IVCA Profile: Glen Tullman, Recipient of the 2020 Stanley C. Golder Award at the  upcoming IVCA Virtual Awards Event

November 25, 2020

Like many things about the pandemic year of 2020, the annual IVCA Awards event will go virtual to present its honors. The IVCA Awards event, presented by Kirkland & Ellis LLP, will be held on Monday, December 7th, 2020, from 4pm-6pm. The honors presented will include the Venture-Backed Portfolio Company of the Year, the IVCA Fellows Award and the Stanley C. Golder Award
The Stanley C. Golder Award – which honors individuals who have made profound and lasting contributions to the Private Equity and Venture Capital industries in Illinois – will be presented to Glen Tullman, Managing Director for 7WireVentures. As a healthcare leader both past and present, Mr. Tullman is focused on the safety, empathy and efficiency of the overall healthcare system.
Glen Tullman was a graduate of Bucknell University, and also studied social anthropology at Oxford University on a Rotary International fellowship through the Office of Management and Budget. A visionary leader and entrepreneur, Mr. Tullman previously ran two other public companies that changed the way healthcare was delivered. During his time as Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts, the Company was the leading provider of electronic prescribing, practice management, and electronic health records … he also led the Allscripts IPO and Secondary offerings. Prior to Allscripts, he was Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Systems, which he also took public and then sold to McKesson/HBOC.
Mr. Tullman was the founder and former Executive Chairman/CEO of Livongo Health, which used data science to empower patients with chronic conditions. In his final year, Mr. Tullman led Livongo through the largest consumer digital health Initial Public Offering in history, a secondary offering, a convertible debt offering that raised over $550 million  and the industry’s largest merger to date between Livongo and Teladoc Health. This valued Livongo at $18.5 billion and began a new era of consumer-centric virtual care.
Mr. Tullman is one of two Founding Partners at 7wireVentures, one of the highest returning Venture Capital funds in Illinois. He is the author of “On Our Terms: Empowering the New Health Consumer,” in which he proposes new solutions to address the chronic-condition epidemic facing our country. He has also dedicated his life to finding a cure for diabetes and the conditions surrounding the disease. He serves as a Chancellor to the International Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and as a Board Member of the American Diabetes Association.
The IVCA got the opportunity to get some insight from Glen Tullman himself, in the following Q&A profile.
IVCA: You’ve been a leader throughout your career in understanding how technology can innovate healthcare. How has this innovation affected the culture of the doctor/patient interaction, and made the healing arts better or easier to apply?
Glen Tullman: I think we’re still in the early stages of seeing how technology can innovate and improve the two most important areas of our society … healthcare and education. Every other area of our society has been positively impacted by technology.  Perhaps one of the few positives of the pandemic will be the acceleration of technology in both areas due to COVID. 
In healthcare specifically, technology provides more access to information and care – healthcare is an information business at its heart. For example, Google made information available to anyone in the world, with a phone or computer, 24/7/365 for free. Now we can do that for healthcare information and also for care … Telehealth is now available 24/7/365, at lower costs, and in both rural and intercity areas where it was previously hard to access. 
That said, there will always be a need, and increasingly a greater need for great health professionals and physicians. Using technology properly will allow us to make them better at their jobs and pay them more, as well as leave room for the empathy, care, and judgement that only they can provide … we need both tech and care to blend together seamlessly. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer every day.
IVCA: In the process of taking Livongo public, what circumstances emerged that surprised the team, and what guidance was necessary to steer through those surprises?
Tullman: We spent a lot of time preparing the team so they would not be surprised by the IPO, which is the benefit of having had an experienced team of leaders who had been through IPOs before. Our guidance was simple: first, stay focused on our Members and Clients. Don’t get distracted by the press. 
And second, as Lee Shapiro – our Chief Financial Officer and my long-time business partner – was fond of saying to the entire company at meetings: “Repeat after me: you are not your stock price.”  The message was that while the stock price may be higher or lower on any given day, we had an important business – empowering people with chronic conditions to live better and healthier lives – and if we did that well, the rest would take care of itself. And it did.
IVCA: Healthcare has been under the microscope during the pandemic, both in care giving and resource allocation. What do you think we’re going to learn once this this situation is passed us, and will it evolve Healthcare to a new level of innovation?
Tullman: As I mentioned above, one of the few positives of the pandemic was forcing all of us – beginning with our healthcare institutions and many of our physicians – to rapidly adopt Telehealth, remote monitoring, or what we have now called “patient centric virtual care,” and many other innovations.  
I hope it will also encourage two other behaviors: first, understanding how fast change can happen when it has to happen and when it’s important, which can also be called leadership; and second, understanding that we are all one community in health and we need to take care of each other and provide minimum levels of care to every person in America. That will keep us all safer and is also the right thing to do.
IVCA: Since you are known for your mentor-ship of entrepreneurs, what do your observe about young innovators that astounds you based on what you’ve experienced in your own development, and what gaps do these innovators still need to fulfill to be successful in the arena?
Tullman: I’m always amazed how few people it takes to drive change … to really make a difference … and all it takes is caring.  I love the way Steve Jobs famously described this group – what he called the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. That’s a great description of some of our best entrepreneurs. 
And for the gaps … realizing how hard you have to work to be the best and how much you have to keep learning. Every day. Spending an hour sharpening the saw. Our entrepreneurs make their own luck. And no one was more passionate about ideas, worked harder or had higher standards than Stan Golder. 
IVCA: You focus your philanthropy on diabetes research. In these times, how does science and investors create opportunities for disease eradication, and what breakthroughs have you personally been proud of in your guidance of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and your participation in the American Diabetes Association (ADA)?
Tullman: First, I think giving back is both a privilege and a responsibility, both for companies and individuals. At Livongo, we were clear that our values were taking care of our Members, our Clients, our Team, our Community and, only then, our Investors.  I capitalize each because we respect each but we put taking care of our communities, where we work, as critical so we supported homeless shelters, food pantries, battered women’s shelters, and development groups for racial equality.
It mattered to us to strengthen our communities, where our people lived. And we also supported causes like diabetes and heart research as well. Personally, my family has supported many charities, but our first has always been JDRF for their amazing research.  I’m proudest of our early funding of the Continuous Glucose Monitor and Artificial Pancreas, which have become realities today. And today the ADA is doing important work on diabetes for people with Type 2, and addressing important issues like insulin affordability and inequities in care for our minority populations. That said, a cure is still elusive so we have much more to do.
IVCA: Finally, as the 2020 recipient of the Stanley C. Golder Award, what does it mean to you personally to be recognized by your peers in the Venture Capital and Private Equity industries?
Tullman: To be honest, it’s a bit awkward and embarrassing. My Mom always said, “do the work and let others take the credit.” My success is all about the teams I’ve been able to bring together … diverse teams that were smarter than me and with so many different skill sets … so while we love to point to one person, it’s almost always about the teams who build great companies.  Having said that, because I knew Stan Golder and he actually helped influence me taking my first job, this one is very special. 
Kirkand & Ellis LLP presents The 2020 IVCA Virtual Awards Event on Monday, December 7th, 2020, from 4pm-6pm. For sponsorship and individual ticket information,  click here.