Carta Conversations: Chris Molaro, CEO of NeuroFlow

Carta Conversations: Chris Molaro, CEO of NeuroFlow

Author: Julie Ross Godar
Read time:  23 minutes
Published date:  June 16, 2021
50 million people in the U.S. have anxiety or depression, and two-thirds of them will never get treatment. Carta talked to CEO Chris Malone about how he founded NeuroFlow to change that.

On May 24, 2021, the Carta team sat down with Chris Molaro, co-founder and CEO of NeuroFlow, which bridges the behavioral and physical health divide to promote access across the care continuum and make a happier, healthier world. Chris was recently named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year for 2020.

Mita Mallick—Carta’s head of Inclusion, Equity, and Impact—talked to Chris about what he learned about startup leadership as a platoon leader in the Army, the 30 million-person gap in health care, how NeuroFlow came to be, the stigmas around mental health care, and what’s changed during the pandemic.

The discussion was part of Carta’s monthly Carta Conversations series, where we invite everyone at Carta to hear from a diverse array of Carta customers about their founder journeys.

Mita: Thank you so much, and welcome to Carta.

Chris:Thank you so much, thanks for having me, on behalf of all the NeuroFlowers out there! It’s a pleasure to be here, and thanks for what you do.

Growing up paycheck to paycheck

Mita:So, Chris, I want to start back in the beginning. We love to ask anyone who comes to one of these Carta Conversations, as we’d love to learn about your childhood experiences: What was it like growing up? I know that your father has played a huge role in your life as a mentor. What was it about those early childhood experiences that encouraged you to be an entrepreneur? Did you ever think that you would be running your own company?

Chris:That’s going way back when.

Mita: Yes!

Chris:NeuroFlow is based in Philadelphia, but I’m from New York originally—lived on Long Island growing up. I was blessed in a lot of ways, growing up in a big family. I have four younger sisters; I have a very supportive family structure. 

But I also remember growing up and money always being a source of arguments. My parents worked harder than anybody—my dad owns his own business, a very small carpentry business. But we were living, a lot of times, paycheck to paycheck. I give credit to my parents for shielding us, in a lot of ways, from that. I never felt like I was unlucky in that way. I was able to have friends, and I felt safe, and that sort of thing. But it was later on, when I got older and my eyes started opening and I saw what other people had—their options for college and so forth—that it started to sink in, like “Oh, maybe we aren’t as comfortable as I thought.” In that regard. But I was very fortunate, in a lot of ways, to have that sort of structure.

Unfortunately, a lot of people, I guess go through this—my parents divorced when I was relatively young. I was seven or eight. But man, my dad, he didn’t give up on us. He fought for custody, and he raised me and one of my sisters. As a single dad, he sent himself back to college. He actually went to college in his 40s, and really reinvented himself in a lot of ways. 

I respected him so much for doing that. At the time, I respected him, but I don’t think it really sunk in until later on, when I was like, “Wow, what he was doing was pretty incredible.” I think I get a lot of my work ethic, and my viewpoint on the world from him. 

When it was time to apply to college, I don’t know why, but I had this mindset…in a lot of ways, it was because there was this perception of, “to get a better life, you have to meet a certain threshold.” So I was dead-set on wanting to go to an Ivy League school—which was, looking back on it, unnecessary. And what also became clear was that we could not—I mean, we couldn’t even afford the full tuition of the most expensive state school, let alone an Ivy League education.

And so, in order to cover those costs—if that was something I really wanted to do, I had to look at alternative options. And the military seemed like a solution. I was 13 when 9/11 happened, living relatively close to Manhattan. All those things kind of just came together to create this perfect storm where you wanted to be a part of something bigger than yourself, and I alsoneeded a way to pay for college.

“Voila!” I thought. “Well, let me go into ROTC, which would pay for college.” And in the midst of that, I learned about a school in upstate New York called West Point, which is the United States military academy. And I was accepted there, and in 2006 I was the first person [in my family] to go into military service since my grandfather was in World War Two and Korea. 

