CARE2MANAGE, the caregiver-support startup based in Memphis, will maintain a public-service emphasis, whether it launches as for-profit or nonprofit.
Founder Ela Emami is a graduate of the Sky High social-enterprise accelerator operated by Start Co., and has been developing a suite of services for those caring for the elderly or others. She has several individual caregivers as customers and aims to add business clients. She helps them navigate medical, custodial, counseling or other options for those in their care.
If Emami organizes Care2Manage on a traditional for-profit basis, outside investment of $200K would enable Emami to accelerate the business's growth, she said. In that scenario, the company's charter would include reference to a public-service component.
Emami said she has received $20K from a donor she declined to identify; and, she contributed $5K she netted from winning First Place in the 2013 pitch competition in the former Nibletz Everywhereelse pitch competition in Memphis. She confirmed she holds 100% of the business. The Sky High program neither provides investment nor takes an equity share.
She expressed confidence regarding raising the resources she needs, but added, "Oddly enough, even though there's a lot of noise and drumming in this space," raising capital remains a challenge.
Emami's idea for such a business had gestated awhile before she pitched it during Start Co.'s 48 Launch event in June 2012.
In developing the company's software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, Emami has drawn on Memphis developer David Baldwin, who owns inDevelopment LLC.
Her advisors include Bob Bernstein, president of Geriatric Consultants; Tyler Sory, CSO Drconnection Benefits (telemedicine programs); and, Sandeford "Sandy" Schaeffer, a consultant, technologist and educator, among others.
She said she is exploring an array of options for structuring the company, including the low-profit limited liability company (L3C) option afforded socially oriented companies in a number of other states.
VTC research shows that another approach -- employed by Warby Parker, Etsy, Seventh Generation, Patagonia and others -- involves a for-profit company seeking "B corporation" certification by the B Lab, as recently reported by The New Yorker.
Emami earned her bachelor's in psychology and her MBA in marketing and management at the University of Memphis, and subsequently worked for several Tennessee and Mississippi care-related organizations, including the Baddour Center, Youth Villages and Open Arms Care, according to her LinkedIn.
The founder is a long-time Memphis resident who has been active in aging-network circles for years. She was born in the Chicago area, she said. VTC