Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tech Startup Podcast: Kristi Zuhlke of Mole Detective

Properly treated, Melanoma is relatively harmless in its first stages. However, in late stages, there is a relatively small chance for survival. That's why it was great to catch up with Kristi Zuhlke, Founder of Mole Detective.

What we chatted about:
  • The story behind the startup: how Kristi's husband survived melanoma
  • How Mole Detective detects & prevents melanoma-related growths
  • How Kristi found the Chicago tech startup community very welcoming
  • Why organizations like Built in Chicago and incubators like 1871 continue to be pivotal in creating Kristi's success
  • How Kristi has changed from being part of a corporate team to managing her own firm
  • What's next for Mole Detective (including partnering with national brands)
More about Kristi

Kristi Zuhlke left corporate america almost a year ago in hopes to fulfill a life goal of becoming an entrepreneur. Zuhlke enjoyed her 6 years at Procter & Gamble where she worked on billions dollar brands like Gillette, brought to market 4 new products, studied low income markets, and pioneered a new role within the large organization.
It was 6 years packed with new experiences and a steep learning curve. Rounding into her seventh year at P&G, Zuhlke walked into the perfect storm. She needed to relocate back to the midwest to be with her, then boyfriend, now husband, she was looking for a new challenge, and had that idea she felt passionate about. Zuhlke decided to jump the corporate ship and start New Consumer Solutions LLC, launching Mole Detective as her first product. Learn more and connect with Kristi on LinkedIn.

More about Mole Detective 
Their above video is a quick explanation of their mobile app.

Their pitch: Mole Detective is a smartphone app that takes pictures of moles on your skin and analyzes their signs for melanoma skin cancer.
The app was inspired by Zuhlke's husband who is a melanoma survivor. The app helps people understand what signs of melanoma their moles may be showing and encourages them to visit the dermatologist. A significant sign for people to watch for is change over time.
The app can track change for the user which can be very powerful as it's so easy to forget what your moles look like from one month to the next. Today, the company revenue comes from user downloads but New Consumer Solutions looks to the future to gain additional revenue sources allowing the app to be free to everyone.

Zuhlke's vision is for Mole Detective to be the first of several tools she will create for preventative health care. Future apps may address anything from obesity to dangerous allergens.
Connect with Mole Detective on Twitter @moledetective and Facebook.


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