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October 21, 2021

By helping hundreds of hospitals like HCA Healthcare hire nurses faster and with less aggravation, Iman Abuzeid has built the rare VC-backed startup that’s already profitable. It likely won’t be long before it becomes a unicorn.

Iman Abuzeid walked into the Andreessen Horowitz annual barbecue in the summer of 2019 with two term sheets from other VC firms already in hand, but she was determined to leave with a third. The cofounder and CEO of Incredible Health was sure she wanted a16z managing partner Jeff Jordan, the former CEO of online restaurant reservation marketplace OpenTable and senior vice president at eBay, to help grow her nurse hiring startup.

What she didn’t realize is that she would not only land a key investor that night but also one of her company’s marquee customers. Amid the endless trays of hamburgers and ribs at the home of Ben and Felicia Horowitz, Abuzeid, 36, walked past Tina Knowles (Beyoncé’s mom) and CBS anchor Gayle King, and honed in on Bernard Tyson, the late CEO of Kaiser Permanente. Abuzeid says she started the conversation with Tyson the same way she does with all hospital executives she’s pitching. “We’re in a huge nursing shortage,” she tells them. “I’m guessing your units are understaffed, and they don’t have enough nurses?”

Incredible Health cofounder and chief technology officer Rome Portlock
Incredible Health cofounder and chief technology officer Rome PortlockINCREDIBLE HEALTH
Within a month of that barbecue, San Francisco-based Incredible Health, which Abuzeid cofounded with chief technology officer Rome Portlock, 41, had landed Jordan’s firm as the lead investor of its $15 million Series A round. Soon after, it also had inked a deal to work with Kaiser, which encompasses 39 hospitals and is now one of her company’s biggest customers.

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