Startup Q&A is an interview series showcasing early-stage health, fitness, and wellness companies.
In this Q&A, we chatted with Marina Borukhovich, founder and CEO of YourCoach Health, a two-sided marketplace linking specialized health coaches with clients. Marina explains the need for democratized access to health coaching in a post-COVID world as well as the company’s inspiration stemming from her own cancer diagnosis.
Can you tell us about what you’re working on at YourCoach?
Marina Borukhovich: On a macro level, we’re a virtual home for all things health and wellness coaching, and one of the leading authorities championing this growing industry.
On a more micro level, we are an end-to-end practice management platform for the growing gig economy of health and wellness coaches, as well as a double-sided marketplace where we are working with numerous industry partners to match talent, clients, and members to coaches who are actively practicing on our platform
We are the only company in this space that provides a platform for coaches to manage their existing business and help level up their skills both with technology and education.
How did you come up with the idea? What key insight led you to pursue this opportunity?
MB: I discovered health coaching, and was consequently inspired to develop YourCoach.Health, when I was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago. I realized firsthand what an important role coaches play by being in their clients’ corners to help them reach their health and wellness goals.
Health coaches are trained and in the front lines of behavior change, and it became my goal to enable every individual on this planet who wants one to have a behavioral change agent in their corner.
For professionals, I also realized that there wasn’t any centralized intuitive practice management solution to algorithmically assist coaches in better running their businesses. From there, it organically and quickly evolved into a place where coaches could run their existing practice, be part of a community, and get rewarded for their hard work by receiving more clients.
Thus, YourCoach, as it is today, was born!
How did you turn your idea into a company?
MB: As with many young startups, it has been and continues to be a journey — but we make sure to lean into our wins just as much as we learn from our losses.
This past year, we surpassed 2,000 coaches on our platform and signed on our first employer partners. We also have another huge announcement coming up in Q1 of this year, which is one of our most exciting wins to date!
What the numbers don’t show (but do suggest) is the incredible community we’ve built on our platform. We’re empowering coaches to grow their businesses, matching them with new opportunities and making health coaching more accessible while we do it.
We have had some amazing investors and angels joining us on this mission from our initial seed round, which we raised in the midst of the pandemic, to our currently 70%-filled bridge SAFE note ahead of our upcoming scaling round in Q1 2022). We’re fortunate to count Esther Dyson, Glen Tullman, and Sridhar Iyengar among our early supporters.
How big can this get? What’s the addressable market and how do you go about capturing it?
MB: The healthcare system is transforming rapidly post COVID, transitioning quickly to a “wellcare” system where well-being is truly at its core. Health coaches are championing this paradigm shift globally as individuals demand a holistic approach to health, factoring in physical, mental, emotional, psychosocial layers, and more.
Health coaches are the inflection point for these intersectional goals, making lasting health goals happen in collaboration with patient care teams. The need is evident: Health coaching is projected to be a ~$7B industry by 2030.
Our nurtured and trusted coaching community is how we intend to this growing but still nascent market — but stay tuned for our exciting announcement in Q1 on how we’ll solidify our place as the health coaching authority.
Looking at your road map, what are some of the milestones you’re targeting over the next 3-6 months?
MB: Our overarching goal is to champion the health coaching revolution across the globe. Since January 2020, we have grown from a few piloting coaches to a network of over 2,100 coaches, with ~90% of them in the US. And we are on target to double that number in the next six months.
To make this happen we’re building out our core health coaching operations team and looking for great people to bring on board. We are also aggressively growing our industry partnerships in order to bring more opportunities to actively practicing coaches on our platform to help create happy and healthy humans worldwide!
Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
MB: We fundamentally believe that every human being needs a behavioral change advocate in their corner and a person to lean on. Hence, our brand is derived from [Japanese term] “hito” (人), meaning “human being”.
There is no better satisfaction in helping others understand, set, and achieve their goals — health coaches are their guide to getting there.
If you’re interested in having your company featured in our Startup Q&A series, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.