Each week, Female CoFounder features a female founder in the community. Follow along each week and learn from different founders and their journeys.
FcF: Tell us about yourself?
Swati: Hi! My name is Swati and I am the Founder of Koble. At Koble, we are building a digital support system for growing families.
My interest in the digital health space peaked while working on a project with the University Health Network in 2006 as a developer. I helped neuroscientists to establish and validate their hypothesis by creating tools to analyze millions of patient data points in the most efficient and accurate way. It helped hone my technical capabilities and appreciate technology’s role in advancing our understanding of human health. From this role and my goal of launching my own digital health venture, I continued on the path of learning.
I joined TELUS right after university where I got exposed to Canadawide digital health initiatives. After 5 years at TELUS, I pursued an MBA at the Ivey Business School. I gained business knowledge, built lifelong relationships, and pursued two ideas in the wellness and social impact spaces. Unfortunately, none of them moved beyond the prototype stage.
However, I came across League and fell in love with the vision and mission the founders set out for the company.
In 2016, I joined League as an early employee. I wore many hats and worked with the best in building and growing League's health experience. It was one of the best career choices I’ve made.
I feel fortunate for the wide range of opportunities working and learning from the best in the digital health space. It truly shaped me to be an entrepreneur today.
FcF: What is Koble?
Swati: We are a Toronto-based digital health startup with a vision to create space for all families so that they feel supported, connected, and loved.
We are on a mission to be the most reliable digital support system for women and their families. Koble is doing this by bringing access to quality expertise, timely care, and an inclusive community.
Koble is a platform as a service, packaged as a monthly subscription with add-ons, such as virtual and in-home private consultations.
While there are many prominent virtual care platforms available to Canadians, there isn’t a ‘one-stop’ digital platform targeted towards women’s and family health. Koble aspires to be the first in Canada.
Koble is led by a team of experienced technologists, designers, and clinical leaders with decades of collective experience working at prominent technology and healthcare organizations across North America.
FcF: How did you come up with Koble?
Swati: As a woman, witnessing how little support is provided to us and our families, it just didn’t make any sense to me. Having spent the last four years in the health benefits space, it was hard not to notice the scarcity within the fertility and parental benefits offered by employers and the government. As well as, the support that’s available to women and their families as they consider and transition into parenthood.
Hence, I made the decision to leave League and made it my mission to change this.
After leaving League, I spent the first few months learning about this space from experts. I was also learning from many aspiring, expectant, and new parents from all walks of life.
From all sources, the conclusion has been that growing a family is physically, emotionally, and financially demanding for women and their families. Yet, the support available today is not meeting their needs.
These stats are worse for minority communities due to societal stigma and shortage of diversity within our healthcare system.
So the question is why aren’t we talking about this more? More importantly, why aren’t we providing adequate support to women and their families? Adults need support too.
This is how Koble was conceived.
To us at Koble, it’s clear that we need to rethink how we educate, care for, and support this population
FcF: What were the first 3 steps you took after you knew you wanted to pursue this idea?
1) Dedication. I wanted to be 100% dedicated to this new venture, so the first thing I did was make the tough decision to leave League.
2) Mentor Circle. Then, I reached out to my family, friends and old colleagues from all stages of life to build a circle of mentors whom I deeply trust.
3) People. Started to build a team. I reached out to my network and asked for recommendations. Then I shortlisted people and reached out to them. We are now a strong growing team of 12 technology, clinical, and business leaders.
FcF: What has been helping you the most in building Koble?
1) People. I am surrounded by a strong team of technology, clinical, and business leaders who are as passionate and dedicated as I am. Without them Koble would not exist.
2) Focus. We want to help all growing families from fertility through pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, adoption, infant care, and returning to the workplace. We want to be the one-stop’ digital platform targeted towards women’s and family health. However, for launch, narrowing our focus to one stage of parenthood- postpartum, was necessary. This has allowed us as a team to focus our efforts onto building a valuable experience for new parents.
3) Early validation and evolution. Getting the landing page along with the vision and product prototypes in front of prospective members, clinics, hospitals, and employers to get as much feedback as possible.
FcF: What advice do you have for other women who have a start-up idea or side project idea?
Swati: Persistence and being persistent. Founding a company is a very long journey, and conviction is what will carry us through the ups and downs.
FcF: How can the Female CoFounder community help you?
Swati: As a founder, sometimes it can get lonely. Roundtables with other founders (regardless of stage) where we can be vulnerable, share our learnings and give each other advice will build resilient founders.
FcF: How can people contact you?
For those interested in getting early access to Koble for themselves and their family, join our waitlist at www.koblecares.com
Anyone interested in joining the team or learning more about Koble they can reach out to me directly at email@example.com.
You can also DM @Swati Matta in our slack channel!
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