Star Cunningham Raises $710,000 in Seed Funding for Her Digital Health Startup 4D Healthware

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Star CunninghamThis week, 4D Healthware announced it closed a $710,000 seed investment round that included a mix of private equity and angel investors, including multiple physicians. The funding will help 4D accelerate the onboarding of new healthcare clinics nationwide, continue to invest in its technology and to grow its service teams.

“4D is a company that I decided to launch out of necessity. I am an individual that manages chronic illness and fortunately I am an IT person at heart, having traveled around the globe building smarter planet solutions for a little company called IBM. In that experience coupled with managing chronic disease, I found myself the victim of being at the end of healthcare related data that I needed, but did not have. I learned that consumers are the ones who really need to have control of their health related information. I know there is a better way to handle and distribute health-related data so I sought out to find it and put it into action for the people who need it the most,” said Cunningham in an exclusive interview with TNJ.com. 

Reportedly the first African American woman to raise this amount of money for a startup, Cunningham plans to put the money to good use.

“The money will be used for further development of the product. This is a product that is never quite finished. It will constantly change as consumers change and get more aware of their ability to have access to data and manage it. It will change as healthcare transitions to a more value-based focus on patient outcome. We will use the money to improve and further develop the product as well as sales, marketing and education. This is so new in the space of healthcare; overnight, Medicare created a $16 billion market, and people don’t really know how to go about tapping into that money. We are here to help educate people and let them become aware of the opportunity and utilize this new and innovative way of managing patients,” she explains.

And as with many startups, raising the money was mostly about relationships and networking.

“We were able to raise the money through angel investors, primarily through relationships. A big difference in our raising capital this time around is that we are part of the incubator MATTER where we were assigned a mentor-in- residence by the name of Jordan Dolan who was very instrumental in pulling together the group of investors who are physicians, healthcare executives and business leaders in Chicago to round out our investment. One of the largest challenges for an African American female raising that amount of capital is access to relationships. My mentor at MATTER opened the door so that I could access those relationships as did Esther Dyson, another mentor of mine, who saw that raising capital was a challenge for me. She actually flew to Chicago to help,” she shares.      

Prior to 4D Healthware, Cunningham graduated with an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and led global infrastructure at IBM.

“From her own experience with chronic illness, Star knows first-hand the challenges in managing one’s health on a daily basis, whether that is regular adjustments to medication or frequent doctor visits – all of which can burden an already-stressed healthcare system,” said James Kelly, M.D. and investor in 4D Healthware. “With actionable insights and alerts pulled from wearable devices, 4D Healthware is a smart answer to chronic care management.”

In addition to building 4D Healthware, Cunningham is on the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s Advisory Board. She works with the board to further the advancement and impact of women in healthcare worldwide. Also, she has volunteered at Alexian Brothers leading a team of top notch Homeopathic, Psychiatric, and IT experts to develop paperless patient check in; smartphone patient monitoring applications (i.e. Psychiatrist in your pocket); real time data capture, analysis and medical staff intervention. And Cunningham is a new HealthXL member. HealthXL is a program that brings together the biggest healthcare players with the fastest growing companies in the area of digital health to create active business partnerships.