Startup Q&A is an interview series showcasing early-stage health, fitness, and wellness companies.
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In this Q&A, Dr. Alicia Jackson, founder and CEO of Evernow, reveals the real motivations behind women seeking holistic menopausal care. As the stigma lifts and treatments evolve, we learn how personalized telemedicine is filling a void no typical doctor’s office can address.
Can you tell us about what you’re working on at Evernow?
Dr. Alicia Jackson: Evernow is building the future of healthcare for women, beginning with menopause.
Menopause is a critical moment in a woman’s health span. The drop in estrogen that she experiences doesn’t just lead to troublesome symptoms like hot flashes and brain fog in real time; it’s also linked to longer cardiovascular and cognitive problems. Yet, it’s all preventable with the right treatment.
Evernow is the answer for that. We are an all-inclusive subscription healthcare service that’s built around women 40+ and their lives. Through our app, we deliver 24/7 supportive care for the health changes that accompany perimenopause and menopause when women want it and how they want it.
We connect women to expert medical practitioners who care deeply about and have expertise with menopause. This is particularly meaningful because not enough doctors are currently trained to treat women during this important life stage.
For those who qualify, our practitioners can prescribe the most effective form of treatment—typically hormone therapy, as that leads to the best results in clinical trials—and also work with our members over time to make sure their care is evolving alongside their journey.
How did you come up with the idea? What key insight led you to pursue this opportunity?
AJ: I had become deeply interested in ovarian aging and originally thought I was going to start a fertility company. But, as I learned more about the profound health effects that women experience both near and long term during the years leading to and through menopause, I quickly came to understand that women deserved more science and better solutions for menopause itself.
So many people I spoke with told me about the frustration of feeling like their bodies were going haywire. They were shocked by the changes and by not being able to get the clear, up-to-date information, care, and treatments that they needed.
Telemedicine seemed like the perfect way to connect women to care that was centered around them, their biology, their needs, and their life — and it became clear to me that my company could fill a void in healthcare. We’re driven by helping women 40+ finally feel like themselves again, whether it be relieving hot flashes and insomnia or improving any sexual issues they may be experiencing.
How did you turn your idea into a company?
AJ: I still remember when we had zero customers and were just getting started. We knew we had a great product and a great market, but figuring out how to offer it in a compelling way took a long time and some non-obvious insights.
Women don’t just want a re-creation of the doctor’s office — they want a product and experience that’s built on their terms, for their needs. They also don’t want to sign up to talk with somebody who will lead them to a solution — they want to know what they’re getting before signing up and then work with the company to personalize the treatment.
Once we’d identified these parameters, we grew rapidly, and the response from our members has been amazing.
How big can this get? What’s the addressable market and how do you go about capturing it?
AJ: All women will go through menopause! It’s not optional. That’s 55 million women in the US today and another 2.2 million joining them each year.
These women want to live better and improve their health, but, historically, this experience is largely ignored both in the brand world and in the world of healthcare. We’re capturing the market by providing what’s missing: education, support, and science-based healthcare.
Who is the core customer? How are you acquiring customers? And how will you grow the customer base?
AJ: Our core customer is going through the menopausal transition — she’s healthy and fit but also in the thick of it and having symptoms.
It’s important to note that this woman isn’t old and doesn’t see herself that way. She’s at the peak of her career, her kids are growing up, and her parents are needing more care. She’s busy, views herself as the CEO of her health, and doesn’t have time to make appointments and wait at the doctor’s office.
Our goal is to connect with her and expand our base via word of mouth and advertising on platforms like Facebook.
Obviously, with the volatility of Facebook recently, and with the challenges of iOS, we think there are big opportunities for alternative routes to acquire users.
Looking at your road map, what are some of the milestones you’re targeting over the next 3-6 months?
AJ: Growing our member base is the biggest milestone we’re targeting in the next three to six months. We’re still early enough that this is what matters most.