Fresh off eMerge win, Miami-born HealthBird is creating a one-stop-shop for healthcare needs

By Riley Kaminer

The 100 startups presenting in eMerge Americas’ startup showcase may have come from around the world. But ultimately it was a local company – a health insurance startup called HealthBird – that took home the top investment prize of over $400,000: $250,000 of which was from Florida Funders, $120,000 from Panoramic Ventures, and $50,000 from eMerge Americas.

“This win was a huge message to everyone within the team and outside of the team – including our investors – that we’re on the right path,” COO Irena Tigranyan told Refresh Miami. “This is a validation moment for us. People see value in everything we’ve been doing and we continue to do, and it’s such a great feeling.”

HealthBird has developed a platform enabling users to more easily find and compare healthcare insurance offerings. The startup currently has 2,500 members, most of whom are contractors or entrepreneurs who do not receive insurance from their job. 

The HealthBird team has tried to streamline the healthcare procurement process as much as possible. Users can apply in minutes and compare quotes from a wide range of health insurance providers. Once they have purchased a plan, users can manage their benefits right through the app. According to Tigranyan, HealthBird will use the funds they won at eMerge Americas to hire more engineers and people to staff their member concierge team.

The inspiration for the design of HealthBird’s app came from an unexpected place: Bumble, the app that originally connected Tigranyan and her co-founder and husband, CEO Ariel Dominguez. Tigranyan explained that keeping HealthBird’s design as user-friendly as possible is a major priority for the startup.

HealthBird is free for users. Insurance companies pay HealthBird a commission on the plans they sell. Tigranyan shared that Dominguez’s experience in the healthcare space, including as the President of Coral Gables-based HolaDoctor, helped HealthBird negotiate competitive commissions from insurance providers.

While Dominguez is a native Miamian, Tigranyan is originally from Armenia, but had to leave her native land after the collapse of the Soviet Union when she was a child. She and her family fled to Moscow, where she grew up. In 2014, her family won a green card and moved to the US. 

HealthBird co-founders Ariel Dominguez and Irena Tigranyan

“I spoke no English when I first came to the US,” Tigranyan said. “We came here for the American dream.” Tigranyan would go on to hold positions at real estate platform Alfred, as well as electric car manufacturers Lucid and Tesla.

Now, Tigranyan leads a team of 50 full-time employees – 40 of whom are based in HealthBird’s Pembroke Pines headquarters. The company, which was founded in 2021, additionally has a team of 50 part-time employees, contractors, and consultants.

Looking forward, HealthBird plans to release a host of new features that will make the app a one-stop-shop for users’ health needs. That includes the ability to book and manage doctors’ appointments directly through the app and more efficiently leveraging the healthcare users have.

“We are reducing the complexity of the healthcare industry into a simple language that people can understand,” said Tigranyan, pointing out that users can talk by phone to a real human concierge whenever they have any questions or concerns.


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Riley Kaminer