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Virtual doctor visits and software quality control: Jon Pearce and Valarie King-Bailey

Courtesy of Jon Pearce/Valarie King-Bailey
Jon Pearce and Valarie King-Bailey

Jon Pearce was watching a surgery when the realization that inspired his startup clicked: The next wave of healthcare would involve mobile phones. Jon had a computer science degree but enrolled in an MBA program to learn about pro forma financial statements, cap tables and other business tools. The end result was Zipnosis, a Minneapolis telehealth platform provider whose software cut out bureaucracy for providers and enabled virtual doctor visits. Zipnosis raised nearly $25 million, grew to 70 employees, and was acquired in 2021 for an undisclosed price.

Valarie King-Bailey worked at three different fast-growing software startups, earning an on-the-job education about how to build a company. Those experiences, stints at two more established companies, and an engineering degree that gave her good technical chops helped Valarie found her own company and become just the 99thBlack woman in the U.S. to raise venture capital. Chicago-based Onshore Technology Group, which does software quality control, has 13 employees and more than 200 clients. It landed a spot on the 2021 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies and raised its first outside investment dollars in 2020.

Midwest Moxie's executive producer is Audrey Nowakowski and she produced this episode. Subscribe to Midwest Moxie on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and NPR One. And if you love Midwest Moxie as much as we do, help us out by posting a review. 

Kathleen Gallagher is the host of Midwest Moxie and previously the host of How Did You Do That?.