Roman Rittweger has raised $100M for his second startup and is disrupting how healthcare is delivered.
This is a founder who has taken a startup full cycle and is now on his second big adventure. During our time on the DealMakers Podcast, Roman shared how he found his sweet spot in business, the differences between starting a company in your 20s vs 50s, the importance of having alternatives and enough capital for the journey, as well as what he has found the most important catalyst for scaling a successful company.
Determination & Finding What You Love Doing
Roman Rittweger is a European founder, who was born and raised in Munich, Germany. His father managed the Munich Airport. That meant great travel opportunities at a young age. He became a global citizen, getting to experience other cultures and learning new languages.
He ended up doing his military service with the Mountaineers, bringing together early experiences of skiing, international exposure, and small mountain living.
His mother was a doctor. As with most youngsters that at first made him determined that medicine was the last thing he would do with his own life.
Only when he was sent to the hospital after a basketball injury did he really appreciate the care that was being provided. A lesson further was driven home caring for others as an officer in the army reserves. He discovered it was something he really liked doing.
While studying medicine Rittweger had the opportunity to intern with McKinsey. He discovered how much he thrived on intellectual challenges. Every day was different, with a new set of problems to solve. A refreshing change from the routine of working in a hospital setting.
He thought it would be great to keep working at McKinsey and he applied on the fly with little preparation. He didn’t get hired. So he got hired at another consultancy, ATKearney. Then he went on to get his MBA at, INSEAD.
Refusing to be defeated, he prepared and reapplied to McKinsey. He got in and was tasked with helping health insurance companies improve.
Moving Fast & Taking Care Of Your Co-Adventurers
Roman saw changes happening in the space and leaped on them with his own first startup. They took on early telemedicine and smart healthcare for cardiology patients and the chronically ill.
He quickly learned some of the pains of not going in with enough capital. They managed to close a funding round right before going broke.
They acquired another company and learned more lessons about due diligence and what happens when you also acquire bad contracts. He acted fast to declare bankruptcy and renegotiate those contracts.
They managed to reduce costs and got acquired by another player in the industry. It wasn’t the big exit they hoped for. They didn’t get rich.
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