My dad was like, “I have no idea why you’re doing this—you’re crazy.” He wasn’t a military person. But we went heads down, we marched forward, we did it. And in 2010 I graduated. 

So I…Well, I guess we could stop there. I was going to get into the founding story of NeuroFlow, but if there are questions or comments with that, we can pause.

How the military and startups are alike

Mita: Thank you for sharing. I want to thank you on behalf of Carta and all of us for your service. I know you served, I believe, five years, and in Iraq, and you were a platoon leader.

For those of us who are learning more or are unfamiliar with the experience of serving. I wanted for you to share anything you would be comfortable with sharing. I know that there’s a story behind why you were personally driven to found the company, that somebody who was serving under you who is struggling with mental health, so anything you would want to share with us, we’d love to hear.

Chris:Absolutely. And thanks for those kind words. 

Taking a quick aside, I think being in a startup culture and environment—which is to say, a group of people that are passionate about solving problems and creating something—is eerily similar to what it’s like to serve in the military. NeuroFlow and Carta are trying to do the impossible, which is to build something from the ground up and provide a valuable service to people. In the military, as a platoon we had 40 soldiers. We’re at 55 employees now at NeuroFlow—relatively the same size organization, trying to solve tough problems, with a lot of ambiguity, with not a lot of support and not a lot of resources. And you have to kind of figure it out along the way. And you have to do it together, as a team, right? So you’re just solving different problems. And you wear a different uniform to work and you’re dealing in maybe different austere environments, but principally and foundationally, it’s very similar.

So, when I was in the Army, at 22 years old, I graduated and I was put in charge of a platoon. Which is crazy to think that 40 soldiers served under me. I love each and every one of them. We had each other’s back—literally. You would die for the person to your left and right.

Two weeks after taking command of the platoon, we had orders to deploy over to Iraq. Our mission was to secure the southern hundred miles of the main highway that led from Baghdad to Kuwait, so that resupply trucks and humanitarian missions and those sorts of things were secured and safe. And it was a transcendent 12 months of my life, personally. You grew up very quickly and you solved tough problems as a team.

A life-changing experience with mental health

Fortunately, we ended those 12 months with no friendly loss of life—some injuries and that sort of thing. But it was a long 12 months. When we came back home, we were all screened for mental health conditions like PTSD, insomnia, depression.

Mita:PTSD—sorry, could you define, for those who are new to the term?

Chris:Of course, thanks, Mita. I appreciate the reminder. PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s not something that singles out the military—anybody could have PTSD, if you were a victim of an abusive relationship or if you were in a car accident or if you were…think about the last 12 months with a pandemic, if you were a healthcare worker in a hospital setting. Anybody can struggle with PTSD.

It manifests itself in different ways. Sometimes it can look a lot like anxiety. Or having sleep issues like nightmares. Or reliving the past to a point in which it affects your quality of life. Sometimes it can be so bad that it’s a detriment to your quality of life, where you can’t get out of bed, or if you were involved in a car accident you can’t drive anymore, because it just overcomes your ability to do that. Depression can have the same thing; anxiety can have the same thing. So that’s PTSD. 

We were all screened for that, and we had varying degrees of struggles with those issues. As you might imagine, we all had physical conditions that we were dealing with, whether it was back problems carrying all that equipment or IED explosions that we endured and that sort of thing.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I had one soldier that had screened positive for PTSD and screened positively for depression. That’s a good news story, if you want to picture it that way, because when you screen positively, that means you’re identified, which then means you can go get help. It’s like screening positively for cancer: “OK, that sucks, I have cancer, but now, if I caught it early enough, we can go get treatment.” And the good news about PTSD and depression is that they’re very treatable. You can overcome them. You can learn to cope with them, and you can get back to a life that can resemble the way it looked before you struggled with these issues.

