Managing a team isn't easy, but creating a business from the ground up is even more difficult. While many businesses fail within the first few years of operations, serial technology entrepreneur Reeve Benaron has built and scaled several successful businesses over his career.
Reeve Benaron is a prolific healthcare and advertising technology entrepreneur. His ventures include Bear Industries, AX Venture Partners, AudienceX, and the COVID testing technology company Intrivo. Today, he serves as the founder, chairman, and co-CEO of Intrivo, which uses artificial intelligence to bring healthcare home to more people.
The entrepreneur got his start in investment banking, where he learned what it takes to run a profitable, successful company. But investment banking wasn't his passion. After watching his mom fight brain cancer, Reeve Benaron felt called to work in healthcare. In February of 2020, he founded Intrivo, a COVID testing and technology company.
But it wasn't an easy road. Reeve Benaron shares how the dominoes fell into place for him to lead a purpose-driven brand that he believes in- creating one of the most innovative brands in healthcare technology.
Gain Experience To Find What You Love Doing
Reeve Benaron initially studied pre-law while in college, but an investment banking firm recruited him before he graduated. From 1998 to 2012, he had a successful career as an investment banker and served as the First Vice President of Salomon Smith Barney Holdings Inc.
But he saw opportunities elsewhere and decided to branch into marketing technology. In April 2012, he co-founded the advertising technology company AudienceX. He also served as a partner for AX Venture Partners starting in May 2012.
'I was always intrigued by technology and digital. I had made an investment in a couple Harvard kids, and we started a company called AudienceX, at the time, which I then became CEO and chairman of, and that was ad tech. But my passion was always in healthcare and helping people, specifically,' he explains. 'I got interested in healthcare because my mom had a brain tumor in 2000. She had it surgically removed and she was okay, but I started becoming very interested in seeing how certain people age younger and certain people live longer.'
In Feburary 2020, Reeve Benaron pivoted to healthcare by founding the COVID testing and technology company Intrivo. Three years later, he believes that was a smart move. He's able to funnel his natural passion for healthcare tech into his work, and that passion is something all entrepreneurs need to succeed. 'Do something because it makes you get up in the morning and say, 'You know what? I'm excited about my day. I'm excited because this is what I'm going to do today, and I'm going to win, and I'm going to help somebody else.''
Act On Opportunities
In Reeve Benaron's case, the pandemic - which was still isolated in China at the time - presented an opportunity. 'Before the pandemic was actually a pandemic, I saw it coming,' he explains. He realized the pandemic was growing rapidly and that it had the potential to become far more than a local problem. Instead of standing by helplessly, he saw a business idea. 'At the start of the pandemic, I started seeing that there is a pandemic coming and what was going on in China certainly was out of the ordinary. I started thinking that testing is something that's going to be needed on a mass scale. That's when I founded Intrivo,' he says.
Without the pandemic, he likely wouldn't have had the catalyst to found Intrivo. When entrepreneurs find a gap to fill, it's important to act on opportunities in a timely manner. That's the key to being the first to market and truly innovating in a space.
Find the Right Partners
Timing and passion played a big part in Reeve Benaron's success, but he acknowledges that he couldn't build a company from the ground up without support. For example, instead of creating its own logistics system, Benaron realized partnerships could help him scale his business much more quickly. 'It's connecting with companies that have other services that they can then incorporate into their existing service offerings,' he explains.
That's why Intrivo partnered with GoPuff. This partnership made it possible to deliver at-home COVID tests to people within 15 minutes. 'What usually takes companies five years to do, we were able to build an entire supply chain and logistics in less than nine months,' Reeve Benaron says. While technology certainly played a role in expanding his business, he acknowledges that human labor was the key to success. 'A lot of it is just human beings,' he adds.
Passion: the Key to Business Success
Founding a business isn't easy, but for Reeve Benaron, it was a rewarding part of his career. 'What we've been able to do with Intrivo, we're very proud of all the accomplishments,' Benaron says. He recommends entrepreneurs first hone their skills before branching out. From there, it's possible to create a career you love while changing the world for the better. Passion definitely plays a role in business success, although Benaron encourages entrepreneurs to pursue the right opportunities and partnerships to make their vision a reality.