chase adamwatsi

Lack of bureaucracy

Watsi — the first nonprofit to go through Y Combinator, a kind of prestigious boot camp for startups — is a tech product at its core, Adam said. And it’s not exactly revolutionizing the traditional health funding model: pooling money and disbursing it to hospitals to pay for medical expenses. But what makes Watsi unique in the global health care sector, its backers say, is its absence of bureaucracy and intense focus on efficiency and data analysis.

“This isn’t something that’s new — the dynamic of people supporting other people when they need help,” Garey said. “But the Internet can be applied as a massive lever and democratize access.”

Last year was Watsi’s biggest yet, funneling $1.67 million from nearly 8,000 donors — double the amount it saw in 2014. The goal, Adam said, is to double contributions every year.

But ultimately, Adam doesn’t care if Watsi survives indefinitely. It’s the underlying technology he hopes governments, companies or nongovernmental organizations adopt to streamline their health funding processes and, someday, establish a universal health care system.