Founder Feature: Swatee Surve
July 15, 2022
We’re launching our Founder Features! Get to know a little bit more about each of the Founders in the Equitable Innovations Accelerator. You’ll read about why they started their startups, the impact they hope to have in their communities, and hopefully learn from some of their mistakes (or if you’re a newbie, they have some great advice for you too!).
First up, we have Swatee Surve. Swatee is the CEO and Founder of Litesprite, and who better to dive into what they do at Litesprite than Swatee herself.
Tell us about your startup:
Litesprite, an award winning digital health entertainment firm, has built a therapeutic gaming platform that delivers data insights and improves clinical outcomes. It built the first clinically-validated mental health video game, Sinasprite. Designed as a stand-alone self-help tool that can also integrate into care settings, Sinasprite has several validated reimbursement pathways and is the only one recommended by clinics and municipalities nationwide. As “frontier healthcare technology,” the firm received strategic investments and financial awards from Bayer, AARP, Tabula Rasa, NexCube, Jumpstart Foundry, U.S. Army, RWJF, and SXSW while garnering +30 global health innovation awards including the first videogame to win a U.S. Surgeon General Award.
What inspired you to start this startup?
I’m passionate about how the intersection of technology and healthcare can help people, and as a healthcare technologist, I observed that individual motivation, not technology, was the key to improving a person’s health. In 2011, there were over 40 peer-reviewed research papers indicating gaming could improve health outcomes, but there were no commercialization efforts. In my mind, an end-to-end system approach – an effective marriage of technology that strengthens the patient-clinician relationship – was the key to making transformative change. Seeing this as an opportunity, I launched Litesprite.
What ONE thing would help you out the most with moving your startup to the next step?
More customers – employers, providers, and payers.
What’s one thing that you wish you knew before starting your startup?
For enterprise sales, the importance of having a network of advocates who can help secure the first initial set of sales. This will be even more important if your startup has an unfamiliar monetization or commercialization model as it will be harder to raise capital.
What was your biggest mistake (aka learning opportunity) when you VERY first started?
I didn’t understand what a successful sales cycle looks like – what happened. I didn’t have a frame of reference so I didn’t critically vet the early interest we received to determine how strong of a buying signal.
What impact on your community are you hoping that your startup has?
To accelerate the impact we’ve already had on communities, – inspiring and empowering people to take care of their health.
Name your biggest motivator/inspiration to continue doing the work that you do.
The stories of our end users and how we’ve impacted their lives. People have written to us, shared on social media, and written reviews that Sinasprite “has saved their life multiple times”, “supports them during their greatest hour of need”, “is life-changing” and “is their inspiration every morning.”
One piece of advice that you would give to a budding tech startup entrepreneur.
Focus on the people who will say yes to you – they will have a growth mindset, see possibilities, and focus on helping you and your business grow.
Anything else that you’d like to share with the Find Ventures and tech startup community? (Promote an event, a partnership, new employee, a press release, ANYTHING!)
- Litesprite was selected as one of 10 startups for the MATTER inaugural Accelerating Innovation in Aging cohort
- We were accepted in the to IBM Mentorship Program 2022 Cohort
- Litesprite has hired a bunch of summer interns!
- Dare to Disrupt Podcast by PennState: Gaming your Health with Litesprite Founder Swatee Surve
You can connect with Swatee on LinkedIn and follow Litesprite on socials: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook
Connect with the Equitable Innovations Accelerator founder and the tech startup community by joining us at our upcoming Happy Hours:
Meet all of the startups and Founders in our Equitable Innovations Accelerator
If you’d like to learn more about ways you can get involved with us at Find Ventures, visit our Get Involved page to connect, join our community, and to continue getting regular updates.