With an impressive background that includes being CIO at Sheridan Heath and eDiets, you might not expect Laura Klein to be diving into code on a Monday morning. Yet, that’s exactly what she’s up to, building additional functionality to her iPhone app for her growing Ten Wellness startup.
“It’s fun,” Laura Klein says, referencing the fact that she still loves being hands on. “Once you get back into coding, you don’t want to leave.” Even so, running the startup she admits she has to resurface from the code, to wear her other hats including CEO, Sales and Community Development.
Although Laura initially decided to do a lot of the development work herself to keep costs low, she continues to do most of it even today because of the “knowledge gap” that often occurs in tech development. The “knowledge gap” occurs when you have an industry specific product being developed by programmers with no experience in the industry. With a Master’s Degree in Nutrition, Laura quickly discovered that by programming the applications herself, she could apply her industry expertise in nutrition and create a streamlined product.
Her inspiration behind Ten and the reason for her step from comfort into the unpredictable world of startups? Laura realized there was really no health and wellness program that focused on nutrition quality. According to Laura, her competitors focus on counting calories, not necessarily eating healthier. Instead, Laura wants to educate people on how to make healthier choices, not just keeping a calorie count. With her background in tech and nutrition, she decided to create something unique to the industry to promote healthy living and lifestyle habits, not “diets”.
Tidbits from Ten:
A few tidbits from the Ten website paint a clear picture on the gaps Ten is trying to fill though their product:
“Skinny isn’t healthy. Just because you may not have pounds to shed doesn’t mean your insides are healthy. We’ve got the science to prove it.”
“Lead the change. This generation of American children is the first to lead shorter lives than their parents.”
“Change the measure. Over 95% of all Americans will be overweight or obese in two decades.”
“Dieting doesn’t work. Women spend 31 years during their lifetime on a diet. Men spend 28 years dieting. Seems like the diet industry likes keeping us on diets.”
Laura approached her startup with a few questions of her own such as “How can we get people to eat healthier (like fruits, vegetables and whole grains)” and “How can we reward people for healthier decisions?” Ten does both, encouraging people to worry less about the number of calories, and instead make healthier eating decisions while being rewarded.
So how does Ten work and what makes it different from other “dieting” platforms? Ten is personalized to the user and can be customized for both people looking to lose weight as well as for those looking to improve overall wellness. Conditions like Diabetes require a strict diet plan, not for weight loss but to maintain health. The goal of a Ten user is to get ten credits a day. Credits are earned/rewarded for each healthy thing you do each day, like eating breakfast or exercising. Credits can be redeemed for upgrades in membership level and other rewards. Thinking about checking it out? You can check out this product for 15 days for free followed by $18.95 per month or for less with package deals. Included is a newsletter, tips, the iPhone app, food search, tracking log, and access to rewards points.
Ten follows the USDA Dietary Guidelines, using an algorithm to provide specific recommendations based on your info and health requirements. Laura also didn’t want to have the same, time-consuming processes that many other diet programs required, like diet logs. Instead, Laura created a proprietary “drag and drop” system that allows you to track your intake in a simple and intuitive way.
Screenshot of the “Eat” Dashboard:
Screenshot of the “Do” Dashboard:
Screenshots of the app:
What’s the underlying tech driving Ten? Laura originally developed the web application on Java because of her expertise in Java from her time at Sun Microsystems, however she found that it wasn’t as agile as she wanted for some of the functionalities she envisioned (such as the drag and drop feature). Because of this, she now runs the web application using a LAMP Stack running on Amazon Cloud (AWS), allowing for elastic web-scale computing in real time. The iPhone application was developed in Objective C and Swift on a SQL Lite DB and Laura is currently in the process of developing additional functionality of the already released iPhone App as well as developing a new Android App.
Ten is based in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Learn more about Ten and Laura Klein at her website: beten.com
Want to see your startup or business in the spotlight? Email Elizabeth at Elizabethb@protechfl.com for consideration.