Through VOYAGERS we’re building a diverse, international community of mission-led people working on meaningful aspects of health-tech and life-sciences. There’s no fee to be involved: we simply ask for our members’ engagement. Our goal is to build peer support – through online networking but also through local meetups and not-for-profit weekend adventures in magical locations.
We filter for “givers not takers” and people engage in VOYAGERS as individuals, not as representatives of organisations. We’re experimenting with how we can best help each other out – currently ranging from active WhatsApp channels, online workshops, shared access to recommended suppliers, local dinner salons, confidential monthly peer-support groups of 8 people that we call Cabins, and more. We have a monthly email newsletter where health-tech VOYAGERS share their “asks” from the group and “offers” to the group, job openings, fundraising, and all other news.
We run 50-person networking weekend adventures (such as this one in Italy in July 2022; here are photos from another health-tech weekend in Spain). We run these trips at cost, and we optimise for shared experiences, storytelling, outdoor activities and other ways to build fast friendships.
We also run small investment funds on Angel List that enable VOYAGERS to invest in startups in the community. Our first health-tech fund was valued at 9X after less than two years.
VOYAGERS came out of David Rowan’s experience running WIRED UK, when he started bringing together people working on impact-led challenges. You can read more about our mission here. The online networking and the adventures and dinners are the starting point for building a community that actively helps each other out. Members have founded businesses together, become personal coaches and investors to each other, collaborated on medical research during lockdown, made introductions for each other (even to President Obama). But mostly it’s about building a space where trust and friendship can grow.
Current VOYAGERES activities include:
•Regular dinners and meetups in cities across Europe and North America
•Weekend adventures in magical locations
•Online networking in dedicated WhatsApp groups
•Zoom workshops where community knowledge is shared
•Shared directories of resources, from recommended suppliers to fundraising opportunities
•Email newsletters where VOYAGERS share their “asks and offers”, from fundraising to hiring
•Discounted access to health and workplace insurance, and software products, through VOYAGERS’ collective negotiating power
•Co-working in VOYAGERS retreats
•Matching VOYAGERS with similar interests for curated introductory meetings
•VOYAGERS Cabins, small groups that meet monthly in confidence for moderated peer-coaching
•VOYAGERS investment funds, enabling VOYAGERS to back startups in the community.
To apply to join the VOYAGERS Health-Tech community, please click on the arrow below.
The humanitarian medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is vast and decentralised – with operations in 70+ countries, 50,000 employees, and a $2B annual budget, mostly from millions of individual donors. Tyler Christie is helping MSF understand and cut its carbon output – not only because a crisis-response organisation needs to respond to a planetary crisis, but because it also makes good business sense. Tyler tells David Rowan on VOYAGERS’ Journeys, the VOYAGERS community podcast, how other businesses can learn from the bottom-up, decentralised and investment-led approaches that are transforming MSF. Tyler is in the VOYAGERS Climate-Tech group. More at VOYAGERS.io
Companies represented in the community include Proximie, WearOptimo, Cerebral, Vidya, Hey Jane, Google Health, SharpTx, Lifted Care, Precise.ly, Genentech, AstraZeneca, Cellen, Intuitive Surgical, Nostos Genomics, Commure, Pear Bio, Thriva, Epibone, Empatica, Synova Life Sciences, Novartis and OnDeck.
Investors represented in the community include Omers Ventures, LocalGlobe, Accel, Lakestar, Joyance Partners, AVA, Luminous VC, Founders Fund, Hoxton Ventures and Heal Capital.
Geographies represented in the community include Israel, Peru, Iceland, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, the US, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Ukraine, Ireland, Kenya, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, Belgium and Australia.
VOYAGERS was founded by David Rowan, founding editor-in-chief of WIRED UK, who enjoys bringing together people working on impact-led challenges. You can read more about our mission here. The health-tech group is 600+ people from many geographies who work in the front line of medical tech and genomics, from founders to regulators and investors. In 2020 we launched a $1.7m micro-fund for the group to support ambitious startups in the community, offering founders access to the group’s deep networks and knowledge (current portfolio here – already including a unicorn in which we came in at $10m). We’re also building a climate-tech community.
We bring people together in person when pandemics allow. We have local meetup groups in London, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Lisbon, New York and beyond, which organise dinners, cycles, picnics and boat trips. We also organise 50-person weekend adventures a few times a year, which we run at cost. Before lockdowns, we took 50 people for three intense days in Iceland. We journeyed inside a volcano, hiked up a glacier, bathed in hot geothermal waters… experiences designed to stretch the group just a little, to relax people as we shared stories and developed new friendships. Feedback was hugely positive. Participants travelled from the US, Israel, Australia, the UK and Peru – from companies working in surgical robotics, telehealth, clinician training, wearable devices, medical software, genomics and more. In September 2021, we ran a bespoke guided hike along parts of the historic Camino de Santiago de Compostela trail, in northern Spain, staying in luxuriously converted monasteries. Activities are carefully curated to promote open conversation and friendships that lead to valuable outcomes.
The online networking and the adventures are the starting point for building a community that actively helps each other out. Members have founded businesses together, become personal coaches and investors to each other, collaborated on medical research during lockdown, made introductions for each other (even to President Obama). But mostly it’s about building a space where trust and friendship can grow. To join VOYAGERS, we ask that you are a giver rather than a taker, and will actively engage with the community.
If you’d like to become involved, please use the form below to tell us a little about yourself, and what you feel you can contribute to the group. Remember, we filter for givers, not takers.