So he was identified and he was referred to resources, he was referred to a therapist, he was given antidepressants. And tragically, three months later, we lost him. We got a call at two in the morning. As the platoon leader, I was one of the people who was called. He was found dead. He took his own life. 

I was like, “OK, how in the world could this happen, and what can we do to mitigate this from happening in the future?” What our investigation showed afterwards was that despite being identified, and having been provided resources—and, by the way, we were in the Army, so everything was free; cost was not prohibitive to access this stuff. He didn’t once go to the therapist he was referred to. He didn’t once go fill the prescription that he was prescribed. 

And not once did anyone in the continuum of care ever follow up to say, “Hey, you’re not going to your appointments. You haven’t filled your antidepressants, and, by the way, how are you doing? Are you doing OK?” And there was just a tremendous gap in care. 

To this day, I take that as my biggest leadership failure. And zooming out of my anecdotal example, unfortunately, that is more of the rule than the exception—if not ending in loss of life, certainly ending in loss of quality of life, productivity, happiness. And doesn’t have to be that way. That gap in care, wanting to bridge physical and mental health into just health, is what NeuroFlow’s mission is. It’s what drives me every day, and why the team is so passionate about what we do.

Mita: I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and colleague. I’ve lost family members to suicide. And there is a feeling of helplessness and loneliness and isolation. And so clearly you’ve taken that to found your company. 

How NeuroFlow fills a gap in care

Mita:We’ll get into a lot of the inequities in healthcare and mental health healthcare services that are really coming to light, especially in this pandemic. What problems did you set out to solve in founding NeuroFlow?

Chris:It’s interesting. The original problem that we set out to solve was focusing on therapy adherence. In a lot of cases, in order for therapy to be effective, there has to be follow up and adherence with therapy protocols in between appointments. That makes sense—if I go to physical therapists, they’re going to teach me how to stretch, how to do different exercises to recover from whatever injury I’ve sustained. And then, in between those appointments, if I’m not doing those stretches or practicing those exercises, I’m not going to benefit. I’m not going to see my improvement over time.  

It’s the same exact thing in therapy. If I go to a therapist once a week or once every other week for an hour, where we talk about my feelings and motivational interviewing and all that stuff and we work on reframing those—if I don’t practice those, if I don’t journal, if I don’t practice those skill sets in between my appointments, I’m not going to benefit from therapy. And so our original idea—which still very important—was helping that in-between-the-appointments adherence.

What we didn’t realize at the time was that it’s actually not the bigger problem to be solved. Because those people are already in therapy; they’ve taken that first big step in terms of getting that support. The tragedy is that of the 50 million people a year that have anxiety or depression in this country, two-thirds of them will never even get to that point. 

And so we have this tremendous gap in care. 30 million people that need support—and these are the people that we know about—that need support, that will never actually go and get it. And so how can you bridge that gap, and make it more accessible and engaging for them? You can go to where they’re actually getting treated—typically the primary care or ob-gyn—and you can meet them there, provide them that support, provide those physicians the support so that they can be more adequate in treating the whole person. 

And so in 2018, we made a big pivot. Rather than focusing on the therapists and that ongoing care, it was focusing on the primary care providers and bridging that divide. We do that with over 400,000 people under contract now.

Mita: Wow. So in terms of how your platform works, is it that myself, as a patient, would have access to it, as well as my primary care physician and my therapist? Talk to us a little bit about how the ecosystem works, and what that actually looks like.

Chris:So think back to the last time that you saw your primary care provider or some physician. Maybe you were up for an annual wellness visit. You went in, and in the waiting room you got a bunch of forms to fill out. You may or may not have realized that, but one of those forms—probably the PHQ-9 (which stands for “patient health questionnaire nine,” just because there are nine questions; they’re not overly creative in the healthcare community). They gave you the PHQ-9, and one of the questions is: “Over the last two weeks, have you had feelings of depression, loneliness, or anxiety?” Never, sometimes, mostly, or all the time—and you would just circle them, and there’s a scoring rubric, and then hopefully they upload that into the electronic health record. 

