Sixty-eight percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, but the majority aspire to healthier lifestyles - 52% are on a diet and 70% believe they should exercise more. We believe that BetterUp can help people improve their health. Our web and mobile applications take the difficult and daunting challenge of adopt healthier life habits and transform it into an obsessively fun and motivating social game.
The core founding team are: Genevieve Wang, a first-year MBA candidate at Haas (Full-Time) and Parimi Srinivas, a first-year MBA candidate at Haas (Evening Program).
Genevieve Wang has a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and seven years of business experience in business strategy consulting, product management, and marketing/consumer insights. She worked most recently as a Product Marketing Manager for Jamba Juice Company.
Parimi Srinivas has an undergraduate degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from JNTU College of Engineering, India. He has 10+ years of experience in software development, especially in web development technologies. Parimi is currently a Web & Mobile Development Manager at Brocade.
In addition, there is also a first-year full-time MBA team, including Sarah Friedman and Jamie Kong, who are currently working on the the business planning team for BetterUp.
Sarah Friedman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She spent the past few years consulting for Bain & Company, spending most of her time with the San Francisco office and 6 months in India. Sarah is currently a first year MBA at Haas and is excited to take her learnings from consulting in larger companies to start-ups. Her main industry focus is technology, but she is also interested in education and the healthy products industry. At Haas, she is currently the chair of the Venture Capital Investment Competition, and active member of the tech club and entrepreneurship association. She also works as an advisor to Super Star Literacy, an Oakland-based afterschool literacy program.
Jamie Kong is a first-year MBA candidate at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. She has a B.A. in Business Economics and minors in Accounting and Spanish from the University of California Los Angeles. Prior to Haas, she audited the financial statements of public and private companies in the retail, technology, manufacturing, and venture capital industries. Her clients ranged from start-ups to a venture capital firm that has invested over $2.7 billion in over 450 companies. She is interested in understanding the interaction between mobile applications and human behavior. As a Haas Global Technology Fellow she is currently researching the application of mobile survey technology in developing countries.
BetterUp leverages web and mobile consumer technology to harness the motivating power of social networks and games.
The user identifies a concrete health improvement that he/she wants to make and invites friends from his social network, e.g. Facebook, to join the challenge. With BetterUp, achieving that goal becomes a fun, simple, and social experience.
Positive outcomes and active participation are rewarded with not only recognition, but also BetterUp points, which can be redeemed for valuable offers and gift certificates from BetterUp’s corporate sponsors.
BetterUp revenues will be driven through two channels. The first is corporate sponsorships. Companies with brands in the healthy living space (e.g. Nike, Jamba Juice, Whole Foods) can distribute “wow” offers and products to BetterUp users through the BetterUp store (e.g. 5 smoothies for $5, $1/pound at the Whole Foods Salad/Hot Food Bar). BetterUp users can purchase offers using points accumulated from their participation in challenges. Sponsors benefit by building awareness, trial, and repeat traffic with their target users. BetterUp receives a marketing/distribution commission as a portion of sales (similar to the Groupon model). Corporate partners can also initiate challenges with users.
The second revenue channel is partnerships with employers and health insurance companies. Corporations are increasingly adopting worksite wellness/prevention programs to lower health insurance costs, reduce worker absenteeism, and increase worker productivity. Safeway and HP are two examples of companies that have implemented prevention programs to reduce costs. BetterUp will deliver value by creating and managing custom health challenge programs for employers, based on our consumer model.
Existing technology solutions for consumers who wish to improve their health habits consist of calorie counters (e.g. myfitnesspal for iPhone), virtual fitness trainers (e.g. NikeBoom), and goal-setting applications. Calorie counting applications require significant time input (“work”) on the part of the user (which only a niche group is willing to invest). Similarly, fitness trainer applications are appropriate for users who are highly engaged in their exercise routines, but this is only a small segment of the opportunity. The existing goal-setting applications, such as HealthMonth and DailyBurn, are highly complex, requiring significant involvement from the user.
There does not exist an everyday health and wellness technology solution that is fun and easy to use for the mass market.