Through VOYAGERS we’re building a diverse, international community of mission-led people working on meaningful aspects of health-tech and life-sciences. The goal is to build trusted friendships that accelerate progress and to support each other – through online networking but also through dinners and not-for-profit weekend adventures in magical locations.
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 200+ people from many geographies who work in the front line of medical tech and genomics, from founders to regulators and investors. There’s no fee to be involved, and we’re experimenting with how we can best help each other out – currently ranging from online workshops to confidential monthly peer-support groups of 8 people that we call VOYAGERS Cabins. We also have a podcast and a Lazy Book Club. In 2020 we launched a $1.5m 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 showing a 5x return…). We’re also building climate-tech and food-tech communities.
In terms of the adventure weekends: Before viruses took over the world, we took 45 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. The next adventure will be 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.