Battle Creek is known for many things. Being a hub for tech startups isn’t one of them.
But that’s not stopping local entrepreneur Gaurav Goomer. He recently launched MyLifeWell, an online wellness platform, with the vision to bring the city’s history as a health and wellness destination into the digital age.
MyLifeWell is designed to help people create and manage a healthy lifestyle by giving them on-demand access to virtual fitness classes, meditation, financial coaching and other wellness activities, Goomer said.
“The idea is pretty simple,” he said. “We just wanted to bring the industry together and make sure that the customers don’t have to look for five different solutions when they’re thinking about wellness.”
People can start to build a healthier lifestyle a piece at a time through the platform, Goomer said. For example, people who want to try yoga can find a virtual class that teaches the basics. When they’re ready, they can use the platform to sign up for a one-on-one session or book a retreat. Eventually, Goomer said people will be able to buy equipment and other health and fitness-related products from the site.
The goal is to create an all-in-one tool to help people meet their wellness needs.
“We call it an end-to-end engagement platform,” Goomer said.
Goomer did a soft launch for MyLifeWell earlier this year, just after the coronavirus began. The platform officially launched earlier this month.
The platform, which allows people to schedule virtual group sessions, is suited to a time when people can’t gather.
“People are like, ‘Wow, what perfect timing for your platform,'” he said. “It has helped that a lot of people are looking for more options.”
Goomer got the idea to start a wellness platform two years ago while working as a global senior manager in information technology for Kellogg. The job was stressful.
“All the people that I knew, whether it was at Kellogg or my friends, they all were struggling in some sort of way in the daily grind of life,” he said.
He started looking for a resource to help him tackle the physical and mental health challenges he was facing. When he couldn’t find anything with the range of options he was looking for, he decided to create it.
Launching a tech startup in Battle Creek was less expensive than it would be in Silicon Valley, Goomer said, but that wasn’t the only reason he decided to build his company here.
During the early 20th century, the Battle Creek Sanitarium was a world-renowned health and wellness destination, and Goomer wanted to build on that legacy.
“A hundred years back, Battle Creek was the health and wellness center of the world. I wanted to create a platform which basically will be the health and wellness center of all platforms.”
Still, there were challenges connecting with the right people to get the venture off the ground.
Goomer reached out to people he knew through Kellogg to help him get started, including John Bryant, the former CEO of the Kellogg Co,
Bryant was excited by Goomer’s idea to bring a tech startup to Battle Creek and has been helping him figure out how to grow the company.
“I believe that MyLifeWell is a unique platform with a great mission, and I am personally looking forward to using the services of MyLifeWell,” Bryant said in an email. “I am also excited to see the positive impact it can have on the Battle Creek community in terms of job creation and paving the way for future startups.”
Currently, Goomer has a team of 14 people around the world who work on the platform and produce content. When there are fewer coronavirus restrictions, Goomer said he wants to partner with health and wellness organizations in the area to offer in-person events and classes for Battle Creek residents.
“There’s so much we can do,” he said. “It feels like I was supposed to be here and get this started.”
During the next two years, he hopes to be able to create 50 more jobs in the city by hiring people to create content, plan wellness retreats and host events.
“That’s the whole plan,” he said. “If we can hire local talent and mold them and train them, then we can just keep growing from here, and at the same time, those people will get skillsets that they can now use…if they want to start their own independent company.”
Contact reporter Elena Durnbaugh at (269) 243-5938 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @ElenaDurnbaugh.