The Relay Team

by our Health Sector Lead, Crystal Phillips (September 2020)


I often say I’ve spent most of my life skating in circles.


Yep, I was a speed skater for 20 years, and wow, those years taught me a lot - particularly when a diagnosis with multiple sclerosis meant I had to face a whole new set of challenges to stay at the elite level. This personal experience with MS also highlighted gaps in the healthcare system that I became determined to fill. That’s why I created the Branch Out Neurological Foundation and why I now lead the Thin Air Health sector at Thin Air Labs. 


But let’s not leave the skating just yet. 

The world record for the women’s 3000m short track race is 4:46.983. The world record for the same distance but on a relay team with 4 teammates is 4:03.471.  Now, I’m no mathematician, but that’s a much faster time!


What if we adopted a team approach in venture building? Could we also increase the speed of moving new innovations from idea to impact? 


At Thin Air Labs we’re making that bet.


The Thin Air Health sector is already working with top scientific minds, passionate entrepreneurs and whip smart experts from various backgrounds. We’re a proud teammate of an important relay team which passes the baton from ideation, through the research lab, onto the entrepreneurs and all the way to improving the lives of patients, care partners, practitioners and other allied health professionals. Together, we are all passionate about a future in health where:


Systems are agile and meet the needs in global shifts


Ventures deliver exceptional returns and have a regenerative impact


Individuals are empowered to achieve optimal health

On average, the pathway for health to move from idea to impact takes 20+ years and billions of dollars. We can do better, especially given we’ve been working with the same health care model since before the Internet was a thing.


Look at how we’ve responded to a global pandemic! Teams of experts have come together to build and adopt new technologies, we’ve encouraged each other to be agile and we’ve gotten slightly more confident with rapid change.


At Thin Air Labs, we want to keep this momentum and attitude going by championing entrepreneurs who are building great companies, rooted in great science. We will take the baton from our friends in the research labs and accelerate their innovations to create the most impact for all of us. 


It’s time to #buildahealthiernext. As a speed skating starter would say; Go to the start... Ready…Go!



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