Alexandra Drane is an extraordinary example of a serial entrepreneur. She took one of the most important industries and introduced it to the world of IT. Now, she has four successful healthcare ventures under her belt, including Eliza Corporation, the bootstrapped healthcare site that now brings in over $50 million in revenue a year.
This is her amazing story.
Alexandra grew up near Boston with two successful entrepreneurial parents, so she had the DNA. Her dad started Atex, a revolutionary newspaper publishing company. Her mom was a CPA turned philanthropist entrepreneur when she opened a homeless women’s home in Boston.
Her dad used to take Alexandra to meetings where she got her first glimpse of the world of IT and, as a result her first jobs in high school were working for his startup companies and learning the ropes. She says this was the best thing that could have happened to her as a child, and truly believes in children’s exposure to their parents’ work environments.
She took a management-consulting job and got “stuck” with a healthcare client as her first case. It only took her a few days, however to be hooked.
So, with two partners and a manager in tow, she set off down the entrepreneurial road her parents helped pave and created some seriously successful startups along the way.
The Path of Healthcare Startup Success
Alexandra’s first company in 1995 was Axon Group, an incubator focused on a concept called value capital (by still working in consulting as a way of controlling her own destiny and not raising capital). She realized very quickly that trying to be a consultant and starting a company at the same time didn’t work. That’s when she decided to focus solely on entrepreneurship.
Her second venture was Tesseract, a Web-enabled functionality to help with injury tracking. It was a highly technical system for athletes to track their progress and intervene if the athlete was at risk. Her first client was the US Ski team. Not too shabby.
Her most recent venture is Eliza Corporation, a site to engage people in conversation about their health and improve their quality of life. It has been featured in Forbes and Businessweek, and now generates over $50 million in revenue.
Alexandra says her focus for the last 18 years has been on helping the human condition.
So, what’s this successful entrepreneur’s advice for us wannabies?
First, Alexandra believes that everyone has the potential to be an entrepreneur if they are nurtured to pursue what they love.
She also believes it is essential for entrepreneurs to have an ecosystem of people who are smarter than them. This way you continue to learn and improve yourself from the expertise of others.
Alexandra Drane, the woman who started out in an industry she once deemed boring then revolutionized it with her commitment to entrepreneurship, IT and the human condition. Now, that’s what I call a Healthcare reformer.