to venture building, which has been extremely successful in cybersecurity and, more recently, fintech. Instead of opting to invest in a tool or technology that gets pitched, Team8 analyzes the target market, pinpoints its greatest unmet needs, pressure tests concepts, and partners with brilliant entrepreneurs to custom design companies to meet those opportunities. Since 2014, Team8 has successfully applied this methodology to building 15 companies, which include two unicorns and four others that have been acquired. Team8 Health plans to build 6-8 digital healthcare companies over the next five years, investing $5-$10 million in seed funding in each company and an additional amount through in-kind resources and services.

Mr. Kouzoukas brings more than two decades of experience in healthcare leadership roles at the highest levels of the federal government and in industry. Prior to joining Team8 Health, he was chief executive of the Medicare program at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and a senior executive in United Healthcare’s Medicare business. Earlier in his career, Demetrios led regulatory policy across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Mr. Kouzoukas’s track record of success in healthcare leadership includes substantial experience in evolving regulatory and reimbursement frameworks, developing new business models, navigating privacy and data challenges, and operating at scale.

“The unique challenges the healthcare industry is facing – including needs for new tools and technologies to collect, utilize, and secure data, mitigate staffing and equipment shortfalls and drive value-based care – demand creative solutions that maximize resources, improve outcomes, and support better experiences,” said Kouzoukas.

“Together, we envision a new innovation model that ties healthcare, fintech, data, and cybersecurity together and de-risks company-building in a way that speeds time-to-market and optimizes healthcare processes and outcomes. I look forward to working with Team8 to translate that model into companies with real-world healthcare solutions that affect positive change for patients, providers, and payers.”

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