Gil Addo is an entrepreneur who desires to make the world a better place. He is one of the most influential figures in the healthcare industry. Gil is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of RubiconMD organization. The main purpose of the brand is to push clinicians to provide quality services to patients. The world knows Gil for innovating the first eConsult healthcare platform. RubiconMD has medical experts who understand the aspect of customer satisfaction. Gil is leading this brand to greater heights by working with partners who are hungry to succeed.
Early life and schooling
Gil Addo was born and grew up in Connecticut for most of his childhood. His mother was from Barbados and his father was from Ghana. The humble beginning of Gil’s family is one key contributor for him to become an elite entrepreneur. From a young age, Gil always had a dream to be part of the black excellence population. During Gil’s childhood, his grandmother died of a brain tumor in 2000. Gil saw her commuting for hundreds of miles to go for checkups and surgery appointments. This experience became Gil’s motivation to join the healthcare world. He developed empathy to help patients who are in pain to feel better. Gil observed that the top medical institutions were in the centralized regions. He took a leap of faith and relocated to Boston to chase his healthcare dreams. This step in his life was the foundation of developing RubiconMD Company.
His first career choice was to be a pro soccer player. But the reality of life hit as soon as he became a teenager. He graduated with his high school diploma from The Loomis Chaffee School in 2003. With his willingness to learn, he pursued Biomedical Engineer at Yale University. But this Bachelor of Science course was not enough for Gil to grow in his healthcare dream. It is because biomedical engineering involved more lab work than the business aspect. Gil graduated from Yale University in 2007. But chose to add economics to learn more about business. Through determination and hard work, Gil joined the Harvard Business School. He graduated in 2011 with a Master of Business Administration. At this point, Gil had developed his foundation to enter the healthcare industry.
Gil worked at Xerox for two years where he learned about investor relations. He started his internships to network with business personnel across the globe. He began at Cubist Pharmaceuticals as a health technician. Also, he took another internship to work in the drug delivery department. These opportunities introduced Gil to how the healthcare business operates and functions. The only problem was the lack of financial stability to start his brand.
Gil admits, “When I left business school, I already had an idea for something I wanted to start. But didn’t have the financial flexibility at the time.”
Working with professionals who shared the same skills was relevant to Gil’s career.
As an MBA graduate, Gil got a job with Putnam Associates as a life science Consultant. During his professional experience, he built strong relationships with pharmacy clients. Gil’s role in the firm was marketing establishments and pricing of the products and services. He was a top-performing employee by working with over 500 Fortune clients. For instance, Gil would help clients find a good market for their prescription drugs. Working with Putnam Associates opened doors for Gil to launch his company in 2013.
In The Pulse interview, he admits, “The vision for RubiconMD came out of personal experience. Earlier in my life, my grandmother had a brain tumour and she travelled from Barbados to Boston for surgery. Then spent the next 5+ years flying back and forth for the management of that tumour. We wanted to address this type of challenge. How can we take the healthcare expertise that sits at centers of excellence in places like Boston? And get it out to larger communities where it is so necessary and valuable?”
When Gil was working as a consultant, technology was not a huge part of the healthcare world. As a result, during the ACA period, health firms were looking for a method to empower clinicians. The encouragement of physicians and nurses resulted in diverse discussions from investors. Gil saw the opportunity to create a brand that would disrupt the healthcare market. So, RubiconMD came to life to give patients access to primary care. The major aspect that Gil considered when building his brand is having a skilled team. High-performing employees are the key to triumph for any organization. Gil invited investors, and pharmacy and medical experts to create the brand’s core values. Coming from a meek background, Gil understood the importance of helping people.
“My mom sacrificed a lot to give me a good education and I can’t thank her enough. Her sacrifice inspired me to focus my work on launching RubiconMD. To provide underserved communities with access to specialty care.”
“Jim Lesko, one of the longest serving executives at Xerox, where I once worked. Jim served as a mentor to me early in my career, which was huge for my growth. I have infused an emphasis on mentorship into the culture at RubiconMD.”
Like many biographies, Gil’s journey in entrepreneurship has not been a walk in the park. Starting RubiconMD was challenging at first because of a lack of startup capital. This financial situation did not stop Gil from having faith in chasing his goals. One of the strategies he used to save cash is calculating his yearly expenses. Gil had an excel sheet recording how much he could live for per year. Gil took a step forward and travelled to New York to explore the dollar exchange rates. But his budget was still tight to start a company. Also, it was during this time that Gil proposed to his wife. Through fundraisers, Gil was successful to raise the money to launch his brand.
Gil founded RubiconMD to fill the technology gap between clinicians and patients. The virtual empowerment of medical experts was a driving force in building the brand. Besides, the profiles of health institutions reflect the skills of medical experts. This market gap led to the establishment of RubiconMD.
Gil Addo became the CEO while Carlos Reines took the President position. Gil launched this company due to his drive to solve neglected problems in healthcare. He acknowledges that not all patients and clinicians have access to the internet. As a result, many victims fail to get telehealth services. The digital divide issues in health care affect those who have house insecurities. For example, it is hard for a patient to have a virtual talk with a doctor in a house with big families. If a victim is conversing with a psychiatrist, the lack of privacy can affect the healing process. But the introduction of eConsult in RubiconMD has been effective on a global level.
RubiconMD platforms now serve more than 6000 clinicians through virtual care. The company offers medical solutions by connecting specialists and physicians. Thanks to technology, these professionals can now communicate from their comfort zones. The importance of expert consultation is to upgrade the patient’s experience. In 2021, Oak Street Health, Inc acquired RubiconMD company. The main reason for this partnership is to expand virtual special care to the current market. As a result, creating good care plans and developing more medical resources.
Leadership roles and awards
Gil is leading his company to greatness in the business world. His leadership has attracted investors such as Optum Ventures and HLM Venture Partners. Working with these shareholders has been helpful to finance the technology in RubiconMD. Gil’s company has raised over $13.8 million to improve the health care cost. The leadership team of RubiconMD has elite members like the Chief Technology Officer. Since the foundation of RubiconMD, the company has received awards from different categories. The brand attained the top ‘Five Companies Defining the Future of Healthcare’. Also, RubiconMD ranked 12 in the top 25 healthcare disruptors in the health market.
Gil’s career is a true definition of black excellence for the African American community. He has appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine, Fortune, CNBC, and Forbes. Individual achievements include ‘30 Under 30’ businessmen in Forbes. Also, ‘30 Under 40’ by Business Insider and ‘40 Under 40’ by Crain’s New York Business. The peak of his awards was when he received the Heritage Healthcare Innovator of the Year. Gil Addo’s story is inspiring to many entrepreneurs who have a dream to make a difference. His modest upbringing gave him the ability to be kind to people and be content. Gil’s early life and career were not ‘sunshine’ and ‘rainbow’. He faced both personal and professional challenges to reach his current level. The best lesson from Gil’s story is to do whatever you can to always get better every day.
Gil Addois part of our Black Founders50 Series. Download the complete 2023 BBVA Founders50 list here.