The idea is that it could help inform your overall care. If you didn’t fill that out, it’s possible that a nurse or a doctor gave that to you verbally, like they ask you some questions and they just click through it. That’s the standard of care today And sometimes that doesn’t even happen.

And so what NeuroFlow does is we digitize that, so that those assessments happen before you even get to the doctor’s office. We automatically risk-stratify a population, providing that feedback back to the nursing staff and the physicians, so they can see: “OK, you have a thousand patients. Here are the top 5% that really need an extra level of support,” so that they can help get them to that right type of care.

And then, for the other 95% of people, rather than just doing that assessment only when I come into the visit, what we can do is to automate the followup, to do more screenings and provide self-help, self-service tools like mindfulness or meditations or journaling activities—all of which have that clinical feedback loop back to your physicians and nurses, so that they’re more informed to care better for you. As a patient, you’re more empowered with 24/7 tools and access to help you in your care.

The NeuroFlow founder story

Mita: That’s amazing! Let’s backtrack a little bit: When did you decide to found the company? I know you have a partner, Adam, your co-founder.  We know you were serving as a platoon leader, we know you had a life-altering experience losing your friend, and then what was the moment that you said, “Yes, and we’re doing this now?”

Chris:I think it’d be a lot cooler of a story if I had a lightbulb moment right when that tragedy happened. If it was like, “We need to hard stop, we need to stop this from happening ever again.” Unfortunately, that’s not the way it happened. It was something that I struggled with personally. I had to see a therapist for a little bit, and have learned to cope with that leadership failure on my part. So there wasn’t a lightbulb moment in that case. You drove on, continued with life. 

And then, in 2015, I transitioned off of active duty, and I made my way up to Philadelphia to go to business school. I started at Wharton to get my MBA and had no plans of starting a company, let alone a healthcare company. I had no business being a CEO of a healthcare business. My only healthcare experience was being a patient. 

At Wharton, I was enrolled in a class called The Business of Healthcare, which was taught by Penn psychiatrists and psychologists. I was also involved in a technology fellowship program called Insight Fellows, which was a program that was throughout the school, so there were law students, medical students, business students, and engineering students. Adam was one of those engineering students in the fellowship. We kind of joke that we met at one of the Insight happy hours, our eyes locked, and we were like, “We’re co-founders. Let’s do something together.”

There was a business plan competition at Penn where you could win $10,000 for the best business plan utilizing an existing Penn technology. And so we were both like, “Whoa. That sounds fun; let’s do that!” We started brainstorming ideas around that technology, and it conjured a lot of memories for me. We talked about problems we had faced and what we were facing. I reminisced about challenges with my soldiers in my unit and Adam had had similar experiences on his own personal front. And so we submitted that business plan to that business plan competition…and lost miserably. I mean I don’t even think we made it past the first round.

Mita: Thought you were gonna say you got the $10,000. I was waiting.

Chris:No, not at all. It was like, “Thanks, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.” But what I think we learned was one, that it was a lot of fun to do—that whole exercise. And two, we learned that there was a real need. And there was no one really addressing it. There’s still this huge gap in care with mental health. And so we said to each other, “Well let’s  continue working on it.”

And a few months later, there was another business plan competition for another $10,000. “Let’s go back to the drawing board and figure this out.” We did that, and we won that $10,000. And over the next 11 months, we went on a winning spree. We won $140,000 of free money—grant money, basically—that seeded the company, allowed us to build a prototype, blah blah blah. A year and a half later, I graduated from Wharton. Adam actually dropped out of his PhD program and he left with a master’s degree. And, as they say, the rest is history.

