No matter your age, a good night's rest is essential for overall health and wellbeing.
Though Upward Labs has historically scouted for promising health technologies for the aging population, when we found Hibernate, we knew this solution had great potential to meet other challenges faced by our healthcare partners.
Hibernate's CEO, Eric Wells, spoke to the Upward Team about the importance of his company's deep sleep technology in solving for both short and long-term health effects caused by poor sleep habits.
UPWARD: Give us the Hibernate elevator pitch.
Eric Wells: Everyone needs a better night’s sleep. The CDC has found that ⅓ of Americans don’t get enough sleep, and poor sleep causes multiple health conditions. Hibernate’s opportunity is to give users a better night’s sleep, a deeper sleep, without changing their habits. Other devices in this space provide a solution for improving sleep quality, but you have to commit to strapping something on your body or changing your lifestyle in some way to make it work.
U: What drives you and your team to accomplish your mission?
EW: Prior to Hibernate, I was working in the life sciences space. One day, two University of Washington St. Louis contacted our Phoenix office looking to raise capital for the first phase of Hibernate, and while the research and the science behind the product were impressive, the biggest challenge in their plan was they were young and could not raise funds as they had not designed a marketable product. I spent most of my professional life wearing the “badge of honor” of 4 hours of sleep a night and saw this as an opportunity to really enhance the sleep I and others like me were going to get.
U: Why Upward Labs?
EW: Upward reached out to me. I already had some well-equipped advisors from Johnson & Johnson through prior experience with JLabs in Houston from my 2 other companies in the vascular space but was interested in Upward Labs’ partners. We didn’t originally see Hibernate as a B2B product. Once we met the partners they opened our eyes to multiple opportunities outside of our B2C focus.
U: Tell us about your current pilots.
EW: We developed a pilot with Priority Life Care that is focused on the director-level staff versus residents. We also are running pilots with Hartford Healthcare and volunteers from AARP. In Philly, we have a pilot with SOMN Labs (former Johnson and Johnson team) that is running independently of Upward.
Hibernate’s opportunity is to give users a better night’s sleep, a deeper sleep, without changing their habits - Eric Wells, CEO, Hibernate
U: What is the key takeaway for potential clients, partners, and users of your product?
EW: The lack of data we have around sleep is a serious challenge, especially since sleep deprivation - or poor sleep in general - is an underlying cause of many psychological and physical ailments. We are doing everything we can to enhance people’s quality of life by giving them a better night’s sleep.
U: Tell us about you.
EW: Running a startup is a lean and mean operation - I do a little bit of everything. On a personal level, I have four awesome adult children and I’m a surf bum from California. The ocean is kind of my zen. You’ll always find me chasing waves wherever I am. And typically, with one of the kids.
Click here to learn more about how Hibernate is enhancing sleep patterns and improving users' overall quality of life.
About Upward Labs
Upward Labs is a Connecticut-based venture fund that has developed an ideal ecosystem to fast-track AgeTech and PropTech startups in the U.S. market. The program matches each startup with decision makers from leading Fortune 100 and 500 companies in healthcare and real estate industries. The startups and their corporate advisors work together for six months to first identify the use cases that prove the greatest commercial potential, and then test them in the Labs' numerous sandbox buildings and facilities. As the pilots deliver data and results, each Lab and its advisors work with the startups to refine their product and offering, thus enabling rapid growth and commercial traction. Learn more at www.moveupward.city/startups.