Why Our Partners Choose Us | Interview with CEO David Stein
Brian: Welcome to Coruzant Technologies, home of the Digital Executive Podcast. Welcome to the Digital Executive. Today's guest is David Stein. David Stein is the CEO and co-founder of Ash Wellness, a B2B at-home diagnostic company launching remote care services for healthcare organizations and direct-to-consumer businesses. Ash Wellness offers white-label operations management, testing via a CLIA/CAP certified lab network, kitting and fulfillment, and modern technology infrastructure. In his role, David is responsible for mission vision, strategy oversight, fundraising, and corporate development. He lives in New York City and is a graduate at the Cornell Tech MBA program.
Brian: Good afternoon David. Welcome to the show.
David: Thank you, thanks for having me.
B: You're very, very welcome. I appreciate it. We’re at the start of a new day with another great guest on the podcast. So David, we're going to jump right into the questions here. We want to hear more about your story. You've got quite the career in technology: a serial entrepreneur and now the co-founder and CEO of Ash Wellness. Could you share with our audience the secret to your career growth and what inspires you?
D: Absolutely. No real secret sauce here aside from the fact that I found an area or space and cause that I really care about. It all started with making sexual health more inclusive and accessible. Through the roller coaster of startups that I'm relenting and its ups and downs, just being so passionate about that has led me to where I am. Generally, the inspiration for it all really is my parents. They both came to America from South Africa as physicians and had to retrain here and worked really hard to get where they are. I saw how hard they worked, and I think that's where I got my knack for that.
B: Awesome, I appreciate you sharing that. So, we all had to struggle a little bit during the lockdown and the pandemic, but what was your single biggest business decision you had to make during that first year and how different is your business strategy today?
D: We launched Ash as a direct-to-consumer at-home testing company for sexually transmitted infections focusing on the LGBTQ+ community. We launched a D2C brand selling STI testing kits to a nation as COVID hit. We were trying to sell tests that were encouraging people to have sex and get tested in the midst of a pandemic which was telling people to stay at home and not touch each other. Very quickly we had to pivot and make a different business strategy as a result. We moved to the B2B side and now exclusively help other provider partners turn on at-home testing kits. The pandemic not only changed our business model entirely and as a result it's been super lucrative, but it also brought forth the consumer adoption of at-home testing kits.
B: Making things convenient from the comfort of your home or in lockdown of your home. Awesome. So David, we're a technology platform. We focus on emerging tech and startups and we wanted to ask you, you're probably leveraging some new and emerging technologies within your business right? Is there anything you might be able to share with us today?
D: One thing that we’ve seen as a reason our partners come and work with Ash and choose us is our lab API. We work with a number of labs across the U.S. that specialize in at-home self testing kits and everything that goes with that. All that being said, their technology tends to be very dated and old. We've built this lab API that sits on top of all of these labs and integrates with them and gives our partners and their customers the ability to connect to these labs very quickly and easily. One thing that we’ve found has been the secret sauce to get people to market with at-home testing kits is the ability to connect into our API and have access to all our labs with testing in all 50 states for over a hundred different types of tests. Doing that yourself and working with these labs 1:1 can be very difficult and timely. That's the most recent piece of tech that we’re probably the most proud of.
B: Thank you for sharing. That's awesome, I love the tech side of things, and I can't wait to get the story out to our audience. So David, last question here, we just want to ask you a question about your career experience and maybe something that you could share that would be helpful for those looking to grow their career whether it’s in tech, entrepreneurship or even healthcare.
D: This goes back to your first question around my career growth and what inspires me. I think honestly it's about finding something that you’re super passionate about and care about through the ups and the downs, through all the different wrenches that get thrown your way when building a start-up and scaling it. Honestly, I think if I hadn't landed on a space and cause that I do care so deeply about, I wouldn't still be doing this. The last thing, and I always share this is, is to surround yourself with really smart people, people who are smarter than you who can help you achieve that dream and solve for that problem or cause. I credit all the success Ash has had so far and what we've been able to do and the impact we’ve made to the team.
B: That's awesome. Again, it is at the end of the day people that make things come together. You’re stronger as a team than as an individual. I appreciate the share on that, David. It’s been a pleasure having you on today and I look forward to speaking with you real soon.
D: Awesome. Thank you so much for having me. Have a great day.
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