The fundraising journey

Mita:That’s amazing. I was talking to another founder… is this advice you would give founders and other Carta customers? He talked about pitch competitions being a great way to get access to relationships you wouldn’t otherwise have access to, but also access to cash.

Chris:And, maybe even more valuable, access to feedback and advice. Concurrently, while doing those competitions and as a business school student, we were also raising our first seed round. When I graduated I needed a job afterwards, and so I needed a way to pay for that. We didn’t have a working product yet, so that certainly wasn’t going to be funded by revenue. 

So we were raising our seed round and got told “no” hundreds of times by investors. But with every no, we got some feedback. We were able to tinker and make adjustments and iterate—and, eventually, I think, create a really strong pitch. And so we raised our first $1.25 million seed round—which now kind of seems like not a lot of money, but back then, it was, “We’ve made it, oh my god!” (And that’s when we became Carta customers, which was cool.) 

Pitch competitions, talking to investors: Just put yourself out there would be my advice. Be comfortable with getting told no and getting told to get last—as long as you can get some constructive feedback.

Mita:Yeah. I wanted to ask you about the fundraising journey, I had read that you had said you were rejected 141 times…or was 142? I don’t remember. I’m going with 141.

Chris:141, yeah.

Mita:Earlier, you said, “I had no business becoming a CEO of a healthcare company,” and it’s interesting because you knew so much from being a patient, so you had different insights. Tell us a little bit about the conversations and the bias you felt like you might have faced, especially as someone who didn’t have experience in leading a company, who also had a military background. What were some of those conversations like for you?

Chris:I guess I’m being a little bit coy when I say that I had no business starting a company—because, obviously, I had the confidence that we could figure it out, and I think I had that confidence because to me, business is just a business, and you can figure out how to solve the problem. Leadership is leadership. 

It’s just like in the military—I wasn’t the most experienced officer by a long stretch. The 40 soldiers I led had been deployed overseas a number of times before I became their platoon leader. From an experience standpoint, I’ve never been the most experienced, but in terms of problem-solving and managing and leading, I don’t think you need a certain set of domain expertise, especially if you surround yourself with people that have that domain expertise and staff your team with the best people in the industry. And that’s exactly what we’ve done. I’m not a computer science engineer; we have a ton of really good engineers and data scientists who bring that expertise to the team. 

In terms of the fundraising process, I think some investors were able to see through that. Obviously, we were able to raise our money. Some of the people that invested are included in that “141 nos” group. It was just that they came back and said, “OK, now I’ve seen enough progress and traction, I’m ready to jump in with you.” 

There were some people who told me, “I think your idea is great, the market is right, this is a great opportunity—I just don’t think that you’re the right person for it.” I kind of take those instances a little personally, but you know, it’s a little motivating, I guess. 

The fundraising process, especially that early stage, when we didn’t have a lot of proof points and the investors were really taking a chance on us as a team, was really, really tough. There was no rhyme or reason. A lot of the time, they would say, “We really like it, we really like you, like the idea, but we’re not going to invest.” Man! You gotta give me a bone, help me out a little bit! It was tough, but the idea of “We’re going to be able to get there; it’s just a matter of finding the right investors that are willing to come along on the journey with us, and again learning and iterating along the way,” we obviously eventually got there.

Leadership through the pandemic

Mita: Clearly, you are the right person to be leading this. Speaking of leadership and the pandemic, I would love to hear how your work has been accelerated, what impact it made to the business, and what your thoughts are on what you’re hearing about mental health during the pandemic; we’re all reading a lot about it.

As you know, we’re a global company and so we’ve got people in the U.S., who are ready for their second shot, who are fully vaccinated, and we have our friends in our Rio office, where things are very different, and in Canada as well. It’s very uneven. As we talk about inequities in healthcare. I would love your thoughts on how the pandemic has impacted your business.

