Monisha Perkash: CEO/Co-Founder of LUMO BodyTech

My NativeAdVice:

How did you get into the med-tech industry?

I am a life-long athlete and passionate about finding proactive ways to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Combining this with my natural inclination to solve meaningful problems as an entrepreneur, Lumo BodyTech is the company I’ve always wanted to launch.

Although Lumo Lift is not a medical or diagnostic tool, is a great way for people to be proactive about their health.

Tell us about Lumo Lift. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

Lumo Lift is a small, stylish posture corrector + activity tracker which reminds you to stand tall and stay active.   Unlike other devices in the market, Lumo Lift has a sensor that provides a gentle vibration when you slouch. It also tracks steps, calories, and distance.  Both Lumo Lift and our first product, Lumo Back, were inspired  by my co-founder’s lifelong struggle with back pain. Andrew tried everything from physical therapy to acupuncture but only found relief when he started taking posture classes.

When we saw how life-changing posture training was for Andrew, we were inspired to create an accessible and affordable way to help people improve their posture. In addition to reducing and preventing back pain, good posture also increases confidence and attractiveness, so we realized that we had come across a fantastic opportunity to help people look and feel great!

Our vision for Lumo BodyTech is to maximize human potential and empower people to be their best. We strive to accomplish this by creating solutions that provide immediate feedback to help improve mindfulness and awareness of your body. 

What strategic partnerships have you implemented that have contributed to Lumo Lift's success?

Our customers have been our best partnership, from the encouragement and financial contributions of our first crowdfunding campaign to the great feedback we continue to get that contributes to the evolution of our product.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

We are at the beginning of an explosion in wearable technology and it’s very exciting to see - and be a part of - its evolution.

Technology is now considered very chic, in part because technology is beginning to embrace fashion. Until recently, the fashion industry and tech industry were largely in separate camps and had very little in common. These two industries are just now beginning to collaborate.  Seeing this trend, we’ve positioned ourselves to close the gap where technology meets fashion by designing our products to be stylish as well as intelligent.

Apple has always made beautifully designed products, but the upcoming Apple Watch incorporates clear elements of style. The technology industry is accepting the value of and experimenting with the creative and playful aspects of fashion. We are looking forward to the release of the Apple Watch, because it will be a great complement to the the Lumo Lift.

Another important trend is that sitting is now known as the “new smoking.” Living in societies where we often work and sit for long hours at a time, it can be challenging to remain conscious of how we use our bodies and how that affects our well-being. Lumo BodyTech empowers people with actionable, real-time feedback about both posture and activity levels.

One other trend is increased popularity of self-awareness. Technology products, particularly wearable devices, are allowing people to gain indepth insights about themselves.  One of Lumo BodyTech’s core values is to support personal empowerment and self awareness. Posture is directly relevant to building confidence as well as caring for your body.

Life Motto?

"Dig deep up the steep.”

That’s what I tell myself as I’m running up a steep hill to remind myself that overcoming challenges in life is all about reaching deep within yourself and pushing hard towards your goals. As I run, I think about a challenge that I’m currently experiencing and imagine that by conquering that hill, one step at a time, I can conquer the challenge too. Once I get to the top, I feel strong and empowered, ready to take on the world.

Lumo Lift's Motto?

Lumo BodyTech’s products “give your body a voice.”

Our technologies enable insights about your body’s movements, biomechanics, and health which previously were not possible.

Your greatest success as founder of Lumo Lift? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?

The success I’m most proud of is building a world-class team that is unified in our core values and strong culture but diverse in skills, ideas, and demographics. As a company we value diversity because it helps us to approach challenges in creative ways. I attribute the diversity of our wonderful employees and customers to the tremendous success we have already had with the Lumo Lift. I am proud that we have as many women interested in Lumo Lift as men -- which is rare for a technology product.

One of the most difficult lessons I’ve learned is that we can’t assume that what we know about our customers today will hold true for tomorrow.  For example, we found that our earliest adopter customers had motivations and expectations that were different from our more recent customers, and we’ve had to adapt our communication strategy and technology algorithms to make sure our product continues to meet customer expectations.  This experience has reminded us that we need to constantly stay in touch with our customers and understand their needs. Also, we learned from this experience that every person across the organization, including engineers, marketers, and customer support, needs to be involved in feedback sessions with customers. By doing so, we all obtain a deeper understanding of what problems we’re solving and who we’re solving for.  We have learned that our “customer IP” is as important as our “tech IP.”

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward. Don’t be afraid of going out on a limb and trying something that might not work, but if it does indeed fail, make sure that you learn from your failures, because those learnings will fuel success.

Favorite travel destination?

Nepal, my birthplace. I’m so excited to take my 10-year-old son there for the first time in a couple of months!

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

The pragmatic side of me says breast milk, because it provides all the nutrients that humans need.

The decadent side of me says pinot noir and chocolate!

What literature is on your bed stand?

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss. (It’s one of my favorite books to read with my kids.)

Role model - business and personal?

One of my business heroes is Randy Hetrick of TRX. He was a fellow classmate at Stanford Business School, and when he first started working on his idea for suspension fitness training, no one took him seriously, including the dean, who questioned why an ex-Navy Seal would want to commit his career to a “bunch of straps.” Despite all of the naysayers, Randy stuck with it and has grown TRX to become a wonderful brand in the fitness industry.

As far as personal role model, there are many people in my life whom admire and respect, but I try to be my own role model.  It’s all about “Being the change you want to see in the world” (Gandhi).

Current passion?

I am most passionate about living a life of compassion. I believe that it’s through our compassion for each other and for ourselves that we fully experience the beauty and meaning of life. 

Most interesting headline you've read this week?

“Wearable Technology That Feels Like Skin"

What's next for Lumo Lift?

We just launched Lumo Lift in the retail channel and it’s now available at Best Buy, Amazon, and Apple UK. We also have some beautiful new jewelry clasps that will be available in time for the holidays. We’re launching a Desktop app for Windows 7+ and Mac by the end of the year, and are working on our Android app, which will launch in 2015.