Before participating in Rock Health, it could sometimes feel like we were on an island. Just having the social and support aspects of working alongside other teams going through the same experience was beneficial.
By Meghan Muntean & Stacey Borden (Co-Founders, ChickRx)
We're the co-founders of ChickRx, a women's health and wellness startup providing an online platform for women to easily connect with experts and peers to get answers to their questions, product recommendations and relevant news delivered in a fresh, fun voice.
We recently graduated from the second class of Rock Health, a non-profit seed accelerator for health startups, which was beneficial for us. We hope these takeaways help anyone considering an accelerator program or wondering which factors to evaluatewhen comparing different programs.
Here are the most beneficial aspects of an accelerator program, as we experienced, in a nutshell:
Access to mentors
Rock Health has assembled a world-class team of mentors who, despite being very busy in their own rights, find the time to advise all the startups.
The mentor with whom we worked most closely - our "super mentor" - was goBalto CEO Jae Chung, an exceptional entrepreneur. Jae provided us with various tools and frameworks to guide our work and not waste time, which really helped us do one critical thing that all startups must do: focus!
Rock Health is smaller than many other startup accelerators (though equally respected!), which we appreciated since we got a lot of hands-on guidance.
Access to partners
Rock Health brings in top partners like the Mayo Clinic, United Health Group and UCSF, just to name a few. Each of the teams could find unique ways to collaborate with them, and we'll be working with Harvard Medical School to provide supplementary expert content on ChickRx.
All startups face legal hurdles, and you honestly have too much to do to be losing sleep over legal worries. Rock Health works with one of the leading startup lawyers, Fenwick partner Michael Esquivel, who is really there for all the teams with very trusted, wise advice.
As you incorporate, issue equity, raise money, form a board, face potential privacy or liability issues (which many health startups do), legal matters are really important. Rock Health provided free access to great legal minds, also helping us form a relationship with a top firm.
In a startup, a huge part of successfully climbing the learning curve involves the quality of the people around you from whom you can learn. Rock Health hosted regular seminars taught by numerous technology and health experts, including BJ Fogg, Dave Morin and Esther Dyson.
If we ever felt we needed education around something, we just had to ask and Rock Health would bring in someone to teach us. And Rock Health is so awesome, they've also made these talks accessible for everyone on YouTube.
Other startups to collaborate with
Before participating in Rock Health, it could sometimes feel like we were on an island. Just having the social and support aspects of working alongside other teams going through the same experience was beneficial. But we were also really inspired by the amazing teams in the program and grateful to be able to pick their brains on areas where we lacked expertise.
Our demo day was a great opportunity to meet a variety of people, like investors, bloggers, partners, etc., get our name out there, and start forming more relationships.
Aside from all the benefits it provides to its startups, we also love Rock Health for being such a strong advocate for advancing women in healthcare. Rock Health is run by an all-female team and hosts regular XX in Health dinners, an XX in Health retreat, and an upcoming XX in Health week.
Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Meghan Muntean is Co-Founder of ChickRX, a personalized health and wellness platform for women delivering Q&A with experts and peers, e-commerce and content. She is from Los Angeles, California and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University. Prior to ChickRx, Meghan was a Portfolio Consultant for institutions and high net worth clients at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Wealth. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanmuntean. About the guest blogger: Stacey Borden is Co-Founder of ChickRx, a personalized health and wellness platform for women delivering Q&A with experts and peers, e-commerce and content. She is from Calabasas, California and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School. Her experience includes internet marketing for the 85 Broads women's network and Apple Inc. Follow her on Twitter at @staceyborden.