Event Recap – KP Washington and Ginger: A Closer Look at an Enterprise-Startup Partnership

KP Ventures’ co-hosted event on July 23rd 2019 with Rock Health on navigating and building enterprise-startup partnerships by taking a closer look at the partnership forged between Ginger KP Washington (KPWA). Ginger, a KP Ventures portfolio company, offers on-demand behavioral health coaching, teletherapy, telepsychiatry and guided self-care through a smartphone app to help people manage a full spectrum of mental health concerns. Through partnership, Ginger provides KPWA with virtual Mental Health and Wellness services.


Roger Dowdy, Director of Mental Health and Wellness at KPWA, and Karan Singh, Co-founder and COO of Ginger, shared why KPWA decided to partner with a start-up (Ginger) for this strategic initiative, critical success factors of the partnership, and how Ginger has evolved its business model to work with large health systems. Read below for some key takeaways captured in Rock Health’s blog post of the event.


It’s no secret that most digital health companies achieve growth and scale through enterprise organizations, such as health systems, payers, and pharmaceutical companies. But in increasingly crowded spaces like digital mental health, standing out from the pack is paramount to success. Dowdy initially selected Ginger as KPWA’s partner because he was looking for a scalable, digital-first model that would reinvigorate mental healthcare with technology. Throughout their partnership, Ginger actively sought to understand the goals of KPWA, implement solutions that met their top priorities, and to grow alongside KPWA.


During the early stages of the partnership, KPWA communicated two clear goals for the partnership: leverage Ginger’s solution to connect patients to mental health services as quickly as possible and enable seamless referrals between Ginger’s teletherapy and KPWA’s Mental Health Access Center. With these expectations and clear picture of Ginger’s growing capabilities, KPWA and Ginger worked in lockstep to build an offering that would meet KPWA’s immediate needs.


Quantifiable target metrics were crucial to the success of the partnership. By establishing clear KPIs—such as wait times for accessing care, patient satisfaction, and clinical outcomes—Ginger knew what data they needed to collect to demonstrate value to KPWA. The defined KPIs were also tied to payment structures, which created aligned incentives on both ends. Additionally, creating strong feedback loops and open lines of communication facilitated a healthy, iterative discussion and supported the longevity of this enterprise-startup partnership.


To learn more about the event, check out Rock Health’s blog post for a recap and podcast recording of the event.