Startup Foundry Highlights Neru Health

Are you tired all the time? Have trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1-in-3 adults in the United States reported not getting enough rest or sleep every day. For the 20 million shift workers in the US—nurses, doctors, first responders, warehouse workers, truck drivers, etc.— being sleep-deprived can have enormous, life-threatening consequences. That’s where Neru Health comes in to tackle this critical issue.

Neru Health is a member of the Digital Design Institute at Harvard’s Startup Foundry inaugural cohort. The Startup Foundry supports Harvard’s academic-led innovation in AI and digital business, offering the necessary business and technical guidance to turn research projects into thriving ventures.

Neru focuses on sleep care for employers to support shift work employees with evidence-based sleep profiling and coaching. Using data science and AI to scale sleep care by continuously profiling sleep and work/life schedules, the platform also delivers personalized care and education via its digital health assistant and a marketplace for care providers. Neru reduces $100B in costs for employers by improving workforce productivity, safety, mental health, and cardiometabolic health with one sleep care platform. 

The Startup Foundry supports Neru’s entrepreneurial journey with multiple resources, ranging from training sessions on fundraising and sales strategy to investor and mentor introductions, and advisory services for tech stack and design. This semester Neru added an HBS MBA intern to their team, funded by the Foundry, who helped them with pricing decisions, go-to-market strategies, and other necessary analyses. 

The Neru Health team is diverse and multi-talented, encompassing AI, tech, game mechanics, sleep research, and business development expertise. Founders Morgan Moncada a Blavatinik Fellow at Harvard Business School, Catherine Tadina, previously at Amazon and Boeing, and Maria Grebenshchikova, a former D^3 Institute ML expert and researcher, have worked tirelessly to develop their Minimum Viable Product and bring it to market while pivoting to a B2B revenue model. Now focused on their initial target market in trucking, they are immersed in learning more about what their customers want and the best ways to deliver it.

Important to Neru’s growth has been pairing them with lead advisors Craig and Dean Marris, both highly successful serial entrepreneurs (and twins). Through the Marris brothers’ connections, Neru has learned to navigate the B2B sales process in large, complex organizations within their target markets. Craig and Dean have worked closely with Morgan to develop a detailed operational plan that guides their work while aligning with their overall mission. This summer, Neru will focus on new research about the circadian rhythm in studies with Harvard and the NSF that will provide further scientific insights to inform the coaching platform. 

Their hard work is starting to pay off. In May of 2024, Neru won first place and $150,000 at the West Coast Regional University pitch competition hosted by Honors Fund and Orca Network, setting them up for the next stage of their work.

Neru co-founder and CEO Morgan Moncada said, “The Startup Foundry has been instrumental in helping us navigate the early stages of a new company. We’ve grown as founders and honed our tactical skills such as securing B2B sales opportunities, pursuing funding opportunities, and systematically testing different target markets.” 

Don’t sleep on this one. We look forward to more great progress and continued success from Neru Health.

Find out more about the work of the Startup Foundry.

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