The fact that a renowned investors jury named us ‘start up with the highest short term impact and success in the US market’ during the Health 2.0 pitch event has not just provided us with lots of visibility during one of the most important events in the field: it also gained us a spot amongst three US start-ups in yet another round of pitches, this time during Digital Night in San Francisco, organised by the Dutch consulate, The event took place in one of our last days in the US, and was the best conclusion to our business trip imaginable: we were unanimously voted best pitch of the night!
Subject of our pitch was ‘the humanisation of technology’ – our view that our main focus should not be on the technology itself, but rather on the concrete needs and wishes of the people who’s lives we are trying to improve: seniors. To exemplify this, we talked about our oldest (94!) test user Max. Max is very active, both physically and socially, and lives by himself while his children and grandchildren all live far away. In other words: he is the perfect representative of our target group, and always functions as a great living example when we’re explaining what it is we do, and moreover: why we do what we do.
When we first met Max, two years ago, he agreed to being a test user, but declared that he was not actually going to use the GoLivePhone software – he already had a landline that he hardly ever used and really didn’t need anything as fancy as a smartphone, or so he said. Now, two years later, he won’t even go to the bathroom without his smartphone – the device has truly become his ‘smart companion’ during all his daily activities. It has not only become very easy for him to stay in contact with his family: he has also become able to see who’s at the door when the doorbell rings and even open the door automatically, and when he’s approaching home on a cold winter day he can ensure his coming home in a nice warm house by turning on the heating with his phone before he arrives! These are exactly the kinds of examples that show very clearly how the lives of seniors can benefit from using modern day technology, which is the view we have been trying to spread for the past years.
Thankfully, the jury in San Francisco was convinced! We feel honoured to have been able to tell our story in front of such a renowned jury of investors, including Aenor Sawyer from the UCSF Center for Digital Health Innovation, Lisa Suennen from Venture Valkyrie, Casper de Clerq from Norwest Venture Partners, Anne DeGheest from HealTech Capital and Lynn Chou from Klein Perkins Caufield & Byers.