building a product for mom

My mother (left) and I in our home city — Vancouver, Canada.

I count myself lucky to have a close bond with my mother, Grace. We share similar interests, have explored different countries together, and are always scheming about what we’ll do next when we’re together again. That next time will be in Boston, MA, when she will be visiting to attend my MBA graduation ceremony in the Spring this year.

As she ages, I find myself constantly thinking about her and the finite timeline she has to continue living independently. We continue to live in separate cities (eight years and counting). On our calls, I check in and ask if she’s completed her exercises for the day and what she ate to ensure she’s keeping healthy. I am often concerned about whether she’s getting the right exercise she needs since being diagnosed with a few conditions which have impacted her exercise routine. It’s no surprise that her injuries and limitations have prevented her from staying as active as she once was.

My mom is not alone. In fact, 82% of the 110+ women over 50 we’ve engaged with cite that an injury or limitation prevents them from exercise. These women are left feeling frustrated that they can’t complete the millennial-focused workouts on existing digital platforms and are at a loss for determining what exercise their bodies need. They find existing solutions to be intimidating and fear they will strain or further injure their bodies.

This sparked an idea I’m currently working on called Intune. Intune is the fitness destination and community for women over 50. We provide personalized and holistic exercise plans that take into account users’ physical limitations and adapt with greater use. These women get access to personal training, weekly exercise plans, and progress trackers to help them reach their fitness and health goals. They are supported by a community of other women 50+ and health experts.

My co-founder, Kelsey, and I teamed up on this last year and have been supported by the MIT ecosystem as a Sandbox-funded startup. After spending the first few months focused on truly understanding the customer and pain points, we have since spent time validating hypotheses through market research, UX prototype iterations, and customer interviews. We’re currently running a pilot program with two groups of women, in partnership with a personal trainer, and it has been rewarding to see things come to life!

They say you shouldn’t ask your mom whether your business is a good idea, because she loves you and will lie to you. Well, nobody said anything about building a product specifically for your mom and how rewarding an experience like that truly can be.

If you are a woman over age 50 or know someone (perhaps your mom too!) who’d be interested in Intune, learn more about us here. We’re planning to run our second pilot program soon, so feel free to join the waitlist if that’s of interest!

Keep up to date with our progress via our newsletter here.

Be well,
Jo-Hannah
Co-Founder of Intune

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MBA Candidate @ MIT Sloan | building Intune. exploring health + consumer tech, inclusive design, and purpose-driven businesses

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Jo Yeo

Jo Yeo

MBA Candidate @ MIT Sloan | building Intune. exploring health + consumer tech, inclusive design, and purpose-driven businesses

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