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Get the right investors involved who can ride the ups and downs
Today's entrepreneur is Laura Yecies, CEO of Bone Health Technologies (BHT), a developer of a hardware device for improving bone health using vibrations. BHT's solution is called the Osteoboost, a two-pound belt that patients can wear while doing their daily activities, which uses vibrations to help keep their bones strong and prevent osteoporosis. The company recently raised a $2.5 million round of funding.
Yecies is an experienced CEO, Marketer, and Strategist with a proven ability to develop and market award-winning products, build teams, scale businesses as well as profitably exit. She previously was CEO of three startups: most recently she was CEO of SyncThink, a neurotech company, and led their commercialization and deployment with over 30 health systems and sports teams. She has recently also served as a strategic advisor and consultant to Akili Interactive, Fabric Genomics, and Rapid.AI before joining BHT.
As a leader in the tech world, Yecies joined the Catch team as CEO to grow the business, expand the product footprint and build strategic alliances and successfully sold the company to Apple in 2013. As CEO of SugarSync she led the company for four years through an aggressive business and product growth phase growing from zero to $25M in revenue and signing several strategic partnerships leading to significant valuation increases and multiple acquisition offers. SugarSync was acquired by J2Global.
Prior to SugarSync, Yecies was VP of Marketing at Check Point Software. Previously, at Yahoo, she served as global general manager for Yahoo Mail. Earlier, Yecies was vice president of the Netscape browser division at AOL where she was responsible for the development of Netscape 7.0 and the launch of the Netscape browser in 23 languages. Prior to Netscape, she led marketing programs and Latin American sales at Informix Software Corp.
Yecies received her MBA from Harvard and an MSFS from Georgetown School of Foreign Service. She received her A.B. Magna Cum Laude in Government from Dartmouth.
Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur?
While I loved the time in my career working in larger companies and learned a great deal I wanted to be able to have more impact and create and build something new. I enjoy how the challenges and resource constraints of small companies lead to creativity and innovation. Fundamentally I’m attracted to hard problems and wanting to solve them
What are your favorite startups?
I’m passionate about using technology to improve health - there are a number of great startups but some of my favorites (besides Bone Health Technologies) are Fabric Genomics and HealX in the rare disease space, Akili Interactive and Click in digital therapeutics and, Prognos and Tembus in AI. As someone who has built and marketed several productivity tools I love new technologies that make my life more efficient. A few of these are Calendly, Notion, Grammerly and ToDo.
Why did you start your company?
I’m passionate about solving important health problems and the problem of low bone density is one that affects over 50 million Americans, has serious consequences and has not had a lot of new approaches - we truly need a safe and effective therapeutic that can be used early in the disease course. I did not start Bone Health Technologies but I joined and am dedicating myself to this mission.
What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?
Rewarding is getting to see something take shape that you are truly building from the beginning.
Frustrating - I don’t get frustrated easily - you can’t as an entrepreneur. Of course it’s frustrating when things don’t go well but that’s part of life and at least as an entrepreneur you can try to work around setbacks
What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs/innovators make?
Technology in search of a problem - it is easy to convince oneself that there is a theoretical problem but for a startup to overcome all of the natural hurdles that startups face - the customer problem must be real and something they are desperate to solve.
What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneeur?
- Hire people who have startup (not big company) mentality
- Get the right investors involved who can ride the ups and downs
- Talk to customers and test your hypotheses early
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Joined Vator onCEO at Bone Health Technology. Previously CEO of SyncThink, Catch, acq Apple and SugarSync acq J2Global. Led the Browser division at Netscape, GM of Yahoo Mail, VP of Marketing at Check Point. Harvard MBA, Georgetown MSFS, Dartmouth AB Government.