An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Robbie Cape (co-founder and CEO) of 98point6, which was honored in our:
- 2021 Best Tech Startups in Washington
- 2021 Best Tech Startups in Seattle
- 2020 Best Tech Startups in Seattle
Tell us the origin story of 98point6 – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
My 25-year career has centered around building consumer technology businesses and products. After selling my first successful startup (the family organizing app, Cozi) to Time Inc. in 2014, I co-founded 98point6 with a group of thought-leaders passionate about improving access and affordability of healthcare – something every human on this Earth needs. With my technology background, I could see an innovative path towards solving this dilemma: by augmenting the expertise of physicians with machine learning and AI, we could extend their reach and fundamentally change the economics of care delivery.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Seattle, 98point6 is pioneering this new approach to primary care. By pairing AI and machine learning with board-certified physicians, our vision is to make primary care more accessible and affordable, leading to better health. We meet consumers where they are by offering private, text-based diagnosis and treatment via a mobile app. For employers, health plans, and retail partners, 98point6 increases primary care utilization among those not actively or appropriately engaged in their health, enabling earlier medical intervention and reducing overall cost of care.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
In spite of growing up in a very entrepreneurial family, I went to work for corporate America. Beginning in 1993, what I originally intended to be a three-year adventure at Microsoft turned into a learning experience that lasted more than a decade. Eventually I recognized that I needed to pursue what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life – build companies. Making that leap to entrepreneurship was a hurdle, like it is for many people, but a memorable one. I’ve yet to know anyone (including me) who has regretted taking that step, even if they’ve had a failure or two.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
The biggest challenge is embarking on that first step. I meet with many entrepreneurs who are afraid of taking the leap. In some cases, their fear is a great indicator that they shouldn’t do it, since ultimately they are apprehensive about failing. But in other cases, they know they have it in them; they’re just “preparing” themselves to make the leap: learning, growing, saving enough money so they can live without a salary while they get a new company off the ground. My advice to these folks is just do it. Figure out a way to take the leap now.