You have a background in angel investing and as a partner in NextGen Venture Partners. What led you to the launch of Mighty Health and the decision to become an operator of the business?
When you’re growing up, it’s easy to think of your parents as these invincible superheroes who will be around forever. That all changed when my dad was showering one night and suddenly felt some sharp chest pain. It turned out that the aorta next to his heart had burst – he was rushed to the ER, had an 8-hour open-heart surgery, and, luckily, survived.
As a family, we came to realize the real cause of his emergency could be traced back to years before when he, innocently enough, hurt his right hip, lugging his favorite speakers around. The nagging pain discouraged him from moving around, and over time, he became much more sedentary, gained weight, and started experiencing high blood pressure.
We started Mighty Health to provide people like my dad with personalized support and guidance to reduce pain, lose weight, and improve their strength holistically and sustainably. My co-founder and I had previously started a company together that led to an acquisition, and we decided to get the team back together to work on a mission that was so personal to us.
You are in your 30s, yet this business is focused on individuals 50 and older. How did you come to focus on this particular cohort?
When I was researching programs to help my dad get his health back on track, I was dismayed at the options I found. On one hand, there are old-school weight loss programs encouraging generic, restrictive diets or shakes (which explains why most folks gain the weight back) or Zumba classes that aren’t tailored to the parts of your body that need the most help. On the other hand, most digital health apps and equipment are created by and targeted toward motivated millennials.
With Mighty Health, we wanted to create a program that did three things. First, we wanted to focus on the most important, foundational elements of your health as you age: pain, weight, and mobility. Second, we wanted to make sure our program was extremely intuitive to use and incorporate as a habit in one’s daily life. And lastly, we wanted to pair each member with a coach and a community of peers to make the process of becoming mighty fun and fulfilling with others.
In the 5 years since the launch, what has been the most fulfilling discovery for you?
The most fulfilling revelation (by far) has been what better health has empowered our members to do in their day-to-day lives. We have members who now have the stamina to go hiking in Northern Maine with their spouse, get permission from their doctors to stop taking dozens of medications a day, bend down to buckle their boots and chase their grandkids around on a cruise without pain, and have the energy to stay up all day finishing a knitting project – for the first time in decades. They’re always so excited to share these success stories with our coaches and it’s a great reminder, especially to those of us working in healthcare, of health not for health’s sake but as a foundation to being able to enjoy all of the big and little things in life.
Tell us about your members and an example of a great outcome from one of their experiences with Mighty Health.
One of my favorite stories recently came from a member named Linda. As a registered nurse herself, she had tried all kinds of different mobility and weight loss programs and had been frustrated by the lack of anyone looking at her health in a holistic, personalized way and the constant crash dieting and calorie counting. After a couple of months of working with her Mighty Health coach, she was beaming with pride as she told us not only about the weight she lost but also the fact that she no longer had to take naps during the day and was able to dance for four hours straight at a Jonas Brothers concert…What a lovely memory for her and her family!
What’s the long-term vision for the business of Mighty Health?
Our vision is to be the home for healthy living for 50 on up. We’re focused on constantly adding new benefits for our members, including making it easy to access specialists, equipment, and in-home care.
We’re also committed to making our best-in-class care as accessible as possible. We partner with leading national and regional insurance plans to offer Mighty Health as a covered benefit to over 9 million Americans, with many more added each month.
How can people learn more about your offerings?
You can try out Mighty Health for free at www.mightyhealth.com or get a taste of our classes on our YouTube channel. Thanks for the opportunity to chat!