Editor’s note: The following is part of a series of stories on the six cohort companies of the Launch Health Accelerator, powered by Nueterra Capital and sponsored by LaunchKC. Click here to read all the stories published in this series.
More than a million dollars in funding and a relationship with the founder of Tinder are just an inkling of where Healium by StoryUP Studios is headed, said Sarah Hill.
“We’re really lucky to have his expertise,” Hill, founder and CEO of StoryUP, said of the company’s ties to Sean Rad, founder of Tinder — who swiped right on the company’s advisory board in August.
Click here to read more about Rad and StoryUp’s oversubscribed funding round.
As the Columbia, Missouri-based company — which uses virtual reality as a treatment for acute stress — looks toward even more growth in 2020, such expertise won’t stop with the addition of guidance from Rad, Hill revealed.
“[We also have] the former chief of gaming at Google, Craig Cheifets who is an awesome clinical advisor, Jim Spencer who is the founder of Newsy. We’ve been really been lucky to get a brain trust and the topping on the cake is Nueterra,” Hill said, noting the startup’s participation in the inaugural Launch Health Accelerator backed by Nueterra Capital in partnership with LaunchKC.
“Them inviting us into [Kansas City’s] ecosystem is really valuable. We’re technologists, not necessarily having expertise in any healthcare, so it’s been really valuable for us to be here and learn about CPT codes, about payment reimbursement systems …”
Click here to register for Launch Health Demo Day, set for Nov. 20.
Beyond the educational impact of Launch Health programming, StoryUP has found a friend in each member of the cohort, Hill explained, adding that such relationships could easily translate to future customers.
“We’re excited to collaborate with all of them, specifically the ones that are related to mindfulness or meditation. Healium can be baked into that product or service to allow those mindfulness or meditation experiences to be consumed in a more powerful way or a more engaging way,” she said.
StoryUP’s first accelerator program, Launch Health has also created a climate for like-minded founders to share their struggles and successes — each living together under one roof, Hill added.
“Hearing from each other and being at a similar stage in our companies — or maybe they’re one step before or behind where we are — it’s a really invaluable experience just to know somebody else who’s down in the trenches, having similar challenges and trying to navigate them,” she detailed.
“A lot of the conversations we have sitting on the couch in this house are, ‘Where are you at? this is where we’re at,” she said. “Just being able to share that information has been really powerful.”
A company on the rise with no sign of a slow down, finding time to take part in an accelerator program has also been worth the while for StoryUP and other scaling startups should take note, Hill said.
“When you’re in a market creation category, like Healium is, using biometrically controlled experiences … you have a tendency to want to boil the ocean,” she said. “The feedback and mentorship that we’ve gotten here has [encouraged us to] take a step back and try to boil one section — which is incredibly helpful for us, because as a young company you are seeking those revenue generating opportunities.”
Finding the time to do something different could be what pushes a company to the next level, Hill added.
Click here to read more about StoryUP’s startup journey.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.