An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Jo Masterson (co-founder and CEO) of 2Morrow, Inc, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of 2Morrow – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
The story of 2Morrow begins long before we opened our doors nine years ago. In fact, it started with a software engineer and a nurse who met at college in the 80’s and found that they both had a passion for entrepreneurship, which leads us to today. My co-founder, Brandon Masterson, is the engineer. He saw the early potential in the smartphone and believed it would be the most powerful behavior change tool ever created. I started my career as a registered nurse and believed that mobile technology could increase access to healthcare and would radically change how it was delivered.
Most people say that they know what steps they need to take to be healthy, they just can’t seem to make themselves take them. Over half of all healthcare costs are preventable, created by our own behaviors and coping skills. These behaviors drive chronic disease that can result in additional healthcare spend and early death. Yet, despite the behavioral causes of chronic disease, behavioral therapy is seldom offered as part of the care plan. 2Morrow is using smartphone technology to deliver Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) directly into the hands of people who want and need it. Our programs are different in that they don’t tell people WHAT to do, instead, they teach people HOW to take action that is in alignment with their personal goals.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
The largest hurdles that we have encountered were at the beginning of our journey and related to being a pioneer in a budding industry. 2Morrow was founded before the term digital health was widely used and digital therapeutics was a thing. Because clients and investors did not really understand digital health nine years ago, it has taken additional time to educate and validate the vision, market, and model for both our customers and the investment community. Luckily, over time, the market has embraced digital health and telehealth, with an even sharper increase since COVID-19.
What does the future hold for 2Morrow?
2Morrow found early traction selling our behavior modification programs to the employee wellness market. Now the emerging digital therapeutic industry offers a huge opportunity to move into healthcare. Our next step is to deliver smartphone based, clinically validated, behavioral science interventions that treat disease, not just prevent it.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Kirkland?
Some of the largest tech companies in Washington State are right in Kirkland’s backyard, including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Expedia, and Getty Images…just to name a few. So, it comes as no surprise that the quality of tech startups in Kirkland is of the highest caliber.
We are excited to be in such good company as this field continues to take off in our area. We have many friends in this space, and take every chance that comes along to promote and support our local tech ecosystem.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
For those considering starting a business, I would say go for it! Yes, it will be tremendously more difficult, more complicated, more expensive, and more time consuming than you thought. There will be days when you are overwhelmed and discouraged. However, there is something magical about taking an idea sketched out on a piece of notebook paper and turning it into a real live business helping people.
In my opinion, these are the top four things that can make the process easier, less stressful and more likely to succeed:
- CO-FOUNDER: Find a co-founder that will work with you shoulder-to-shoulder and share your vision and the workload! Look for someone with shared values that you can trust and is hardworking, passionate, and fair. Running a startup can be very stressful, so look for a person that exhibits grace under pressure. It’s also helpful to have a co-founder with different skills and insights than you. Early team members are also key, and the same tips apply.
- ADVISORS: Recruit a couple of great advisors. Great advisers can save you time and money, and will help your business grow. Look for advisors who provide the skills or knowledge you don’t already have on your team. If you are not seeing value within 90 days, then you may have the wrong advisor.
- FINANCES: Figure out your finances, both personally and in the business. You will need money to live on, and to grow your company. Create a plan for what you will need and a strategy for how you will get that. Think about if it might come from savings, investors, customers, or other channels.
- VISION: Create the kind of business you want to be a part of. This is your chance to show the world your vision. Many people will have opinions on what you should do and what direction to go. Listen, learn, but set your own path. You are the one who will be walking it.