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Friday, Jun 9, 2023

Startup Knows How to Make Connections Count

Porchlight, a digital health startup that participated in the La Jolla-based Nex Cubed’s accelerator program has raised $1.5 million from investors. The money came shortly after its participation in the program.

Founded in 2018, by entrepreneur Steve Peterschmidt of Colorado Springs, developed a smartphone application called Porchlight after being diagnosed with cancer, giving him a new perspective on the meaning of relationships. 

‘The Ah-Ha Moment’

Peterschmidt, CEO of Porchlight said, “At the age of 50, I had the opportunity rediscover my family, and I realized how important it was to just be in the lives of my kids, my parents and my siblings. The “ah-ha” moment was when we realized weren’t the only ones that were having that challenge of staying connected.”

In today’s hyper-connected world, the younger generation feels more connected than ever thanks to mobile tools and social media but in reality, most people are isolated from the people that they care about.

Checking In

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The app enables friends and family members to share how they are doing and check in on each other. Designed for quick and short responses, users can touch base with each other one-on-one.

“There’s a lot of busy adults focused on careers and the daily grind of life, it’s easy to get isolated that way. There’s also research that shows that the elderly suffer the most from chronic isolation. One of the answers to this problem is to get those people to connect. Everybody has somebody that they want to stay more connected to.”

Daily Interactions

How it works is through small daily interactions each day between people on a private network. To make it easy for users to stay consistent, each interaction takes no more than 22 seconds each day. 

Porchlight has users in 49 states and 21 countries. Delaware is the only U.S. market Porchlight is not in.

In 2019, the company ran a pilot with four universities including the University of Texas at Austin, Colorado College, and two others. As a result, Porchlight has users spread across the country and overseas, primarily in Europe.

From a business standpoint, the company’s long-term goals are to foster continue creating its engagement channel which in turn, extracts high-value for health care spaces and wellness centers.

Making Positive Impacts

“Health care systems tend to struggle in this area, as they try to force themselves into people’s lifestyles. At Porchlight, because of the interaction we have and how we help people connect to information in the health care system, we have the unique opportunity to positively impact people’s health and wellness, by putting them at the center of information,” he said. 

In support of helping fight the spread COVID-19, Porchlight temporarily removed its $9.99 monthly subscription fee, making the app available for anyone to use until further notice.

In addition, to making its solution accessible, the team also implemented a COVID-19 symptom tracker based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, best clinical practices, among other risk factors. 

Looking ahead, Porchlight said it will double down on its user experience and work to establish partnerships with health care centers. 

“Our strategy, moving forward is to continue to work on building the best experience for the users because it’s that engagement that really matters.”

As of now, Porchlight is no longer participating in the La Jolla-based accelerator but it still uses the resources and taps into the group valuable advisory network. According to Nex Cubed’s website, “We create, accelerate, advise, and invest in frontier technology.”

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Porchlight team has a total of 5 staffers and is gearing up to raise a Series A round by the end of this year.


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