Start-up Advice: Min-Sung Sean Kim, partner, XLHealth

28 Apr 2016

Min-Sung Sean Kim is a partner at XLHealth, a Berlin-based venture capital fund specialising in investing in early-stage and growth-stage digital health start-ups.

In leading the analyst team at XLHealth, Min-Sung Sean has seen more than 2,300 digital health start-ups in Europe.

He has invested in start-ups including MySugr, Meedoc, NeuroNation and Harimata.

Prior to joining XLHealth in 2013, he was a partner and conducted seed investments with Lakeside Ventures.

He has held the positions of CEO and COO and was the co-founding partner of Buddy Labs, which was acquired by Babberly in 2012.

Min-Sung Sean also runs a blog that aims to be a helpful resource for digital health tech start-ups in Europe.

In your opinion, which areas of technology hold the greatest scope for opportunity?

Within the consumer digital health space: telemedicine, chronic disease management, and mental health management.

Are good entrepreneurs born or can they be made?

I think it is a mix of traits and iterative process.

What are the qualities of a good founder?

A sense of market dynamics.

What does a successful entrepreneur need to do every day?

Figure out how their product can add value to and serve the customer.

What resources and tools are an absolute must for your arsenal?

LinkedIn and Facebook.

How do you assemble a good team?

Learn about your strengths first, then find your counterparts whose strength is your weakness.

What is the critical ingredient to start-up success?

An understanding of market dynamics plus exceptional execution skills to capture market value.

What are the biggest mistakes that founders make?

Not understanding the addressable market size. And, in the digital health sphere, not understanding the healthcare stakeholders. Also, prioritising growth over [the consumer’s] trust.

Who is your business hero and why?

My father. He came to Germany from South Korea with nothing and started a small shop. He worked hard, took care of us and made sure that we were educated in the right way.

Whats the No 1 piece of advice you have for entrepreneurs?

Understand the dynamics in your market and the value proposition towards stakeholders and customers. Always think how your early product can be adopted for the masses and how you can tailor it as a mass-market product.