Zev Suissa, the innovator behind eMindful Life, has created a startup within a startup.
"I was working in a boutique agency producing original content and strategy for big brands when I met the CEO of eMindful. eMindful engaged me to produce a 24 hour live stream event. Through the course of developing the event I was asked for a vision for growth in the DTC market, since, at the time, eMindful was focused on B2B," Suissa recounted. "Ten days later I was in a room pitching investors, and at the end of the two-day pitch the investors signed a Series A term sheet right there in the room. The next day we started a skunkworks inside the company to capture the ‘consumerism of healthcare.’”
eMindful’s programs help individuals reduce stress and improve their physical health, and help employers reduce healthcare costs by addressing the root causes of chronic health conditions that are associated with stress.
"We have programs for chronic pain, diabetes, cancer recovery, weight management, stress and more," Suissa said. "We partnered with Aetna to conduct a study that was published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. Since then we’ve partnered with Optum, Humana, Mass Mutual, NextEra, the State of Arizona…about 130 corporate and government clients.”
While there are thousands of studies on the effectiveness of mindfulness practice on health and wellbeing, eMindful is one of the few companies to have peer-reviewed studies published on its own programs.
"Most of the competitors in the space point to others’ research and claim their recorded videos can deliver the same results,” Suissa said. “We have 45 highly trained teachers who are MDs, PhDs and longtime mindfulness instructors, all who deliver live classes every day of the week, multiple times per day - and they’re delivering the actual programs that are backed by years of outcomes data.”
Suissa's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to ignore all excuses, launch whatever MVP you can to test your idea, measure results, and find a mentor.
"Get early feedback," he said. "Don't worry about exposing a not-yet-perfected idea. It’s better to get data on what’s working, what’s not and make smart pivots. And definitely seek the advice of someone who’s been around block, has succeeded and wants to give back — that person’s insights and, potentially, connections can speed the company learning curve exponentially. Above all, be tenacious — pursue your vision with relentless curiosity and passion.”