VideoDoc’s Irish founder selected to take part in BlackBox Connect

Mary O’Brien among 15 others from around world to take part in Google-backed event

The founder of Irish online medical service VideoDoc has been chosen to take part in US-based BlackBox Connect, a Google-backed event for business founders.

Mary O’Brien, who founded VideoDoc in July 2014, will travel to Silicon Valley for the two-week immersive programme that gives founders the chance to make contacts with investors, entrepreneurs and investors while considering their growth strategy, team development, company culture and business pipeline.

This is the 22nd programme cycle since BlackBox began in 2011, and the fourth aimed at female founders. Fifteen people from five continents will take part in the programme, which is fully immersive and residential, and runs from May 21st to June 1st.

“It’s quite a unique programme,” Ms O’Brien said. “I’m hoping to get connections and introductions to venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. VideoDoc is very much a global product.”


Pushing that global angle is the company’s customers, many of which are global businesses and want to offer services to staff worldwide.

VideoDoc runs its own online service, where customers can have a video consultation with a doctor for as little as €20, but it also offers its technology as a white-label product to corporate clients, using VideoDoc technology and customer services.

Online doctor services

Among its clients in Ireland are VHI, for which it provides online doctor services, and Clanwilliam Health, but the company also works with Personal Group and Fair Care in the UK. VideoDoc is planning to expand further beyond that.

“We’ve been pushed to look at things more broadly by our clients,” Ms O’Brien said.

The company is looking at establishing more offices overseas as VideoDoc expands its business. Ms O’Brien explained that healthcare markets are heavily regulated, which means VideoDoc will need a presence in each country as it begins to offer its services there.

The company is actively looking at opening an office in the United States, and although it has no specific location in mind yet, the east coast of the country is looking like a probable location due to the proximity of the company's partners.

“We’ve noticed in the past that, when talking to US companies, they like to have a US angle,” Ms O’Brien said. “I’m looking forward to diving into the Silicon Valley ecosystem, making new contacts that can help the business flourish and hopefully to come away with a deeper understanding of how we can propel videoDoc to reach its global potential.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist