Neil Patel

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In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, stories often unfold in unexpected ways. Dr. David Albert’s journey from the son of a prominent politician during the Watergate era to a trailblazing entrepreneur in the medical technology sector is a captivating tale of resilience, innovation, and the pursuit of a passion that transcends traditional boundaries. His company, according to PitchBook, has already raised $50M+.

Listen to the full podcast episode and review the transcript here.

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Early Years and Shaping Influences

Born in Washington, D.C., David’s childhood was marked by the unique experience of growing up in the Speaker of the House household during the Watergate scandal. The contrasting landscapes of rural Oklahoma and the bustling capital city provided him with a diverse set of experiences.

They shaped his ability to navigate new friendships, locations, and the uncertainties that often accompany an entrepreneurial journey. David remembers hunting, fishing, living with an extended family in Oklahoma, and then transitioning to urban Washington D.C., which was a stark contrast.

He lived as an outdoorsman and then in a major capital city, which broadened his perspectives.

Unconventional Career Choices

David’s academic pursuits led him to study government at Harvard as an undergraduate and then medicine and biomedical engineering at Duke. Although his initial goal was to become a cardiologist, a chance encounter in a Duke University Medical Center lab sparked his entrepreneurial spirit.

This unexpected turn led David to develop and license medical inventions, paving the way for a successful career beyond the confines of traditional medical practice.

He recalls that at a time when his classmates and colleagues were making less than minimum wage as residents working 100 hours a week, he was driving a new Corvette he had bought off his earnings.

David went back to Oklahoma to train, but having already licensed two inventions, he was ready to become an entrepreneur. His mentors encouraged him with the option that he could always come back to medicine if his ideas didn’t pan out.

He looks back at his very interesting professional career despite not having to go back to his plan B of practicing medicine.

Entrepreneurship Takes Flight

His first company’s success and subsequent sale opened the door to a series of entrepreneurial endeavors. David took the company public sometime in 1999 at a valuation of $500M, and it was eventually acquired by GE.

Up until then, David’s experience was limited to privately held companies and the inventions he was doing. But taking a company public was a nerve-wracking experience. David quickly realized that he was an inventor and a scientist and not really cut out to be a manager or CEO.

When founding Data Critical Corp., David had a board comprising a well-experienced serial CEO, their lead venture capitalist, NEA partner, and other experts while holding meetings on Sand Hill Road.

The dot-com era presented challenges, and David’s experience during the market downturn provided valuable insights into the cyclical nature of the business world.

Ultimately, David was glad he didn’t have to deal with quarterly reports, safe statements, and the vetting process. But, he looks back at his public company, growing 15% to 20% quarter on quarter when the bust hit.

Many unicorns ended up with a fraction of their valuation. Regardless of the type of business, the downdraft of the macroenvironment pulled them all in.

However, as David explains, they were able to pull through because of some right choices, an outstanding, highly-experienced management, and an outstanding investor cohort.

The journey culminated in the creation of AliveCor, a company that would revolutionize cardiac care through innovative technology.

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The AliveCor Revolution

AliveCor’s inception in 2010 coincided with the rise of smartphones and digital wireless communications, enabling David to realize an idea he had harbored since 1995 – remote ECG monitoring.

This concept would allow patients to send their ECG immediately to a doctor and get an instant assessment of whether or not they needed care.

David built a prototype with a couple of partners and traveled to Hong Kong to meet with one of the many manufacturers in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. He soon received the first consignment of 15 cases of smartphones and EKGs with the first Kardias.

David’s initial plan was to go to the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas in early January to show them to a bunch of companies. However, his nine-year-old showed him how to make a 4-minute, unscripted YouTube video, which he uploaded to LinkedIn.

David remembers his partner calling from Australia and telling him they had 300,000 views of that video. Soon, he was on FOX and Good Morning America.

The viral YouTube video showcasing the first Kardia device catapulted AliveCor into the limelight, attracting the attention of venture capitalists and leading to partnerships with major healthcare institutions.

Navigating the Ever-Changing Financial Landscape

David’s strategic choice in selecting investors who understood the long-term vision for healthcare set AliveCor on a trajectory for success. The company’s ability to secure over $50M in funding, according to PitchBook, reflects the growing interest in innovations that merge technology and healthcare.

