Chris Crowley of EverSleep

An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Chris Crowley (co-founder and CEO) of EverSleep, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of EverSleep – what problem were you trying to solve and why?

The three founders of SomnoHealth Inc. came together with a common goal – bring hospital grade advanced sleep monitoring directly to the consumer.

David Tobler and I are medical device engineers with successful careers focused on “pulse oximetry” oxygen monitoring technology. Craig Pickerill is a very successful sleep clinician and entrepreneur, building a chain of sleep laboratories throughout the central US.

Together, we realized that “fitness bracelet” sleep monitoring doesn’t tell the user WHY they are sleeping badly. Free “snore” apps only tell you something that you already know – that you are snoring! The consumer has to choose between an ineffective $129 bracelet, or an uncomfortable $1200 in-hospital sleep study prescribed by their doctor.

The key to true clinical sleep lab monitoring is oxygen measurement, which is used to detect sleep apnea. Sleep apnea a medical description for interrupted breathing during sleep. Your body’s oxygen plummets and your pulse rate increases to compensate for the missing oxygen. These interruptions can be minor, or they can catastrophically “ruin” your sleep for the entire night.

Thus was born EverSleep! With clinical grade oxygen monitoring, pulse rate monitoring, and extremely sensitive motion detection, we differentiate between many types of sleep problems. It’s a simple, comfortable, inexpensive consumer home health device that delivers much of the benefit of a true sleep lab.

What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?

Every day is a new hurdle! Startups are difficult, and in the startup world, the common phrase is that “Hardware is hard”. So we’ve chosen a difficult path, but we love it every day. Every founder should be ready to wear MANY hats and solve all sorts of crazy problems. Some funny examples: Waiting 5 days for a UPC code to put on our packages, disasters with Amazon shipping our sleep monitor instead of bicycle lubricant (!), sudden new technical requirements from Apple that need $2000 worth of software updates in 7 days, inability to get a key component because Nintendo bought 11 million (the entire world’s supply) overnight, etc.

What does the future hold for EverSleep?

We’re adding a Trusted Healthcare Provider program whereby patients can work with their physicians, chiropractors, wellness coaches, naturopaths, etc. so that they have sleep related clinical support directly from their provider. This has been a great month for our new program already.

What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Golden?

Golden is nestled between Denver and Boulder – both are high tech hubs with lots of medical device design in the area. We also have the National Renewable Energy Lab and a world class engineering university right in town, so LOTS of science happening here!

What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Everything is difficult! Keep a steady hand on the ship’s steering wheel in difficult weather. One step at a time. Keep your vision. Technical founders should put extreme effort into SELLING product as soon as possible; understand the concept of the “minimum viable channel” – it’s much more important than the “minimum viable product”.

 

For more exclusive interviews, see our full Profile of a Founder series

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