October 15, 2019

Why Hanna’s Mahmee is a hit with investors like Mark Cuban

Mahmee co-founder Melissa Hanna
A NEW APPROACH TO SUPPORT FOR NEW MOMS: Drucker alumna Melissa Hanna founded Mahmee after realizing her mother Linda's in-home maternal care could be scaled using technology. Photo courtesy Mahmee

Patients now have their questions answered, book appointments, and easily access information about their health from the convenience of their smart phones. New mothers are receiving the same support and more from Mahmee, a healthcare platform co-founded by Melissa Hanna (MBA, ’15) that provides personalized support for new moms and their infants.

Each year thousands of women in the U.S. experience pregnancy-related complications, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report between 700 and 900 of these women die even though many of the deaths are preventable.

Mahmee was created in 2014 with the goal of reducing these deaths. Mahmee helps new moms obtain prenatal and postpartum care with a mobile app which connects them to their own team of healthcare experts (maternity and lactation coaches, nutritionists, and their own healthcare providers).

The startup has been celebrated by a number of media outlets, including Forbes and NPR, and has attracted $3 million in new funding from high-profile supporters such as investor Mark Cuban and tennis star Serena Williams, who, said Hanna in a recent interview with CGU, “were both already aware of and concerned with the critical issues around maternal mortality and injury rates. This helped in our talks with each of them and their teams.”

Mahmee founders Linda and Melissa Hanna
Dynamic duo: Mahmee founders Linda Hanna (left) and Melissa Hanna (MBA ’15). Photo courtesy Mahmee

Hanna says Mahmee was inspired by her mom, Linda Hanna, a nurse and lactation consultant who co-founded Mahmee with her and who ran teams providing in-home support to thousand of mothers and their infants. “I realized,” Hanna said, ‘that this approach could benefit patients and providers across the country and even save lives. I knew that there was a way to scale this by using technology, and that’s how Mahmee came to be.”

New parents join for free or pick from a selection of paid plans depending on the amount of support desired. The company is an HIPPA-secure case management platform, so parents can be confident their personal information is kept private. Health records from mother and baby can be linked through Mahmee to ensure their care team is all on the same page.

When you pitch to investors, be clear about the problem you’re solving and why your solution is the best one.

Since its 2014 launch, the app’s popularity has continued to increase, with more than 1,000 providers and organizations in its network, and a growing following of new moms. The company’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Instead, the start-up is redefining what’s possible with technology and, in the words of one media outlet, “revolutionizing maternal health care.”

Looking back at the funding process, and pitching investors like Cuban, Hanna has advice for her former Drucker classmates and current students.  When you pitch, she says, make sure that you are very clear about the specific problem you’re solving, the size of the market for your solution, and why your project or team is the best one to achieve this.

“Mark Cuban is a no-nonsense type of a person as many venture capitalists are,” she said.  “So being very clear and confident about your goals, and the steps you will take to get there, will take you far when pitching to a heavy hitter.”