Molly Bonakdarpour


Growing up on the east coast and moving between the big cities - D.C., Boston, and New York - I figured I would remain within spitting distance of the Atlantic Ocean. That was home to me. After college I started along a path that many others have followed before me by working in equity research for a large investment bank in New York. It was predictable, safe even. I knew if I worked hard I would continue to advance, but something was missing.

I realized the big company life wasn’t for me. I wanted to be able to see the impact of my decisions, to get my hands dirty working for a small company looking to have a big impact. What I would never have thought, however, was that the perfect opportunity for me existed in the Midwest.

As it turned out, leaving New York City and moving to the Midwest was the inflection point in my career. I met wonderful, thoughtful, energetic people in Chicago that had very big goals. I was smart enough to realize the size of the opportunity in front of me and jumped in with both feet. Looking back, I am incredibly grateful I did.

My first job in Chicago was with a small venture capital firm and then I quickly moved to an operational role at one of their first investments, Livongo Health. Livongo is a digital consumer health company and when I joined there was just a handful of employees. Working to help grow the company - from determining the pricing model to defining key metrics to measure business, or more recently, being charged with building partnerships with some of the largest players in the healthcare ecosystem - has taught me firsthand the importance of action, flexibility, and perseverance. Being a disruptive force in healthcare is not easy. In fact it is really, really hard. But it is possible and it is absolutely necessary.

Recently I found myself confronted with another opportunity: leave Chicago and join the Drive Capital team in Columbus. Drive didn’t need to sell me on the Midwest opportunity - I already saw that daily from living in Chicago and in my regular trips to St. Louis, Kansas City, and Minneapolis. Instead, what sold me on Drive was the conviction and the dedication of the partners and the opportunity to have an outsized impact on the healthcare industry. Shifts to value-based care and bundled payments, treating patients like consumers, and the largest health systems, health plans, and PBMs turning to innovative technologies that exist outside of healthcare to disrupt the market has left the healthcare market ripe for change. If you find yourself excited by this as well, send me a message. I’d love to chat.