Chris:Maybe not NeuroFlow-specific, just health care in general: Trying to look at the bright side of things—the silver lining, if you will—I think that what the pandemic accelerated was our ability to adopt digital technologies. Telehealth has had a massive growth, and when telehealth can be more ubiquitous, you improve access for people in rural communities that otherwise wouldn’t have access to certain specialists. Or even people who would normally have access, but for whatever reason—stigma-related—wouldn’t want to go get that care but feels more comfortable talking over video or through text message. Those technologies and the adoption of those technologies is a really positive thing.

The other positive thing is the acknowledgement and the understanding that mental health is a huge challenge, and when it comes to people who struggle with anxiety and depression now and again, that it’s more of the rule than the exception. I mean, everybody on this call right now, at some point, has had a bad day. Or has known somebody who has been depressed or anxious, or didn’t want to get out of bed, or has struggled with substance use disorder. Everybody on this call. It impacts everybody, and I think that’s finally being acknowledged and talked about more. Pre-pandemic, I don’t think was the case. Or maybe it was, but it’s been accelerated. 

So from a business standpoint for NeuroFlow, it’s been net neutral. The pandemic has helped in a lot of ways in terms of the challenges around mental health; people are talking about it more. I think there’s still a stigma there, but it’s less than it’s ever been. But from an adoption standpoint, we work with health systems and health insurance companies. We’re a B2B company; a consumer just couldn’t find NeuroFlow, download the app, and access that; they have to be invited by a physician or their health plan. And the health systems were so laser focused over the last 12 months—as they should have been—with the pandemic and getting Covid under control and making sure that they were able to deliver that acute level of care to people who needed it. What that meant, though, was that their attention was diverted away from new technologies like ours. And so we really relied on our existing customers and those more innovative, forward-thinking systems that wanted to invest in technology. 

So positive in a lot of ways, challenging in other ways.

Mita:Speaking of stigma, especially in the mental health space, what harm do you think it does when we think about mental health differently from physical health? And when we think that mental health doesn’t really physically impact how we feel?

Chris:That’s been the thought pattern for forever, up until recently. That’s why you have carved out mental health benefits. Think about how asinine it is to have a health insurance company say, “we’re going to reimburse for this knee replacement” or “we’re going to reimburse you for this diabetes treatment, but we don’t have mental health treatment in network.”

Maybe today that sounds crazy and that wouldn’t happen, but five years ago? A decade ago? That was normal. It just wasn’t treated the same. Mental health is over there, in some psychiatry office where you lie on the leather couch and talk about your feelings. And then “real health issues” are handled over here at the doctor’s office. 

And there’s a preponderance of evidence that shows that is the wrong way of thinking. Think about when somebody has depression. These are all symptoms of depression: You eat less healthy. You’re less active. You’re less likely to be social. You’re less likely to take care of yourself. All of which compound physical health issues. So if you have depression and also have diabetes, you’re less likely to eat healthy, which affects diabetes; you’re less likely to take your medication, which affects those outcomes of diabetes. 

Or say you’re in chronic pain every day. Because you’re in chronic pain, you take medication. And you wake up the next day more tired and you’re still in pain, so you’re depressed. Because you’re depressed, maybe you drink more, and you’re depressed because you’re in pain and so you take more medication, and so you get a spiraling effect.

There was a huge study done by Milliman that shows that the cost of care is increased by four to five times when somebody has a co-morbid behavioral health condition with a physical health condition. Which is just mind-boggling. I think that is being recognized more and more, so more insurance codes have come out. More primary care physicians now have integrated either NeuroFlow or other services, or they’ve hired licensed clinical social workers to be in their clinic—which I think is a really, really great sign of where we’re headed as a society.

Mita:What’s next for NeuroFlow? What are you up to next that you’d like to share with us so that we can be the first to know about it?

Chris:There are 50 million people that have anxiety and depression. Under contract, right now, we’re approaching half a million people. We’re just at the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more work to be done out there. 

