The Day I Ventured Out – Raja Mawad, Founder and CEO of Thrv Health

August 20, 2021

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1. What were you doing before you launched your startup?

I was running a brick and mortar direct to consumer wellness company that was piloted in Seattle with quick traction. We grew the firm into 17 partner facilities within 12 months, when the technology platform Thrv came to fruition after hearing the same pain points across all 17 of our facilities. While it wasn’t the crux of our legacy business, it was a solid platform to leverage data and deploy a go to market strategy and product validation for the SaaS solution.

2. When did you realize you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I wanted to move toward a more data driven approach to business but never had the ability or knowledge set to immediately transition. There was a distinct moment driving to work when I realized…”I don’t ever want to HAVE to drive to work to actually work”. Having autonomy was one of the biggest factors in realizing I wanted to transition out of my legacy company so as to not be beholden to anyone else on their time frame.

3. What initial hesitations did you have about starting your first company?

Initially I knew what I wanted to do and knew how to get to that point…while ALSO knowing I did not have the tools to get there- yet. Not having a base in technology, adding a data play to work was daunting. I had all the typical negative self talk conversations with myself- until I met Sean and Venture Out.

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4. Can you remember the day you put in your notice? What was it like, what was going through your mind, how did your manager take it?

I put in the notice…to myself. So it was the hardest decision as I felt I wasn’t seeing things to the end. Luckily I had the right people in place to make the transition as smooth as possible and still participate where needed.

5. What are you doing now?

This free time allowed me to focus on scaling the next iteration of Thrv Health, which is to scale the MVP and user validation outside of the immediate city of Seattle. I think it was important for me to “stumble” through the process of moving into a foreign industry (tech), so as to not take validation from my legacy company that was in the same market space- wellness. Just because we had a successful brick and mortar wellness company, doesn’t mean that translates to a tech platform in the least.

6. Looking back on your experience of founding a company, what do you know that you wish you knew before? Are you happy with your decision?

I wish I started being uncomfortable earlier in the process. Before going through Venture Out, I sat in a lot of meetings and workshops as a fly on the wall. Worried about the optics of my questions. Worried about the judgement of peers. Worried about looking…lost. But- after going through Venture Out and realizing we all start somewhere and uncomfortable is the name of the game in start ups….I wish I had asked the silly questions earlier. I couldn’t be more happy with this new chapter.

7. Any other advice you can share for others contemplating a similar path?

Find a good cohort and get uncomfortable. Get vulnerable. We all felt it at some point even if we don’t show it.

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