Women in Enterprise: April Koh at Spring Health
This series features profiles of some of the top women leaders within our enterprise technology community here in NYC. We hope by highlighting the terrific work, stories, and career trajectories of these women at top venture-backed startups and operating roles will continue to encourage more women to consider careers in enterprise software.
As a follow up to our sold-out Navigate 2018: Women in Enterprise Tech Summit here at Work-Bench with Salesforce Ventures, we are continuing to recognize and amplify these impressive women in NYC enterprise tech.
April Koh is the CEO/Co-Founder of Spring Health.
What were you doing before this current role in enterprise tech, and how did you get to your current role?
I was finishing up my last year of Yale undergrad after taking a leave to found my first company, Spylight (sold to Spott TV). It was a start-up in entertainment technology based in LA. After Spylight I went to SF to work on a short product management project at Shazam, and then went back to Yale to finish my degree (much to my parents’ delight!).
I knew I wanted to fundamentally change the mental health care experience, given how unbearably cumbersome I found it to be, both firsthand and secondhand. I met Dr. Adam Chekroud, who was completing up his PhD in Neuroscience at Yale at the time. We teamed up with my friend from the CS department Abhishek Chandra, and the rest is history.
What pain point is your company solving, and what gets you excited to go to work every day?
There are too many barriers to mental health care today. Stigma, misinformation, lack of available providers, unaffordable costs, long wait times, treatment-patient misfit. Spring’s mission is the eliminate every barrier to care and help patients feel better — faster. There is nothing else in my life that I feel more passionately than fixing the broken mental health care system. We get unsolicited testimonials from users who say that Spring Health has changed their lives. I can’t believe that I have the privilege every day of building a product that improves peoples’ lives and health.
What do you wish you had known earlier in your enterprise career?
That almost everything is a numbers game. Sales, hiring, investments. Build the top of funnel with as many hacks and scripts as possible, and go from there. If you don’t get any conversions after building a solid top of funnel, then there’s something fundamentally wrong with your product-market fit.
I used to beat myself up for lining up 3 meetings and getting 3 consecutive no’s. It took me too long to realize that 3 data points are not enough. You need hundreds of leads to test your hypotheses.
Give us one piece of tactical advice (small or large), as a page from your enterprise tech playbook — that you would give to another woman considering a career in enterprise tech?
Get at least one tailored pant-suit, use Calendly, Clara, or x.ai to save you time on administrative tasks, and aim to achieve one big project a week. Focus is everything, and multi-tasking as a productivity hack is a myth.
What do you love about enterprise tech?
I love the adrenaline of the sale, and I love the scale of the distribution of an enterprise tech deal. Whenever we launch with a Fortune 500, we can roll out to hundreds of thousands of employees at a time. That’s so many lives you can help with one sale.
What do you wish would change?
I wish the networking over time can become more gender-neutral. A lot of “bonding” happens over golf, dinners, etc, and as a woman trying to sell to a male decision-maker, some networking activities may feel less natural for me.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I hope more and more women will join and become leaders in traditionally male-dominated fields. Women have broken the glass ceilings in fem-tech, beauty, and fashion. I want to see women start to dominate in other industries, like SaaS and healthcare. These industries very much need the female perspective, and they need more female decision-makers at the top.
Know a woman leader in enterprise technology whose story we should feature?We’d love to hear from you.