We have relatively large military contracts, we get to support our service members, which is intrinsically important for me. We’re about to announce an even bigger deal with them, and so we’re excited about that. I just think that there is so much green pasture out there in terms of making an impact with mental health and improving the quality of all our lives and making the world a happier place that our work has just begun.

Rapid-fire founder questions

Mita: Chris, thank you for all you’re doing. Now I’m going to go into rapid fire as we end—we like to do this with everyone who visits us at Carta. Tell me about the last piece of content or article that you read that’s still on your mind.

Chris:I just started reading “The Everything Store,” the Jeff Bezos biography. Just started chapter one this morning, so that’s fresh.

Mita:Let me know how it is. I still have it in my closet—never got past chapter one. Cartans know, I have a six and an eight year old, so I don’t read much.

Chris:Oh, boy. 

Mita:Unless it’s Captain Underpants or Peppa Pig—those are what’s on my reading list right now. OK, a business idea, you wish you had been first to build if not what you have built.

Chris:um.Well, I guess, in the spirit of the book I just started reading, Amazon’s a pretty good idea. He’s doing pretty good. Pretty good.

Mita:Back to your childhood for a second: What was your favorite board game or activity as a child?

Chris:A tie between Risk or Monopoly. In terms of activities, I loved and I still love the outdoors—camping is up there.

Mita:Cool. If you weren’t the CEO and co-founder of NeuroFlow, what would you be doing right now?

Chris:Impossible question. I don’t know! I mean—yeah. I don’t know. This is it.

Mita:I’ll give you a pass. Tell us about a favorite show that you’re binge-watching—if you have time to binge-watch any shows.

Chris:I’m married, so Erica is my support system, and she is the most patient person in the world, dealing with my schedule, but we just finished “Breaking Bad.” I know I’m late to the party here, but it was a fun show to watch.

Mita:Awesome. What’s an everyday product or service you can’t live without? And please don’t say your iPhone.

Chris:That’s a good question and a good caveat! Product or service I can’t live without…it’s such an easy question, but when you’re on the spot it’s hard to answer. Could it be technology-related?

Mita:Yes, it could be anything.

Chris:Either my podcast or Audible account! I walk to work every day. It’s 30 minutes each way, and I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

Mita:Tell us about a company that’s on your radar that we should know about…or maybe they’re a Carta customer, and we can invite them for a conversation!

Chris:So there’s a fellow Philadelphia company in the healthcare space. We don’t work with them from a partnership angle, but they’ve been doing a lot of exciting things in terms of access to care, and inequities with care, with helping people get to their appointments. They’re called Roundtrip, and they’re a great company.

Mita:All right, we’ll have to look them up. Two more questions:  Advice you would give your younger self?

Chris:Don’t worry so much about the don’t. It’s all going to work out, even if not according to the exact plan that you had. If you are focused on doing the right thing and doing good for people, it will work out in the end.

Mita:Great advice to end on! And I know your team was so conscientious—you sent us such great feedback on Carta and our product! We will get that to our teams. But tell us top of mind, as somebody who’s using the product, give us some feedback on what you enjoy and what you would like us to work on.

Chris:With the caveat that this might already exist, so the implied feedback might be making this more up front, so that we can utilize it! We get a lot of questions around the intricacies or the nuances of what stock options are, what NSOs are, what ISOs are. Especially younger employees or people that haven’t been privy to that before, they don’t understand the implications of it. So more educational modules to help us educate our team on what the impacts are for them and how they should handle it.

Mita:Great! We have work we’re doing on Equity 101, so we will send it your way. We have a big plan to educate as many employees as we can, so that they understand what their equity is and what it means for them.

Chris, thank you so much! It was such a pleasure to host you, and we hope we can host you for a meal or a drink sometime a coffee in person. Thanks for being a Carta customer, and thanks for everything you’re doing and the impact you’re making in the world. 

Chris:Thank you, everybody!

Julie Ross Godar is a former editorial director at Carta. She's also a Jeopardy! champion.
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