Meet an #MCAlum: MyndLift
December 9, 2016
What was the inspiration behind Myndlift?
Two of my siblings were diagnosed with ADHD by my own father, who is a neurologist that specializes in ADHD. And when it was time for treatment, the therapy that they got was ADHD medication. So I have seen firsthand the side effects of these medications-- headaches, lack of sleep, loss of appetite and so on. At a certain point, I just decided that it’s about time to change this. I decided to find an alternative to these medication therapies.
What are you hoping to achieve in the near future?
The first thing we did after raising money was growing the team and working on a product that would actually be given to patients in clinics. We’ve done that... we’ve started selling this product to clinics around the world — in the US, Canada, and Israel as of now— and they’ve been using it and giving us a lot of feedback. The most important milestone that we want to achieve is to sell to 100 clinics in the next six months. There’s also a clinical trial that we are running with over 80 patients in the US, and this is huge because once we have a published study on our product that puts us on a whole new level.
Tell us about an error you made in the early days of your business, and what you learned from it.
We started with a business model of B2C and quickly realized this isn’t realistic at first because it requires a lot of capital and a lot of credibility to reach straight for the consumer market. So we switched our model from B2C to B2B. In this model, we don’t spend as much capital but we can still reach the same amount of patients going through clinics. We really learned a lot from making this switch.
What’s the most significant thing you’ve learned from being an entrepreneur that you’d like to share with people just starting their own journey?
The most important thing I've learned so far in this startup is to know how to filter the people you interact with during your journey. Unfortunately, there are a lot of poisonous people out there who will try to get in your way. You need to ignore it. That’s it. It sounds cliche, but people are the most important thing in this journey. Don’t waste your time with bad connections, try to filter it out. Don’t meet with absolutely everyone who asks to meet, because time is of the essence for any early stage startup and you can’t be wasting your time. An artist is sensitive about his art, and an entrepreneur is sensitive about his time. Going to a meeting that you don’t get anything out of is the worst thing that you can do, especially early one when you don’t have money and what you do have is time.
What makes you a successful entrepreneur?
I’m not sure how successful I am just yet (laughs), but I will say two things. One, I’m very lucky, and two, I use my time very wisely. Seriously, a lot of it is luck. You have no idea when or where you are going to meet the right people who are going to be the right ones to invest in you or help your company in some way. At the end of the day, you just have to keep pushing towards that goal because you never know what’s going to happen. When we came back from Boston (to Israel), the first four or five months we were trying to raise money and the only resource we had was four committed team members. So I had that, my team, and time. There came a point when I said, “you know what, this isn’t working, we haven’t found the right investment. Let’s just shut it down and work on something else.” Literally one week before we were ready to shut down everything, our first investment came. So, you are basically digging and trying to find gold down below the surface, and right before we were about to give up and stop digging we found it, at the very last moment. And that’s a lot of luck (laughs). So, yeah, all of the credit goes back to my team members, luck, and me using my time wisely.
What do you do outside of growing Myndlift?
A healthy body is a healthy mind— so I go to the gym in the middle of the day usually. I also recently got back into drawing after a bunch of years of not doing it, and that’s been great. My team members and I also love to play volleyball and we try to do that as often as we can. And ping-pong of course!
What’s been the one key to your success if you had to place one thing above all else?
Again, it’s all about the people. The people here on my team deserve all the credit. Can you imagine how tough it is to commit to something full time without getting any salary, but just equity, in the very beginning? That’s a really tough thing to do, and I’m very fortunate to have two employees who sacrificed school and other jobs for four (expletive) months. That’s a lot of time spent commuting and doing this hard work that was demanded. For us, its worked out so far, and that’s great. So at the end of the day, we don’t just look at the growth of the company, but the growth of the employees as well. We’ve grown as a company, but they’ve grown individually as well. I’ve had team members here who had switched positions three times in the past year and grown in their roles. So without my co-founder and the other team members, there’s no way we would have gotten to this stage. Seriously.
So we are sitting in our office in Tel Aviv (Israel), and this company was started by two Palestinians. That’s not a usual thing to see in this country. You face a lot of hurdles in this startup journey— people in Israel, for example, sometimes look at you like someone who hasn’t done the army and therefore may not be knowledgeable enough. So being able to overcome these struggles and become a company that employs both Jews and Arabs in Tel Aviv is my war against racism. At some point, I hope that the social impact that we are creating is at some point going to go beyond just employing Arabs and Jews, but actually creating a shared economy.