2022 Most Disruptive MBA Startups: Better Than Good, IE Business School

Better Than Good

IE Business School

Industry: Healthcare (HealthTech)

Founding Student Name(s): Sara Couch (USA/Colombia), Laura Stockert (Austria), Guy Shpringer (Israel), all IE Business School IMBA students, January ‘22

Brief Description of Solution:  Better Than Good is a new healthcare app that aims to incentivize patients to take greater action towards their preventive healthcare by offering a personalized checklist that makes it easy for patients to track their daily wellness markers, manage and schedule their recommended health screenings, and (in turn) receive attractive rewards from participating wellness partners (such as fitness studios and healthy restaurants), to keep them actively engaged in their overall health and wellness maintenance. 

Funding Dollars: None yet (Pre-seed stage)

What led you to launch this venture? The idea was born of the personal situations of two of our founders. Laura had recently undergone health screenings in Austria. Since she could not be there due to her studies in Madrid, the coordination with doctors to receive and discuss results from afar was incredibly complicated and frustrating. Concurrently, another of our founders, Sara, had a very close family member recently diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer in her early 40s, after otherwise being seemingly healthy.

We researched further and realized that, unfortunately, these types of late-stage NCD diagnoses are happening way too often, and go largely unnoticed for people within our age range until it’s too late. With 70% of all deaths worldwide currently due to NCDs, and almost 80% of those preventable if met with the appropriate screenings beforehand, we were certain that there had to be a way to simplify the engagement of in preventive care while also making it exciting and rewarding. After the three of us came together with mutual interest in health and wellness, the idea of Better Than Good began to take form. We shared the same vision of simplifying certain processes in the healthcare system. Even more, we wanted to close the information gap in preventive medicine so that more people are actively seeking appropriate screenings to avoid late onset diagnosis of NCDs, and unnecessary deaths too early in life.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with the venture? We began working on our venture during IE University’s Startup Lab, competing with nearly 30 Startup teams and pitching in front of investor panels each week. Better Than Good ended up as the overall winner of the Final Pitch panel and finished within the top five teams for the Startup Lab overall. As a result, we were then one of only nine MBA teams to be accepted into IE’s competitive Venture Lab incubator this fall. We look forward to, hopefully, making it within the top teams that have the opportunity to pitch at Venture Day in December.

How has your MBA program helped you further this startup venture? IE’s ecosystem for entrepreneurship is truly unmatched and it has provided us with an incredible foundation of tools needed to launch a venture. This includes communication skills, legal support, metrics and data analytics, funding advice, and intensive pitch practice each week. As mentioned previously, we were fortunate enough to be selected as one of the teams to continue formally working on the project through IE’s Venture Lab incubator this fall. This has given us invaluable access to mentors from across the healthcare industry, investors, and useful workshops. These focused on, for example, how to build the best MVP, where to access tech support, and how to fairly divide equity and build shareholder agreements. Furthermore, our coursework and electives such as Technology, Innovation, and Sustainability, has pushed our thinking in terms of where we fit into the healthcare industry at large, and how we can make the biggest impact.

What founder or entrepreneur inspired you to start your own entrepreneurial journey? How did he or she prove motivational to you?

Sara: In addition to my father, David Couch, who is a serial entrepreneur and my leadership role model in many ways, I was encouraged and inspired by my dear friend from Duke, Chloe Songer. She is CEO and Co-Founder of both Thousand Fell and Supercircle, a pilot brand and parent company aiming to revolutionize the circular economy in the fashion industry. Chloe has always encouraged me to think independently in regards to what I am capable of in business. I admire her way of always thinking ahead of how to better impact our collective future and environment, as well as her quick success and many accomplishments at such a young age. These led her to the much-deserved recognition as a Forbes 30 under 30 in 2021. I feel fortunate to have her as a lifelong friend who will continue to push my thinking as we grow together in both our personal and professional lives.

