“I learned the business you are in isn’t always obvious when you start out”

Adam Greene, Founder of Klaatch

Inspiration for a new business can come from anywhere.  For Adam Greene, co-founder of Klaatch, it came because of his father.  After Adam’s mother died, Adam watched his father’s health deteriorate; he was sure loneliness was a major factor. This belief was validated when Adam’s research confirmed that loneliness has an enormous impact on a person’s physical and mental health. That got Adam thinking. “Since loneliness can change people’s behavior, I wondered whether solving loneliness could change them back,” says Adam. “I wanted to learn more and find solutions.”

Adam Greene

Adam had been an investment banker for 25 years and while he had experience as an entrepreneur, tackling loneliness was out of Adam’s area of expertise. Adam continued to do research and think about solutions, but it wasn’t until his father’s aide encouraged him to tackle this growing problem that he decided to act. That’s when Klaatch was born.

But deciding what Klaatch would ultimately be turned out not be so straight-forward. “What our initial vision was versus where we are today evolved over time,” says Adam.”We originally wanted to build a better program than what was currently available in the market.” So Klaatch initially created its own programming  focused on making it easier for older adults to keep their social circle vibrant and expanding by providing creative incentives for older people to stay social.  “As a mission-driven company, we wanted to provide a soup-to-nuts solution. But we learned that there is seldom one answer. Every organization we talked to required a different approach. It made it hard to explain our solution and scalability was impossible.”

So the team shifted its focus to measurement – how could Klaatch prove its program made a difference? They designed their own “Social Quotient” dashboard to quantify the impact of their programs on changes in loneliness and participants’ behaviors.

This led to a new business opportunity since, like Klaatch, everyone was struggling to develop a methodology to measure success. Klaatch found that while many of the organizations they talked to didn’t want new programs, they did want to measure the impact of their current programs. By building on their platform, Klaatch could meet this need.

“I originally thought we could be an integrated solution but soon found out that it wasn’t scalable or easy to deploy. By leveraging the platform and unique data sets we built for ourselves, we are now able to build custom dashboards for other organizations. This is not only scalable, it puts us in a stronger position to raise money,” notes Adam. Today, Klaatch offers both programming and analytics to healthcare organizations.

The path to a successful business is not always a straight one. As Adam notes, it isn’t always obvious what your business is when you start out.  But with persistence, flexibility and the willingness to listen to what the market is telling you, you can find your business opportunity.

To learn more about Klaatch and the great work Adam and his team are doing, go to https://www.klaatch.com/

Copyright© 2020 Emelie Smith Calbick and Betty Wong

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