Two weeks ago today, Andy and I were excited to announce the public launch of Cake Health on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt after several months of our private beta. Here is a summary of our experience and the outcomes from launching at Disrupt.
Just in case you’re hearing about Cake Health for the first time: with Cake Health, you’ll never lose track of your healthcare expenses again. Our analytics monitor your out-of-pocket cost, and what services you should be getting now. With our recommendations, your health benefits are optimized based on you actual needs and usage, so your costs are reduced.
On Monday afternoon around 3pm Pacific Time, we took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt and officially opened our website to the public. It was an exciting day for the team, and the response blew us away; by the end of the day unique traffic to Cakehealth.com had increased by 3493%. We were even more pleasantly surprised when Tuesday’s traffic nearly doubled that of Monday, despite the fact that we were not even on stage. In addition, we noticed an uptick in East Coast readers reacting to the news from the evening before, and a significant amount of press as a result.
When Cake Health made the final round of seven and returned to the stage on Wednesday, traffic increased by 142% than that of Monday. By the time we went on stage for the second time, over $8M in claims were imported into our website, all within 48 hours of the website going live.
To give you a sense of press coverage resulting from the launch, over 50 original articles were written and over 300 media outlets republished our release. A lot of buzz was generated from the initial presentation and release, and making it to the finals garnered more coverage than expected. Cake Health was even mentioned as a favorite on a popular radio show that my mom happened to be listening to! We knew that people were eagerly awaiting a solution like Cake Health, but the overwhelming response has given us hard proof that we’re working on something very important and useful to many.
A few articles resulting from our launch:
Forbes: “Start-up Cake Health was the biggest no-brainer of the day.” -Tomio Geron
CNN Money: “Described by one of the judges as “Mint.com for healthcare,” Cake Health aggregates all of your healthcare information in one place.”
Wired: “There’s an added bonus for mobile users — forgetting your insurance card at home is no longer an issue. With the iPhone app, you’ll never leave home without it.” -Ryan Singel and Mike Isaac
TechCrunch: “The startup, which I first wrote about back in May, is hoping to become the ‘Mint for Health Insurance‘. At the time it was in a limited private beta, and now, at the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield, Cake is opening to the public. Oh, and the TC Disrupt Judges love it.” -Jason Kincaid
Although we may not have won the grand prize at TechCrunch, we haven’t felt the loss. The continuous discussion around Cake Health and the way we have begun to disrupt the health care industry has proved to be a win-win outcome to our team. Cake Health has developed a strong and supportive following, and we are sincerely grateful for our new supporters. We received an extremely positive response from the backstage production crew, who approached us after coming off stage to ask how they could sign up, and there has been a lot of interesting discussion and even some polls around the web commenting on our launch.
During the conference, there was a virtual trading room of fictitious “stock” for the startups presenting at the conference. Cake Health was the first to virtually IPO (whatever that means) and became the highest priced stock.
Applying to Disrupt
A few people expressed interest in learning about the process behind applying and earning a spot on stage. When the call for applications were open, we neither waited until the last minute nor applied too early. We filled out the application, included a video walking through the demo, and sent it off into the ether. Soon afterward, one of the TechCrunch editors scheduled a call with Andy to talk more in-depth about the Cake Health product and features.
Two weeks prior to the conference, we got an e-mail around 2am congratulating us on our acceptance. We had been getting a little antsy about the fact that we hadn’t heard anything yet. In fact, that night I actually had a vivid dream about getting a rejection e-mail, but when I awoke early that morning, I checked my phone only to see the complete opposite. That week, 12 days prior to the conference, we had our first walk through of the product and discussed ideas for the presentation with Heather and Susan from TechCrunch. A week later we came back to the TC offices to walk through our initial draft presentation, un-memorized.
We made changes based on feedback and two days later we had our final walk through with Erick Schonfeld, Heather and Susan. Jason Kincaid was also there to get familiar with the product prior to the stage event to prepare for the corresponding article.
Even with only two days left before the conference, we were still hammering away and making pretty substantial changes to the presentation based on the feedback that we received. Almost all of the changes were focused on making the presentation shorter and more focused, and in the end we were really happy with how much we were able to strip away. See the final presentation on stage at Disrupt.
That being said, it’s been a wild ride thus far and we couldn’t feel more grateful. To those who have been following us, thank you for your continued support and feedback. We are proud to say that the journey has just begun….