Written By Amanda Ricci
FounderMade‘s Wellness conference was held in New York City on Saturday, January 30th 2016. The day brought together blossoming entrepreneurial minds, successful startups and progressive investors. As a future founder, the event was inspiring beyond belief. I arrived in Chelsea district’s Spring Studios welcomed warmly by wellness enthusiasts and led upstairs to the Discovery Lounge filled with curious faces and appetizing products. I found myself naturally networking with New York’s Health, Active Lifestyle and Outdoors community. We brainstormed, exchanged opinions and tested out new wellness brands until it was time for meditation. The sun streamed in and the day began.
FounderMade hosted multiple panel discussions throughout the day. Panel speakers were some of the biggest movers and shakers in the HALO industry. Robin Berzin, MD, founder of Parsley Health brought a seemingly boundless amount of knowledge to the table on functional medicine. Her integrative health studies at Columbia University supported her passion of starting Parsley Health, a company that makes preventative medicine and wellness approaches attainable to everyone. Berzin set the mood of the day asking her audience to, “Make your life the one.” Any of us could be the one in a million who get cancer; she asks patients to try something different—try dairy free or gluten free. It may seem like a fad, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
The audience had the opportunity to hear where the HALO tech, investment, apparel and boutique fitness industry is heading. A few memorable take-aways from the panel:
Nt Etuk, founder and CEO of YourGuru and YG Studios, said, “Dollars are moving from traditional industries into HALO. HALO will become the majority of the disposable income because people feel great about spending this money.” He concluded that the HALO market is not cyclical or a fad. Founder’s Advice: “Don’t cut your price!”
Carbon 38 founder Caroline Gogolak stressed a social media and online marketing presence. She exuded gratitude for the strong team she helped to build, a team that fit together like a puzzle. Gogolak expressed, “I had an amazing team who could take our online presence further than I ever could,” a critical goal now that the market desires connection to find quality. Founder’s Advice: “The DNA of your company is YOU.”
Tyler Gage, the founder of Runa, got personal with audience. He suggested that we implement the Five Forces to keep balance in our lives—eat clean, exercise, sleep, personal development, and relationships. Founder’s Advice: “Find great people and don’t micromanage.”
The panel got my thoughts turning. Look out for us next year on the startup pitch challenge!