September 28, 2021

#102: Phil Southerland, Founder & CEO of Supersapiens

Today, I’m joined by Phil Southerland, founder and CEO of Supersapiens — a company using continuous glucose monitoring to help athletes manage their energy levels.

In this episode, we discuss advancements in glucose monitoring. Phil explains why the company is focused on endurance athletes and high performance. And he shares his vision for using sports as a platform to change the health of the world.

More from Phil

Phil Southerland was born in Tallahassee, Florida, and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was only seven months old, the youngest case of diabetes on record in the world at that time. His parents were told that he would be dead or blind by 25. Fortunately, they were stubborn, and Phil had access to insulin, a knowledgeable medical team, and the latest in blood glucose monitoring tools. At six, he had the dream not to go blind and a drive to reach the A1C results needed.

He discovered his love of the bike when he was 12. While attending the University of Georgia, he dreamed of combining his passion for cycling and his personal mission to raise awareness around diabetes. In 2005, Team Type 1 was founded, and by 2007 an all-diabetes cycling team not only won but set the world record in the 3,000-mile Race Across America. Under Phil’s leadership, the dynamic squad rapidly grew from an amateur team to more than 100 athletes spanning the globe to inspire and unite people affected by diabetes and ranked in the top 25 professional cycling teams in the world in 2012.

In late 2012, Phil and the team partnered with Novo Nordisk to create Team Novo Nordisk. The team is spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes pro-cycling team and features a development team, elite team, and one female professional track star, Mandy Marquardt.

Now in his late-thirties, Phil has dedicated his life to redefining what it means to live with diabetes and is driving a global movement to show the world how exercise can save the health of the world.

“Exercise is the billion-dollar drug that rarely gets prescribed.”

Throughout his career, professional highlights include speaking at the United Nations on World Bicycle Day, leading a session at SXSW, and addressing audiences at ADA and AADE to speaking to one person at an event in Boise, Idaho. For Phil, the value isn’t based on prestige as much as it is on impact. He is driven to make a difference in people’s lives and approaches it one person at a time.

To Phil, the bike has kept him alive for the past 25 years. While retired from professional racing, Phil regularly rides and still credits the bike for providing him with his continued health and sanity.

Phil is a dedicated and proud father to three boys with wife, Dr. Biljana Southerland. In addition to the bike, Phil is a passionate skier and deep-water scuba diver. He calls Atlanta, Georgia home, and is a supporter of the High Museum. Phil is a former board member of Camp Kudzu, Hope Sports, and JDRF. He is a voracious reader and enjoys collecting rare wines and watches. Phil is the author of the book ‘Not Dead Yet’, which chronicles his life from early diagnosis of diabetes to professional cyclist and his mission to change the face of diabetes o a global scale.

Southerland currently serves as the CEO and co-founder of Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, and the founder and president of the non-profit Team Type 1 Foundation.

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