Just last week Babson College announced its 2017 Babson Entrepreneurial Thought and Action (B.E.T.A) Challenge finalists, which included from the undergraduate school: Womentum (Prabha Dublish ‘18 and Derek Tu ‘18), Vinci (Eagle Wu ‘19) and DetraPel (David Zamarin ‘20, Jacob Heller ‘20, Ali Eldessouky and Larry Ng ’20). With the recent success of these entrepreneurial finalists, we take a look back at where last year’s BETA finalists currently are, particularly “Mighty Well,” founded by Emily Levy ‘16.
Mighty Well is a growing line of medical accessories that put strength, confidence, and mobility back into the toolkit for those coping with an illness or health setback. These accessories range in products, but what the company excels most in is the PICCPerfect Line Protector, a sleek and fashionable sleeve-like cover to protect insertion sites on the arm from contaminants, and to normalize these insertion sites into everyday settings.
The story behind the founding of Mighty Well traces back to Levy’s sophomore year at Babson College when she was diagnosed with Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease, a disease in which symptoms of lyme disease continue to occur despite use of antibiotics. These symptoms include fatigue, joint/muscle aches, and cognitive dysfunction which requires a PICC line, a long and thin tube inserted into the vein to pump in antibiotics or other medications.
“When I had my first PICC line put in, I was told to protect it by wearing a cut-off sock, sleeve-like, on my arm. I’m sorry…what? A sock? On my arm? In public? Like…on dates? A SOCK?!” Levy writes on the Mighty Well site. She continues to explain the company’s inspiration by saying, “And I wondered: How was this ever going to fit into the carefree, collegiate lifestyle I’d imagined for myself? How could I be me this way? What had I become? And how would I possibly flirt with that adorable hockey player in my 8 am finance class?!” And that’s how Mighty Well was born.
Levy’s honest and down-to-earth attitude that shines through her product description has proven useful in building overall success for Mighty Well. On April 5, 2017 Levy and her company were highlighted in a Forbes Magazine article by Geri Stengel:
“Last fall, she [Levy] won a $250,000 investment from the first-ever Babson Breakaway Challenge – the largest purse ever awarded in a female-focused pitch contest.
‘During our time at the WIN Lab, we rebranded from PICCPerfect (now the name of our first product), into Mighty Well’ said Levy. ‘We expanded our mission into turning Sickness Into Strength, versus focusing on growing a company around one product. Our focus is now to be the go-to brand for patients and their networks.’
Her product demonstrates her knowledge of the market. And she exudes the confidence needed to reach that market.”
This confidence is also something Levy has been passionate about sharing with her customers. She advocates education and awareness on the patient perspective, hoping to combat the isolation, misunderstanding and feelings of defeat that often accompany illnesses for patients.
Levy actually visited Babson student Olivia Brodt (1996-2017), while she was battling ARMS cancer disease at the Dana-Farber Institute in Boston. Following Brodt’s passing, Mighty Well posted on their Facebook account “Olivia inspired everyone that she touched, and especially everyone at Mighty Well. Thank you for allowing us to visit you at Dana Farber and encouraging all with your fighter spirit. Thank you Olivia for teaching us to #LiveMightyWell.”
Levy was also recently listed on the “17 Women to Watch” by the Women & Wealth Magazine, spoke at Babson’s Social Innovation Summit on April 7, and continues to mentor young women entrepreneurs, especially within the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership (CWEL) community at Babson College.
Her goals and mission are clearly summed up as, “It’s simple: Our dreams and ambitions are just as big as they were before our diagnoses. And if we’re going to conquer the world we need uncompromising style and comfort — and the power to do treatments easily, discreetly, and on the fly.” She concludes, “Nothing powers physical healing like feeling like you, so get out there and do your thing. You are not a diagnosis — you’re Mighty Well!”
By: Lydia Stetson ’19