Where are they now? Catching up with Innovators Program alum Michelle Harper

Raleigh-based Savii Care is a home care platform that simplifies the business of in-home care with web and mobile apps that replace paper with collaboration. The female-founded health-tech startup participated in the inaugural Raleigh Innovators Program in 2014 and has continued to scale since then. We caught up with Co-Founder and CEO, Michelle Harper, (now a program mentor) to get her reflections on the accelerator and to find out what’s in store for the company.

IP: When you think back on the Innovators Program two years ago, what’s the biggest impact you feel it had on you & your company?
MH: The program challenged us to be razor focused on the metrics that matter.

IP: Did you learn anything from your fellow participants or the program mentors that you still apply at your company today?
MH: Same as above, we still apply the lesson of focusing on the metrics that matter.

IP: Was there anything you learned or experienced during the program that surprised you?
MH: Yes, that as we did our stakeholder interviews, our marketing messages and value proposition became crystal clear.

IP: Teams in accelerators around the world are preparing for year-end Demo Days. How did you prepare for your Demo Day?
MH: Pray and breathe. I also made sure to go through my entire pitch out loud at least once that day, so my voice was warmed up.

IP: You transitioned from operating as Akili Software to Savii Care. How did you make that decision and what was the process like?
MH: The company is Savii, Inc. and one of our products in Savii Care. As we went through early market validation and even our weekly presentations during the Innovators Program, it became clear that we were creating an unnecessary challenge by naming the company something entirely different from our products. We rebranded our software platform as Savii and within a few short months it had become an easily identifiable brand. It just made sense to brand the organization as Savii.

IP: You have been a big player in the women’s entrepreneurship scene locally. What’s one piece of advice you would share for female technology entrepreneurs? Any resources they should check out?
MH: Find mentors, both men and women, who will be honest with you and challenge you, but mostly believe in you. Be prepared to often be the only female in the room or on the stage and be comfortable with that. Lastly, be true to yourself. If you can’t make your company/vision work while being true to your core values and convictions, do something else.

IP: You have raised over $750K to-date. How did the Innovators Program and other mentorship groups prepare you for investment?
MH: I would say that each program, from the Innovators, to SOAR, to CED and NC Idea, helped move me toward closing our seed round this past summer. As I stated at the CED Tech Venture Conference, the startup ecosystem in the Triangle is committed, beyond just words, to helping companies succeed as long as you are willing to listen to advice with an open mind.

IP: How do you celebrate your successes?
MH: At this stage, we high five and move forward. We try to take time to have fun together as a team especially after really big releases or signing a strategic client.

IP: What have you been up to lately and what’s on the horizon for Savii Care?
MH: I just got accepted to my first Board of Directors role with the Forest at Duke and am excited to contribute to this great organization. As for Savii, we continue to look for ways to make tech usable for end users, and will be keeping our heads down and focused, both on this and those metrics that matter. We expect to raise a Series A in 2017 as we start to scale Savii.

Make sure to follow along with Savii Care’s progress and meet the next generation of Innovators Program startups at the Raleigh Demo Day on December 12th!

Register here.