I’m ecstatic; Kara Goldin asked me to be a guest on her podcast, The Kara Goldin Show. In preparation for the show, she asked me to share a challenge or a failure that I have encountered in my journey with Checkable Medical. She asked me to share what I ultimately learned from this experience and any key insights that may be helpful to others.
My mind began racing with a million thoughts. I have been through so many challenges, from starting a company during covid-19 to designing and developing products that I don’t have an expertise in, to common founders problems like hiring people and then fast and firing too slow.
Then it dawned on me…
I’m in the midst of my biggest challenge right now, I need to prove to my investors, employees, family, and myself that we can accomplish the mission we’ve set out to achieve of being the first FDA-cleared at-home strep test.
Here are the challenges:
We have so many work streams to manage with a team that is new to working together and new to some of the work they are doing. We’re adding people, trying to develop a culture, and trying to work fast.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Put your face mask on first to breathe (especially if you have a family).
Ultimately, at Checkable, we’re all in a pressure cooker; even my kids experience the highs and lows of start-up life. I’ve lived like this for three years now and what I’ve learned is that the Founding CEO needs to be out in front of the fundraising, and they can essentially see the forest between the trees.
Raising money isn’t easy. Even if someone says it’s easy, that person isn’t giving themselves credit for the skills they’ve built over the years to make it come easy. When you’re fundraising, you aren’t doing much of anything else other than looking for opportunities to help the cause. At times, the workstreams, hires, marketing and even your family fall to the wayside because you MUST raise capital to keep your dream going.
I didn’t know that during the first two rounds of funding and when our bank account was on fumes, I’d kick the fundraising into high gear, and the operation stopped. I had two near-death experiences with my company, and I vowed never to do it again. So I put a fundraising prep plan in place.
I had my team help me with the pitch deck, the design, the story, and extensive market research for our new talk track. I practiced it 30 times, and then I started pitching and pitching. I can now win a World Series.
I was able to see the forest through the trees because I raised the money I needed to further our research and launch more products into the market that fully completes our brand goals. Of course, we will keep adding.