This Babson Startup Is One Of The Pioneers Of The Wearable Wellness Industry
Wearing medical accessories in public can be a humbling experience.
Flu masks, eye patches, bandages – they draw attention. But not in a good way. We tend to view people wearing apparel of this kind as victims to be pitied, not as warriors to be revered.
Enter New England-based Mighty Well, a startup that is redefining how we perceive patients by producing medical products and accessories that are both functional and stylish.
“No one needs another gift basket of flowers…”
–Emily Levy, CEO
Mighty Well was born out of the personal experience of Emily Levy (‘16) who was diagnosed with Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease during her sophomore year at Babson College.
As a result, Levy needed a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line placed in her arm that would deliver treatment for an extended period of time. In a meeting with her home care nurse, Levy was told to cut the toes off of a sock and wear it like a sleeve over the PICC line in order to protect it.
Unsurprisingly, this solution wasn’t going to work for Levy.
Wearing the sock, she felt like she was being viewed as a patient, a misrepresentation of the strong woman that she knew she was. So, Levy developed the idea for a functional, yet fashionable PICC line cover that would portray her confidence and strength.
After receiving encouragement from classmates and professors at Babson College’s San Francisco campus, Levy joined forces with Yousef Al-Humaidhi (‘15) and launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 to test her idea. The team raised more than $13k to produce one thousand PICCPerfect line covers.
Later that summer, Mighty Well participated in the Babson College Summer Venture Program and then went on to win $250k at the Babson Breakaway Challenge which is the only competition to promote gender parity in the VC world.
Since then, Mighty Well has grown incredibly fast. Going back to its founding, the startup reports having 20% month-over-month revenue growth. In the 1st and 3rd quarters of 2017, Mighty Well grew 250%. Woah.
“…if we’re going to conquer the world, we need uncompromising style and comfort…”
Mighty Well now sells a variety of medical accessories and related products on its website.
The PICCPerfect 2.0 line cover, an evolution of the flagship product, is made of soft, moisture-wicking material that comes in four different colors and five different sizes. The sleeve has a unique fold-over design that prevents the PICC from actually touching the wearer’s skin. Buyers can purchase individual covers for $30 or a pack of four for $110.
Beyond the PICC line cover, Mighty Well also sells a medical planner, t-shirts, hats, refill packs, and The Might Wrap, a $145 luxurious fleece with discrete pockets for holding medical supplies.
Looking to the future, Mighty Well aims to continue expanding its medical accessory catalog towards its mission of “[putting] strength, confidence, and mobility back into the toolkit for spoonies and anyone else coping with a health setback.”
Never Let You Hold You Back
This Untold story is a powerful example of how personal experience can serve as the catalyst for a high-growth, high-impact venture.
Levy took a major life disruption and turned it into a business that is now positively changing the patient experience for thousands of people around the world. She knew firsthand how challenging and distracting it is to deal with a serious health issue while pursuing your dreams. With Mighty Well, she is flipping the “victim” narrative on its head and helping people win their lives back from all-consuming health problems.
Think about how you can turn your personal experience into a product or service that resonates deeply with a small sliver of the population. If you can build a solution for yourself, chances are that someone else will want it as well!
And if you know anyone who needs to hear about Mighty Well, send them here!