The in-person update
In mid-January, during the heart of a snow storm, we convened eight talented and engaged stakeholders to share an update on Recovree. We invited 20 people to the meeting with the hope that half would attend. Even with the snow, we nearly achieved our goal!
The purpose of the meeting was to provide an update to early champions of the work that we’re doing and present the results of our recent pilots. ‘Updates’ are nothing new in the startup community. Entrepreneurs are savvy and have created efficient ways to leverage their networks and communities by sharing regular ‘update’ emails that can include recent milestones achieved and asks for help. It gets the word out quickly and to a targeted audience. We took the idea of the startup 'update' a step further, seeking deeper engagement from professionals that we trust. The results were nothing short of awesome.
Our in-person stakeholder update was initially used as a way to hold us accountable (and it did). We selected a date that came shortly after our pilots concluded and before conversations began with our software developers. It forced us to get timely feedback from our pilot partners and create an updated presentation to share with our stakeholders.
The people invited to the meeting represent multiple perspectives of the community that we’re operating in - from payers to providers to other healthcare startups. The different views and experiences created a dynamic conversation. People were building off of each other’s ideas and sharing more than would have been discussed in a one-on-one meeting.
Our fearless facilitator was Kari Niedfeldt-Thomas. Having a strong facilitator allowed us to move at “rabbit pace and avoid rabbit holes.” It also gave Luke and I a chance to focus on the questions and conversation versus taking frantic notes. Kari did an outstanding job of commanding the room, setting the tone and navigating the conversation to accomplish our goals. The goals that we outlined for the discussion were specific to our needs for the next 3-6 months.
Recovree is working on assembling an advisory board. This was also a way to test our ideas on who would be a good fit for that role – what did they bring to the table, how did they challenge each other, etc.
My intent for this post was to share our experience and approach because the outcomes of the meeting were fantastic. Again, this isn’t something new and may not work for everyone. Hopefully it's a reminder that your community wants to engage – and there’s no substitute for bringing people together in person. It helped us strengthen relationships, collect numerous ideas, and update key champions on where we’re at and our plans to move forward. It also saved hundreds of miles on my Prius and hours in coffee shops bringing this group up-to-speed.
In case you’re wondering what we presented in the update and how our pilots went, I’m happy to share that Recovree is moving quickly into software development. We’ve validated that there’s a demand for our product and that it’s helping people with their recovery. It's exciting and I'm thrilled that the journey continues.