Today's Entrepreneur


Today's Entrepreneur: Pouria Mojabi

Personal growth is the only constant, everything else changes

Innovation series by Kristin Karaoglu
October 24, 2018
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Today's entrepreneur is Pouria Mojabi. Pouria is Co-Founder of Supportiv. Supportiv is an NLP-driven support network that matches concurrent users based on their free-text answer to "What's your struggle?" for real-time group peer support with a human moderator (psych students). NLP also used to surface content/service referrals within group chat.

The company recently presented at SplashX Invent Health: Mental and Behaviral Health event in June 2018. See Pouria's co-founder Helena Plater-Zyberk's presentation here

We also featured Supportiv in our new series Startup Teams: Best practices.

Pouria is the former technical co-founder of Vitagene which uses DNA, blood tests and lifestyle data to determine needed nutrients and personalize a supplement package. The company raised a $10.6m seed round and is now the second best selling health and ancestry DNA test on Amazon.

Previously, he was employee #1 and algorithm manager at Basehealth, an AI-driven predictive platform to identify emerging health and disease risk more accurately, which has raised $21m in VC funding. Basehealth was among the first digital health platforms to combine genetics and lifestyle data for comprehensive risk-assessment of cancers and chronic diseases.

Pouria was also an early team member at UCSF & the SF VA Hospital that identified biomarkers to predict Alzheimer’s disease. He has co-authored papers on Alzheimer’s, Dementia, the aging brain, and perfusion-weighted MRI technology. He's also worked at Apple, Visa, and Medidata and given talks internationally about digital consumer health.

Pouria holds an M.Sc in Electrical Engineering from USC.

I am a(n): Entrepreneur

Companies I've founded or co-founded: Supportiv, Vitagene

Companies I work or worked for: UCSF, Basehealth, Visa, Apple, Medidata, deep-labs

Achievements (products built, personal awards won): 

  • Technical co-founder of Vitagne ($10m seed & second best seller DNA Kit on Amazon)
  • Part of the first team that looked at Alzheimer's disease predictions by looking at blood flow in the brain. The pipeline we built, later on, gave birth to breakthroughs in Parkinson disease.

If you are an entrepreneur, why? Serendipitously fell into it...

My favorite startups: Fitbit, Uber

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?
Frustrating: Fundraising and bad personal financial situation
Rewarding: People feeling happy using the product you have created

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

  • Celebrate too early
  • Ego-driven decisions

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

  1. Personal growth is the only constant. Everything else changes.
  2. Practicing not getting attached to what you build
  3. It is a lonely experience and no one gets you

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