This Minnesota Made Healthtech Venture Starts With Love

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Alska“I never envisioned that I’d be developing and launching a software product,” entrepreneur Michelle Chaffee admits about the genesis of her new startup CareQuo.

The company’s first software product, Alska, emerged rather organically from her firsthand experience in patient care advocacy — beginning with her own mother.

Three years ago, a debilitating stroke forever changed her mom’s health, and as a result, Chaffee’s own life.  After a career of respitory therapy, that event took her in a new direction, a calling of sorts.

Personally struggling with the balance of professional and familial demands, she realized how common the problem was for those like her in similar situations.

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“Hospitalizations, scheduling, medical records, transportation, communication — the list goes on and on for residential caregivers, I realized.  So the theory I began testing was: how can technology enable myself and others to be better at managing situations like this?”

According to her research, there are 65 million family caregivers across the US, a figure that “is going up exponentially.”

The SaaS product she’s created works by opening up a private network between the stakeholders — patients, caregivers, doctors — to store, manage and share crucial information and communications.

Alska is a Swedish word to convey ‘love’, an ethos Chaffee maintains as the core of her newfound mission: supporting caregivers and careteams in their critical support role.

She introduced an alpha product last year that tested positive for efficacy, now she’s taking Alska to the next level, with a recode and full launch looming.

“The prototype went way better than than I would have imagined, there’s such a real need for this service right here and now,” she concludes.

The venture has raised $140k in seed funding so far with anticipation of another ~$200k to achieve the first funding milestone.

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