The Journey of Launching Motivity Care, a HealthTech SAAS Start-up, With Karina Muller

“I have been fortunate to have spent most of my career building and launching successful businesses – I would say that being an entrepreneur/founder is in my DNA.” – Karina Muller

We spoke with entrepreneur, HealthTech founder, and 2023 PitcHER™ participant Karina Muller about her journey and the advice she’d share with aspiring entrepreneurs.

Three Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

  1. Do not be afraid to follow your gut/your instinct. Trust the reasons you are developing, creating, and building your company.
  2. Not all advice is worth taking. Be selective in choosing mentors and advisors who can help you build the company you want to build, and then listen and learn from them.
  3. Don’t be afraid to pivot. Entrepreneurs can, at times, get stuck on an idea, their go-to-market strategy, and/or their pricing. Always look for opportunities to improve the business and make it more successful, even if a pivot or direction change is required.

Launching A Successful Start-Up Requires a Why

My co-founder, Mim Senft, and I were motivated to create Motivity Care because it is our personal and professional story. We have been the primary caregiver for our loved ones throughout our lives and have worked in the wellness, benefits, insurance, mental health, and stress management space throughout our careers, personally experiencing how exhausting, overwhelming, frustrating, and costly it can be to take care of an elderly loved one. We have felt the stress of trying to balance our lives, their life, and our work, all at the same time.

Motivity Care was created to support the working caregiver: alleviating stress, reducing responsibility, increasing communication, saving time and money, and ultimately offering peace of mind. Since launching, we have received wonderful testimonials from clients about the positive impact Motivity Care has had on the lives of caregivers, and of their loved ones.

“We could never have gotten this far without your kind help. Our challenging family dynamic has made some aspects of moving forward with Mom’s care incredibly difficult to navigate. You have helped us to get past a lot of bumps in the road and for that we are so grateful.” – Motivity Care client

From the “AHA!” Moment to the Venture Capital Pitch

Mim and I have been colleagues in the health and wellness industry for years, working on projects together and presenting at conferences, but it was COVID that brought us even closer. Throughout COVID, we were both taking care of elderly loved ones and would consistently reach out to each other for advice, resources, and support. In March of 2021, after about a year of consistent conversation, we had our AHA! moment – “There has to be a better way to manage the care of our elderly loved ones, work full time, and manage the lives of ourselves and our families.”

From that realization, we decided to create, build, and launch Motivity Care. We initially created it as a direct-to-consumer product with an emphasis on concierge services with technology services as a secondary offering. We envisioned our direct-to-consumer clients being wealthy individuals who needed concierge services related to aging. However, after months of customer discovery and beta testing, we realized that tech was the real opportunity, upon which we layered concierge services for the clients. We moved to a SAAS model offering, with the technology as well as the concierge services. We pivoted our go-to-market strategy to position Motivity Care as an employee benefit and/or senior living community resident benefit.

At first, it was a challenge to shift our mindset, communication, pricing strategy, and overall direction of the business, but it was the right decision and we have been steadily growing the business ever since. Going through the various stages until ultimately being accepted into the AnitaB.org PitcHER™ competition was truly helpful in refining and evolving our pitch and deck. Throughout the process, we received valuable feedback; the organization of the whole process was great, and having a practice day to review was really helpful. I also found the questions and comments of the judges insightful and thought-provoking. Overall, the experience helped me improve my pitch and stage presence as well as reinforce that the changes we had made strengthened our offering.

Self-Care is Not Selfish!

As a caregiver, responsible for more than just myself, I know how important self-care truly is. As an entrepreneur, I know that without self-care, I would never reach the success and potential I aim for. Self-care is traditionally viewed as something selfish and/or not important. The fact of the matter is, if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you cannot take care of others, including your clients. If you are exhausted, burnt out, and/or overwhelmed, it is difficult to be successful at work or be present for the people around you. From my perspective, the biggest barrier to incorporating self-care into individuals’ lives is their own mindset.

People often view wellness or self-care as time-consuming, feeling that they just do not have time to dedicate to improving their well-being. It is for this exact reason that I like to teach people simple tools of self-care that can be done anywhere from 5 seconds to 10 minutes. Initiating these throughout the day can help address challenges, emotions, or frustrations we may face in our daily lives. Self-care may be the difference to achieving a successful entrepreneurship!

Connect with Motivity Care, Karina Muller and Mim Senft on LinkedIn. Access the Motivity Care Inquiry Form Here.

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