SmartSpark, Inc.
Location: 9517 DUXBURY LN, Los Angeles, California, United States United States
Founded in: 2015
Stage: Pre-launch
Number of employees: 1-5
Funding history:
- Date: 08/2016, Seed: $30 k (post valuation: undisclosed amount).
Short URL:

SmartSpark, Inc.

Los Angeles, California, United States United States

Our business delivers innovative solutions for the wellness market for issues including diet, fitness, mindfulness and sleep. We enter with a patent-pending visual approach that engages users’ love of stories, personal connections and progress to deliver context and time sensitive visual nudges.

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Company description

What is SmartSpark?

SmartSpark provides improved outcomes for chronic disease management and addiction recovery through a delightful, intelligent video-based application suite.  Our platform harnesses people’s love of their phones and social media to deliver a game-changing therapeutic experience that patients and providers need.

Our patent-pending technology delivers patients time and geo-sensitive videos that feature their care-givers, peers and reminders of their behavioral plans.   These visual nudges, or “Sparks,” are geo, time, and/or device sensitive, and each video is unique and personalized.






  • Ariel McNichol
    Ariel McNichol | Founder
    A software designer since 1994, I founded I began as a designer for companies like Apple, Scientific Learning, Lucas Arts before co-founding multiple start-ups such as and
  • Sean Young, PhD., MS
    Sean Young, PhD., MS | Team member
    Founder/Director of the UC Institute for Prediction Technology and the Center for Digital Behavior at UCLA. Our researchers study cutting edge and best practices for changing and predicting behavior, with particular expertise in health and medicine.
  • Amanda Wang Valentine
    Amanda Wang Valentine | Team member
    Refining business models, identifying and approaching first customers and providing product feedback for healthcare, wellness and self improvement technology companies Specialties: * Market entry evaluation, strategy, financial models and busine...
  • Oliver Eberle
    Oliver Eberle | Advisor
    Oliver Eberle is a CTO with decades of experience, starting from early days at DaveTV to his company, which he not only architected but built from the ground up to successful exit.
Business model

Our SaaS model delivers healthcare groups improved outcomes and increased revenue and is charged on a per-facility basis for set programs.  We have and will continue to approach Chief Nursing Officers, Medical Directors and CFOs directly.  We have spoken with a handful of healthcare groups and all of them want to pilot our software as we offer them a HIPPA compliant tool that they think will improve patient outcomes with a cost-structure tied to outcomes.
We are focused on showing efficacy in our 2 anchor pilots so that we can more accurately price our services.  Based on initial testing, it's likely that SmartSpark will show efficacy and coveted patient engagement.  With patient engagement and/or efficacy numbers from larger pilot, we will approach Insurance Companies as well. 

As Medicaid and Insurance reimbursement rates are likely to be highly volatile in the current climate, and state-by-state payments differ, we have planned a dynamic pricing structure that is tied to outcomes and patient engagement.  Our team's experience navigating the complex hurdles in securing SaaS relationships with healthcare groups is key to our ability to drive revenue going forward.  Two of our team members are frequent publisher in peer reviewed journals, and our plan is to publish studies of our pilot to help drive awareness of our services.  

Competitive advantage

Designed to address competitors’ failures: 
Our competition’s user experience failures were part of the reason we founded SmartSpark. Our visual experience is designed to fit our mobile, social world. Our competition like, SuperBetter, MemoText, and Happify suffer from textbased, geo and time insensitive content provision. As our testers have corroborated, SmartSpark is indeed a new class of product, one that is difficult for existing companies to copy because of our IP and our inclusion of entertainment elements, creative visualization, humor and social that fall well outside competitors’ products. Developing the intelligent sequencing (that chooses personalized and demographically appropriate content) is complex, patent-pending and has required us to integrate variables defined by behavioral science, user testing, virality measurements, and artistic design.

Preventing churn: We have paid particular attention to the need to create a user experience that retains subjects. Our app includes social, messaging and novelty noting thatsocial and messaging apps have amongst the highest retention rates, while education has amongst the worst with churnrates up to 90%.  SmartSpark’s user experience is centered around users receiving push messages to view their new nudge that is always new and maybe social, noting that retention rates are almost twice as high for app users receiving push messages . To reduce churn, Raj Jathiramani, Head of Programmatic Solutions at Google, recommends to “give users the ability to instantly accomplish something: This explains part of the success behind news, games, and messaging. Along these lines, provide a piece ofinformation at the start.” SmartSpark enables users to instantly accomplish a variety of tasks and digest novel information on relevant topics like how imaginary workouts can build muscle mass.