The Start Up Protocol - Sally Ann Frank

The Start Up Protocol: A Guide for Digital Health Startups to Bypass Pitfalls and Adopt Strategies That Work

The goal of this book is to help founders and their teams identify blind spots and avoid the most common pitfalls of starting a digital health company. Having spent time with founders, VC companies and most importantly, prospective digital health startups, patterns have emerged regarding those startups that are successful and those that die an often slow and painful death. While not a recipe for guaranteed success, having a guidebook of sorts can help navigate the perils associated with building a digital health company and very likely improve the odds of success.

The book goes through the typical life cycle of an early-stage company, from ideation to the first few customer deals, and highlight best practices for tackling the challenges at each stage including: What problem are you trying to solve? And why are you trying to solve this problem? Who will help you build the solution and company? How will you build the solution? How will you pitch your company? How will you sell your solution? And, what does success look like to you, your stakeholders and customers?

Book Reviews: The Startup Protocol


Starting with the fundamental stages of starting and building an idea into a business, Sally Frank has written the definitive textbook for healthcare innovators and entrepreneurs. Chapter by chapter, The Startup Protocol starts with the simple, then delineates and exemplifies the details. Even successful entrepreneurs who have designed and built multiple companies need a blueprint, and The Startup Protocol is the best I have seen in my nearly thirty years as an entrepreneur.


Read it, study it, and dramatically improve your odds of success.


Michael Gorton, BS MS JD, Teladoc / Recuro Founder, 14x Serial Entrepreneur


Sally is a true Unicorn - a corporate executive who both cares about and understands the challenges of entrepreneurship, focusing on healthcare which is in desperate need of true innovation. This book is a reflection of that combination - providing a clear roadmap and tools that address the tactical hurdles to success, as well as highlighting how to approach the existential challenges of starting and growing a company in a highly challenging environment.


Steve Tremitiere, Founder & CEO StraightLine Health


This is an amazing body of work – super comprehensive and makes very nuanced and complicated topics very accessible. The book has extraordinary range, covering all the key topics.


Michael Greeley, General Partner, Flare Capital


The author has done a spectacular job synthesizing complex information into a digestible format. She uses concrete examples to illustrate her points beautifully. This book was better than a year of business school. A must-read for any entrepreneur!


Ranya Habash, MD, Co-founder of MetaMed, FDA Digital Health Network of Experts


As an emergency physician, it is frustrating to see so many brilliant, passionate, and well-intended founders and entrepreneurs create so many products and solutions that have very little value in my real world of caring for patients. Sally has laid out a clear framework with actionable guidance for how to create truly world-changing solutions to the many crises we face daily in healthcare. If you want to leave a ripple in healthcare, reading The Startup Protocol is an excellent place to start.


Joshua Tamayo-Sarver, MD, PhD, FACEP, FAMIA, VP of Innovation at Vituity and Inflect Health


Sally delivers a unique perspective on successful digital health startups. Illuminating and inspiring for entrepreneurs looking to solve problems regardless of the industry. Excited to share the book’s wisdom with the global entrepreneurs I mentor.


Patty Obermaier, Emerging Growth Officer, Microsoft Health and Life Sciences and Board Member of Global Good Fund

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About the Author

Sally Ann Frank leads the worldwide HLS strategy, programs, and portfolio for Microsoft for Startups, an organization dedicated to accelerating the development of innovative companies. Through business strategy planning, go-to-market development, and technical excellence, she enables startups to achieve their revenue and long-term goals… READ MORE

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