Equities.com recently had an opportunity to speak with Anthony Diaz, CEO and Co-Founder of Health Hero, Inc., which provides “employee wellness in a box” to small and medium-sized businesses. The company launched its latest capital raise campaign on Crowdfunder in January and has been gaining considerable traction.
As part of our expanding coverage in the crowd investing and private markets space, Equities.com wanted to find out more about what’s gotten everyone so excited about this unique business in providing a simple solution for companies in need of a more efficient employee wellness program.
EQ: Can you give provide us with a background of Health Hero?
Diaz: Health Hero is a simple, fun, and rewarding employee wellness platform for large and small companies, not just across the U.S., but globally as well. The company was started a couple of years primarily for my pain point, which was losing my own father to something that’s preventable: heart disease. That always stuck with me, but I wanted to find out how to turn that into something good. I wanted to figure out how to help other people prevent their bad habits from turning into chronic diseases. Turns out that employee wellness programs are the best way to do that.
But they’ve fallen short because they’re very complex and very hard to administer. There’s no one system and most programs are managed by tons of spreadsheets. That’s the problem we solve. We make it simple for companies to manage that whole process.
EQ: Employee wellness is supposed to help companies get ahead of the curve with preventative treatments before anything serious occurs. What’s your specific targets in this space? What are your strategic initiatives to grow in this space?
Diaz: Ideally, our target market is employer group sizes of 50 to 5,000. We can work with organizations that are larger than that, of course, but that’s where the biggest problems is. There’s no organization or wellness company really focusing or servicing those companies in that small and medium-size segment. Our full focus is to become a household name for them, specifically because they don’t have human resources departments or wellness departments to manage this process. There’s never truly been a health department at a company, nor should there be. There should just be a system in place to help manage it all. That’s our goal.
How we plan to tackle that go-to-market and distribution is through six different channels: carriers, enterprise IT platforms, payment as a service platforms, PEO companies, direct insured companies, and brokers. We call that our six-channel strategy for go-to-market.
In terms of carriers, our relationship with The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in Florida is very powerful. That gives us the blessing of a carrier and potentially the opportunity to distribute across the US. Ideally, we’ll work not only just with Blue Cross Blue Shield but with other carriers as well.
EQ: What is the incentive for small businesses to provide employee wellness plans for their employees? Are you seeing a lot of demand in this space?
Diaz: Usually, it starts to hit around 50 employees. When you’re below 50 employees, the rates are usually set by the state. For smaller employer groups, we will work with them, but the motivations for a smaller company with less than 50 employees is more about productivity improvement and stress improvement. We’re an HR company as well so that’s our competency.
If you’re above 50 employees, your goal is to reduce health care costs because it’s eating into your profits. There’s never been a systematic way to reduce that. But it just so happens that when you start to put $20 to $50 a month on the line for an employee, you start to psychologically create the fear of missing out and the benefit gain. So you motivate everyone in your company to now say, “Wow, I can earn this money every month into my health savings account or as a premium differential. What do I have to do?”
Health Hero allows all your employees to challenge each other and compete with each other by connecting all their different devices. You record 10 challenges a month, take a health risk assessment, do a biometric screen, and that’s it. You get paid, everyone’s getting healthier, your health care costs get reduced, and you have greater profits.
EQ: Earlier this year, you launched a capital raise campaign on Crowdfunder. Why did you choose to raise capital through Crowdfunder? How has your campaign gone?
Diaz: It’s been a blessing. Crowdfunder is a phenomenal platform. The concept behind it just tips things in favor of the entrepreneur that’s really grinding it out and doing everything in the book they need to. It removes all that non-value added effort and all the costs and fees, as well as a whole bunch of other things you have to do with investors. As an entrepreneur, you really should be focusing on building your business, your platform, and getting sales.
For us, we’ve had a full, robust platform and paying customers. We have strategic advisors and the carrier relationship with BlueCross Blue Shield of Florida. Now, it’s just about taking it to the next level. So really, we just need funds, and Crowdfunder has just been really effective of doing that. It cuts down on all that non-value added time of fundraising.
Being in Florida, if you’re not in Silicon Valley, New York, or Austin, it’s really tough to raise money. If you decided to stay in Florida, like we have decided to do, it’s important to make sure that you’re using the best process in front of you to raise funding. Crowdfunder has been that for us.
EQ: What are the goals or milestones you plan to achieve once your campaign is completed?
Diaz: For us, it’s really about the brand building, business development, and really focusing on campaigns in each of the six channels that I mentioned. We want to go after those channels extremely hard.
We also want to expand to some other countries as well, specifically some of the other English-speaking countries like the UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and more. So it’s really about internationalization and business development in our channels. Our platform is complete, so there’s not much to do there, but we’re growing our team.
EQ: Do you have any final takeaways for our readers?
Diaz: If you’re looking to improve culture and productivity, and to reduce stress and your health care costs, you definitely need to give Health Hero a call. We’ll help you out. We’re wellness in a box. One, two, three steps, and we’ll implement our program in your company. It’s a fun experience, and at the end of the day, we’re changing lives. We include the friends and family for free. We just want to work with as many companies as possible.
On our website, we say that we’re the Salesforce for wellness, but we’re pretty much the Disney of wellness as well. It’s a very simple product and our goal is to change the lives of millions of employees and families around the world. That’s why we exist.
DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer