“I don't think that there is anything that I've done in my life, both as a nurse and as an entrepreneur, that’s been as valuable as this,” said Sigi Marmorstein, founder and CEO of BabyLiveAdvice, who was quick to label her experience with the 1501 Health cohort as one of the most rewarding of her entrepreneurial journey.
“The learning curve in the last three months has been exponential,” she said. “It's changed our thinking completely about BabyLiveAdvice.” Since being in the program, Marmorstein’s vision has shifted from providing direct services for expectant mothers to positioning her startup as the model for maternal care across the country.
“It gave me a lot of confidence as an entrepreneur,” she added.
Beyond seed money, the 1501 Health program experience has provided Marmorstein valuable data and insights into how to get paid for her startup’s services that were built out of passion for maternal health. “The big attraction was the ability to talk to the insurer and the hospital at the same time,” she said. “I want to hear from them and learn from them – dos, don’ts, navigating barriers on all sides, but in a very safe environment.”
Through the program, Marmorstein has a deeper understanding of maternity packaging models and the healthcare industry’s shift to value-based care. “We will pivot frequently,” she said. “In general, as the healthcare system is moving towards value-based medicine, we are sitting in the front seat of that value proposition,” she said. “What is coming in maternity care in the future is really helping us to shape the way we are looking at our offering.”
For Marmorstein, access to her advisory cabinet is a rare business opportunity. “In the real world nobody wants to help you out,” she said. The cabinet of healthcare industry experts mentor participants through bi-weekly group meetings, one-on-one meetings, and one-off support. “There is a deep appreciation to their time, expertise and willingness to help us out.”
The candor of both the cabinet and other cohort members has proven to be valuable to Marmortstein as she evaluates the future of BabyLiveAdvice. “What I love the most is how open everybody is to the good and to the bad; to say, no, you're going the wrong way, or you are thinking about it all wrong,” she said. “I totally appreciate the honest feedback.”
Marmorstein’s career in nursing and two previous startups gives her unique insights into the healthcare and the entrepreneurial space she currently occupies. Those experiences give BabyLiveAdvice a leg up in its journey and offers growth insights to other cohort participants. “I've been in this industry for long enough that I'm one of the most seasoned entrepreneurs age wise,” she said.
While she offers wisdom to her younger peers in the program, she’s quick to acknowledge their business savvy. “They had their own wisdom,” she said. “It's like a different generation and it's a great generation to listen to, so it's all valuable.”
“Having others in the group going through the same pains that we are going through definitely makes you feel that you're not alone on the entrepreneurial journey,” she added. “All of that is extremely valuable.”
As for the program and her perspective on participation, “The whole experience has been really valuable,” she said. “No matter what, I would've done it.”
BabyLiveAdvice is a telehealth enabled service that compliments, but does not replace, obstetric/pediatric care providers. They employ nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, nutritionists, lactation consultants and others to serve mothers and parents from preconception to early childhood on a telehealth-enabled platform that is connected to their robust EMR. They’re the only company in the market supporting the entire parenting journey from preconception to early childhood and every point in between. Supporting hospitals and physicians, BabyLiveAdvice can increase revenue while reducing risk and improving outcomes.