Storytelling is everything, which is something that Dr. David Albert was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel (see it here), where the most critical slides are highlighted.

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

As David points out, in 2010, digital health was not a recognizable term, but later, he was approached by venture capitalist Qualcomm Ventures and ended up starting the company. He chose to headquarter in San Francisco since he thought Silicon Valley was a suitable place.

Later, David went on to bring in Khosla Ventures and thus started the journey to transform AliveCor into a global brand selling products in 42 countries and millions of devices. And improving the lives of so many people.

AliveCor sells the hardware advertised on TV ads to users. Physicians may also recommend that patients purchase the devices, and the company has a suite of services for physicians, patients, and customers.

Their cardiac care services allow users to subscribe and get a series of enhancements to the basic functionality. Users can record their EKG and email it to get an advanced analysis of that EKG by sending it directly to cardiologists to read the test. They can also get monthly reports.

AliveCor not only has a consumer-oriented business where users can buy from the website or Amazon, but it also has a commercial business that sells into healthcare.

The company partners with organizations like GE Healthcare that focus their business principally on hospitals while partnering with Omron, which sells BP and other medical equipment directly through consumer channels.

Fundraising for AliveCor

Since healthcare is increasingly focused outside hospitals, GE Healthcare saw AliveCor as one of the best avenues for them to be in this business aspect. AliveCor has raised more than $50M to date, according to PitchBook.

As David explains, he was keen on bringing in investors who would support them long-term.

Healthcare is not a social media platform like TikTok; to get accepted, companies must get regulatory clearance from the FDA. AliveCor also needs to get acceptance from cardiologists so that when their patient sends an EKG, they’ll believe it’s accurate to treat them accordingly.

Publications and peer-reviewed journals take time, as do running studies and clinical validation. All of these activities take effort and money, which is why David wanted investors who understood the process.

David looks forward to the time when AliveCor can help more doctors and bring acute cardiac connectivity anywhere in the world, for starters, in countries like South America, Africa, Asia, India, and China. Smartphones are now the front door to healthcare around the world.

AliveCor can add value to Android and smartphone devices with its products and services and create opportunities to help patients and potentially save their lives. Millions of devices are now sold worldwide, and thousands of people subscribe to AliveCor’s advanced services.

The Impact of AliveCor

AliveCor’s impact reverberates globally, with the widespread adoption in leading cardiovascular hospitals. As David reveals, the top 10 leading cardiovascular hospitals, like Cleveland Clinic, have thousands of patients using AliveCor devices.

AliveCor has unparalleled clinical acceptance at the best medical centers around the world. That includes Canada, the UK, Europe, and Asia.

It also has the confidence of consumers and patients that this is a quality device despite the fact they can just buy it at their local drugstore or through

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into medical devices has positioned AliveCor as a pioneer in augmented intelligence, enhancing the efficiency of healthcare workers and improving patient outcomes.


Dr. David Albert’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of merging passion, innovation, and business acumen. From the political turbulence of Watergate to the cutting-edge intersection of AI and medical devices, his story serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs.

AliveCor’s success stands as a testament to the enduring impact that visionary individuals can have on the landscape of healthcare and technology.

Listen to the full podcast episode to know more, including:

  • Dr. David Albert’s entrepreneurial journey, from Watergate to AliveCor, showcases the transformative power of passion and innovation.
  • Growing up in contrasting environments, from rural Oklahoma to the political hub of Washington D.C., shaped David’s ability to navigate uncertainties, which is crucial for an entrepreneur.
  • A chance encounter in a Duke University lab redirected David from a planned career in cardiology to becoming an accidental entrepreneur.
  • AliveCor’s inception in 2010, leveraging the rise of smartphones, marked a revolutionary moment in remote ECG monitoring, as showcased in a viral YouTube video.
  • Strategic investor choices and securing over $50 million in funding, according to PitchBook, highlight AliveCor’s commitment to long-term success and sustainable growth.
  • AliveCor’s global impact is evident through millions of devices sold, partnerships with leading healthcare institutions, and the integration of AI, positioning the company as a pioneer in augmented intelligence.
  • David’s journey serves as an inspirational roadmap for entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of resilience, team-building, and the relentless pursuit of groundbreaking ideas.


For a winning deck, see the commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400M (see it here). 

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Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.


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Neil Patel

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