Elvie pelvic excercise wearable

Interview with Tania Boler from Chiaro Elvie

Chiaro Elvie – The Pelvic Excercise Tracker

logo-elvieElvie 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!

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

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.

These injustices in access fuelled my passion and belief in finding new ways to deliver quality large scale solutions.

I suppose I’ve always had lots of crazy ideas and this one proved to be less crazy than the rest.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

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!

Elvie pelvic trainer

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
I was recruited to join MI6 but turned it down at the final stage.
How did you come up with the idea for your product and what made you “go for it”

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.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made with your product (financial, emotional, educational) that led to the product we’re experiencing today?
My Co-Founder, Alexander Asseily, pushed me from the beginning to actively headhunt the best engineers to lead on the design. This was against my initial instinct as didn’t have much funding at the time and the best engineers are expensive but he was 100% right. Alexander started Jawbone and has so much experience in designing beautiful products and experiences that we’ve learned so much from his experience leading another groundbreaking tech start-up.

Elvie app at work

Where do you see your company or your company’s focus in 1-2 years?
Global domination.
If you could time travel back to day one of your start­up and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heartache, what would you tell yourself?
Pause occasionally to enjoy the successes rather than always focusing on next goal.

Pause occasionally to enjoy the successes rather than always focusing on next goal.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and work and why?
My Co-Founder Alexander Asseily – because he has been through everything I am going through with Jawbone and knows what it is like.
Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?

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.

What do you see as the biggest advancement in your technology sector over the next 5-10 years?
Has to be artificial intelligence. Machine learning will change the way we think about wearable technology
What do you see as the biggest risk in your technology sector over the next 5-10 years?
We are in a golden era for hardware. I worry that as they become cheaper to produce we’ll see a lot of underwhelming products flood the market, although I have faith that consumers always discern the really great products.

Thank you for your time Tania!

Wrapping it up

If you’d like to support Tania and the Elvie (our Elvie preview here), check out elvie.com  and follow them on:
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