Interview with Tania Boler from Chiaro Elvie
Chiaro Elvie – The Pelvic Excercise Tracker
Elvie is a new generation of connected device. Small, smart and with real impact! The problem with a lot of wearable technology is that where the data is meaningful at the beginning it doesn’t always translate in to ongoing awareness and behaviour change. Elvie is an exercise tracker with a difference as it helps users to correct their exercise in real-time and to use that data to improve in the moment rather than after the fact. Elvie is also different as every aspect of the design was built around user needs and real problems – we worked with 150 to refine the size, shape and feel.
Where has been the smart tech designed around women’s needs? The world has been waiting too long!
I’m Tania Boler, founder of Chiaro and Elvie, I’m not an engineer and I didn’t know much about business before I started so its been a steep learning curve to understand the complexities inherent in wearable technology, especially to execute them for commercial success.
I suppose I’ve always had lots of crazy ideas and this one proved to be less crazy than the rest. Before founding Chiaro, I headed research and innovation at Marie Stopes International, the largest global provider for women’s health services, so I had an intimate understanding about the problems that women face when they don’t have access to the right technology and services.
I suppose I’ve always had lots of crazy ideas and this one proved to be less crazy than the rest.
I have two small kids at home so my day is pretty busy to say the least. I spend an hour with the kids and that is pretty much when the routine ends! At work, we are going through a fast growth period so days are pretty unpredictable. I currently divide my time between recruitment, business development as we build our distribution network, and meeting with journalists and partners. I make sure I go home to put the kids to bed and then go online again, although I try to set a culture of not working too late as the whole team has become a little 24-7 which isn’t a good thing either.
Oh and like any tech Co-Founder, constantly raising money!
There are many neglected areas in women’s health. Things that we find embarrassing to talk about and therefore shy away from. I only learned a few years ago when I was pregnant how common, and yet how accepted it is for women to experience pelvic floor related problems after childbirth. This is such a huge issue that most women will face in their lifetimes and yet there is a shocking lack of innovation and technology to help them.
It was hard to leave my well paid job to “go for it” but winning a £100,000 government grant is what convinced me that this had real merit.
Pause occasionally to enjoy the successes rather than always focusing on next goal.
1. Don’t give away too much of your company too early on
2. Have the confidence to do it alone until you find the right Co-Founder(s)
3. Don’t worry if there are lots of things you don’t know about – your learning curve will be really steep and that is part of the fun.
Thank you for your time Tania!
Wrapping it up
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