Earlier this month, three Snoqualmie, Wash.-based nutrition and technology experts launched Vitamin Packs with $1.7 million in early-stage funding from angel investors.
The vitamin subscription service uses a technology platform, called Sage, which analyzes peer-reviewed scientific studies, more than 650 potential medication interactions, and input provided by the customer, to recommend a monthly, personalized supplement package.
“Nutrition is more than a one-size-fits-all approach to health – it’s about understanding how your body works, what fuels it for success and how it interacts with prescription medications,” said Vitamin Packs CEO Jason Brown. “Our recommendations are designed to provide only what your body needs. No more, no less.”
Every month, Vitamin Packs delivers a 28-day supply of supplements to customers’ doorsteps. The price of the service varies depending on the number of recommended supplements customers choose.
“Every order we receive is carefully reviewed as if we were curating recommendations for a family member and our policies are as such – complete personalization, free shipping, free returns, no questions asked,” Brown said.
The startup launched this month with 16 employees.
We caught up with Brown for this Startup Spotlight, a regular GeekWire series. Continue reading for his answers to our questionnaire.
Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: “Tell us about your lifestyle habits and medications, and we’ll curate a set of vitamins unique to you.”
Inspiration hit us when: “We found the right drug packaging equipment that enabled us to literally provide more than 1 trillion potential pack combinations. We can achieve this by leveraging our technology knowhow.”
VC, Angel or Bootstrap: “We are angel/founder funded.”
Our ‘secret sauce’ is: “We have nutrition experts at the core of our company. Our leadership has worked together since the ‘90s, when we were looking to define a new way of thinking about nutrition. We also have a renowned science advisory board that monitors and evaluates the latest nutrition and lifestyle scientific research. Our experts, coupled with our proprietary algorithm, Sage, position us for success. Sage uses inputs about lifestyle and nutrition habits while examining more than 650 potential medication interactions to recommend supplements that are personalized for each customer.
Vitamin Packs offers 70 high-quality vitamins and nutritional supplements that are tested for strength and composition to ensure purity, efficacy, and bioavailability of ingredients. Sage thrives on information it collects from peer-reviewed scientific studies, patient visits and the wisdom of Vitamin Packs’ expert physicians and nutritionists.”
The smartest move we’ve made so far: “Building a world-class science advisory board that brings together medical professionals and nutritionists.”
The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: “At first, we decided to outsource our technology, but then needed to bring it back in-house.”
Would you rather have Gates, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: “Zuckerberg. I feel the opportunity to care for people and create a healthy community and communication is a viable big idea.”
Our favorite team-building activity is: “Hanging out and talking as a group with no restrictions.”
The biggest thing we look for when hiring is: “Passion. Tamara [Bernadot] and I have been working together for 20 years because of our shared passion and commitment to helping people lead healthier lives. We look for others who are motivated and driven, and who work well in an often stressful and face-paced startup environment. One of our mantra’s is ‘Real People. Real Passion. Real Purpose.'”
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: “Words of wisdom shared with me early on – people are your most important asset and growth consumes cash.”