By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0) Cake Health announced its public launch yesterday and presented at TechCrunch Disrupt 2011. We talked to co-founder Rebecca Woodcock about her experience finding a technical co-founder, building the product, and launching at TechCrunch Disrupt onstage.
Rebecca Woodcock: Since Founder Labs, the real making of Cake Health was finding the right co-founder -- that was critical. Teaming up with Andy was the best thing that happened to the company and brought it all together. We work incredibly well together and we're a great team.
People always say your co-founder is someone you already know, and you don't know who that person is. That's how it was with Andy. We knew each other, not very well, but we knew each other enough in the circles we hung out in, and I knew he was a trustworthy person seeing how he interacted with other people.
It never crossed my mind that he'd be my co-founder until a year ago when I shared my idea I was working on -- not even thinking he'd be my co-founder -- just asking if he knew anyone technical who would be interested in joining a startup. He was the one who self-selected and thought "that's something that should be built". Based on his own experience with the healthcare system, he reached out to me a few weeks later and asked if I was still looking.
We tested out our working relationship by doing some prototyping together to see how the working dynamic went and found it was a perfect fit. In January 2011, we made the decision to go 100% with Cake Health and committed to making it happen. It's been a fast build process since we got the right combination of people and talent together.
I quit my job, planned for about at least 10 months to live off of savings, and that was pretty close. We do have some funding with Menlo Ventures.
Women 2.0: How did you get into TechCrunch Disrupt? What was the process like?
Rebecca Woodcock: We filled out the application and recorded an onscreen demo of what we had built so far to show where we were in the product. Before we learned we were accepted, we had some discussions about where we were in the product, what was live and what could be live by the conference.
They had hundreds of applicants, but we only found out a couple weeks ago that we got in and worked with the TechCrunch team to hone in on the message prior to going onstage -- that was very helpful.
Women 2.0: How was it onstage?
Rebecca Woodcock: It turned out -- incredible. It's always very nervewracking right before you go upstage, but when you go onstage everything starts to click -- and it flowed very well for us. It was an amazing experience -- we had a chance to just be backstage and get into that frame of mind beforehand, we had rehearsed and practiced and we talked to other startups that were backstage, and everyone was very encouraging.
It was this moment where you get to be on this platform to launch and that's an incredible feeling. I think while we were onstage, we embraced that and it felt right. It went very well. We had some incredibly positive feedback from the judges and a really great response from the audience coming up to us afterwards and sharing their thoughts on what we're doing.
People were comparing my presentation to Steve Jobs. That blows me away -- how flattering is that? That's incredible. I'm definitely happy with how things turned out.
Women 2.0: So what's next?
Rebecca Woodcock: Next, we're really focused on building out our team into a world class team. We're hiring and we're building out that founding team now, focusing mainly on engineering.
We're trying to make an incredible product that people will use so hopefully we can get as much feedback as we can from our users... really hone in on the product and get it to a point where people love to use it. That's our biggest goal.
About the interviewee: Rebecca Woodcock is Co-Founder of Cake Health. She is a seasoned corporate strategy and research executive, and leads Cake Health’s market and business strategy, finance and executive management. Prior to founding Cake Health, she worked at Ipsos directing proprietary quantitative research for companies including Intel, Google, Sprint, and LG. Before joining Ipsos, Rebecca served as a corporate strategist for Seagate Technology focusing on consumer technology adoption and digital consumption. Rebecca holds a Magna Cum Laude BS in Marketing from Santa Clara University, is a graduate of the Founder Institute, and a contributor to Mint’s personal finance blog on healthcare topics.