Laura: My motivation to start my own business was inspired by my last job and the three founders of the company. I have been working for the last years as one of the first employees in a social business start-up called Sinbad Social Business, which has gained 30+ employees within four years and operates in several locations in Austria. I had the great fortune to work very closely with the three founders –

Joseph Kap-herr, Andreas Ambros and Matthias Lovrek – who have enabled me to experience entrepreneurship first-hand. Their vision, passion and strong teamwork sparked my interest in entrepreneurship. All three have shown me what it means to work hard and hands-on for a vision but also how fulfilling the experience can be. Their great work has also been recognized with Entrepreneur of the Year (EY) and Forbes 30 under 30 (DACH) awards. I am grateful for the great learning curve I had the opportunity to experience with them and that they taught me what it means to turn dreams into reality.

Guy: For me, the pursuit of entrepreneurship has always been intrinsic, and it was always with the idea of starting a business that will make an impact on society. I think developing a company from an early stage is a very impactful learning journey – from the challenges you face and lessons you learn on a daily basis to the opportunity to look at your product’s users in the end and see that you have truly, positively affected their lives. This feeling of taking something amorphic, understanding what will give the consumers the best value in the end, and seeing the reactions of the users once it’s launched is a fulfilling feeling for any team and as an individual. It’s truly empowering to see your ‘baby’ grow, take form, and become a reality.

Which MBA class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? The Scale Your Startup course taught by Joe Haslam offered us a new guest speaker each class in order to provide real life views from entrepreneurs and a continued outside perspective of people who have started something from scratch. It also gave us the valuable opportunity to ask daily questions of experts in different fields, all who have a different perspective and experience of how they reached success. The class taught us to have a broad view, to know the differences between start-up and scale-up, and to know what we should pay attention to and focus on in the different phases. The class is also interesting as it looked on the later stages of company, when it starts to scale, and how important is to establish to right product-market-fit. It also got us thinking about the growing strategy of the company in the future and be prepared for it from the early stages of the company as it is not separable issue that need to be addresses.

What professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why? While we have been fortunate to have a number of very insightful professors throughout our MBA journey at IE, we owe a huge thank you to Keith Ippel, our ‘Analytics for Creators’ professor during the Start-up Lab. After an ‘Ask Me Anything’ workshop one night when he was the guest speaker, we simply went up to request a later meeting with him for feedback on our pitch. He immediately said, Why don’t you show me now?”. Then, he gave us immediate suggestions, followed by, “Why don’t we meet again in an hour after my call once you’ve made these adjustments and we can dig deeper?”. That was the start of a great relationship of trust and continuous honest, direct feedback from Keith. He continued to guide us and push our thinking around how best to engage users, the best business model, and other huge pivot points through the remainder of the Startup lab. We always said Keith had a sixth sense for knowing just when we were at a ‘breaking point’ of spinning in our own thoughts or indecision, and always happened to pop by or check in right when we needed his outside perspective.

How has your local startup ecosystem contributed to your venture’s development and success? The IE network of entrepreneurs has been so helpful both within the walls of our campus and beyond. It’s been almost unimaginable how any professor, mentor, alumni, fellow student, or even students from the Master’s in Management or Undergraduate BBA programs have offered support and insights. They have always been willing to talk further and contribute their personal time to help our project. Without several of these critical conversations and guidance, we would not have been able to pivot and evolve the venture or product to where it is today. We are also extremely grateful for the opportunity to have brought on an IE undergraduate intern, Sophia Schulteis, who has been an incredible help in pushing forward our design and marketing ideas.

What is your long-term goal with your startup? Ultimately, we hope to revolutionize the way people think about and approach their own preventive health, making it a topic that is both fun and rewarding, and of course, keeps us all healthier. Our hope is that Better Than Good will make a true impact in benefitting people’s ease of managing their health, and help bring the number of unnecessarily late-detected NCDs down significantly, to save lives!

Our goal is to expand across Europe over the next five years after launching in our pilot market of Austria and first expanding to the DACH region. Long-term, we hope to expand globally and become a household name in preventive health and wellness.


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