We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexis Schomer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexis, are you self-funded or investor funded? If you could start over, would you make the same choice?
Nearly every business needs to be self-funded to start off. Before an investor will actually invest, they need to see traction and product-market fit. In order to get here, the entrepreneur needs to have funded the company by some means. I actually have an interesting story in terms of funding. I funded my first tech startup with free money. I participated in business competitions with cash prizes and won around $35,000 including in-kind prizes. I think this was a great way to raise money while retaining all equity in the company. In terms of raising down the line, it depends what your goals are with the business. If you are trying to scale rapidly or want to set yourself up for an acquisition then I advise raising funds from investors to make this process occur quickly. Oftentimes, investors are looking for highly scalable startups that will provide a 10x return on their investment in 3-7 years. Most startups aim to fit this criteria. On the other hand, if you are running a business that is slowly growing and you are happy with the growth, I would advise not to raise money. I currently run two businesses, one is completely self-funded and the second has investor capital. It really depends on your business model and goals.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I currently have two businesses that I am very proud of. Expy Health is a tech startup that helps patients prepare for and recover form orthopedic surgery utilizing a wearable device and mobile application. It allows doctors to assign recovery plans to patients and remotely monitor them. Patients receive reminders to complete exercises and are able to track their progress as the wearable counts reps, form, and range of motion during physical therapy activities. The journey to launch this company was not easy. Being the second health-tech company I co-founded, it was a smoother process than the first one but there are always challenges that startups face. My co-founder and I went through a HUGE obstacle and learned a ton of lessons because of a 9-month legal battle we went through with our previous partner. The journey is never smooth and I want everyone to know that all successful founders have a story behind their success. There is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes hard work and dedication. It takes sacrifice and discipline. My second business is Simply Branded, a data-driven digital marketing agency. This business grew organically as I began helping others in the community with marketing and became the “go-to marketing girl”. The skills I acquired from bootstrapping my first startup put me in a position where I could consult with others and provide pristine marketing services for a fraction of the cost of a large agency. We have three key differentiators from other agencies: we are data-driven and focused on ROI, we are your one-stop-shop for ALL marketing needs, and we are entrepreneurs so we can relate with all of our business owner clients who are on a tight budget but need good results to drive new business. I have learned a lot from stating my own agency, including how to utilize interns, client communication, optimizing efficiency through implementing new technologies, client retention, accounting, and so much more. My message is that you can do anything you want to, with the amount of free resources available it comes down to setting the time aside to accomplish your goal. We are not perfect and it’s not easy, but if you want something badly enough, you will figure out how to make it happen. Most of my journey was figuring things out along the way. I started my own company before I graduated college so I didn’t have years of industry experience behind me. I figured things out as I went and the journey has been worth it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One week in LA… that’s a tough one because there are so many amazing things to do! I would definitely plan a beach day, starting with brunch & mimosas in Santa Monica then checking out the pier. Mid-day we would head to Malibu for a sun-filled day at the beach. We would grab a bite at Neptune’s Net before grabbing a drink at Moonshadows. Day 2 would be an exploration day. We would go for a hike at Escondido falls then check out the Getty Museum. At night I would take her to 71 Above for an incredible dinner and we would grab cocktails at the Edison in downtown LA. Day 3 we would go to Universal Studios during the day, check out CitiWalk at night and grab dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp before heading to Howl at the Moon (unfortunately they just closed down so we would find a replacement). Day 4 we would make it a Hollywood day starting with breakfast at Sal’s on Melrose and heading to the Boulevard to show her the walk of fame, chinese theatre, and do some typical tourist strolling. We’d head to Melrose Station for drinks and have dinner at Catch LA. Day 5 we would go check out Huntington Beach, walk around on Maine street, and head to the Peninsula for drinks. Day 6 we would hit the water and either rent jet skis or hop on a boat tour. For dinner we would go to Sugarfish followed by a comedy show at the Improv. Finally, day 7… we would go to Malibu Wines for a safari tour late morning followed by a picnic in Griffith Park. To wrap up the trip, I would take her to one of my favorite hidden gems, Salsa & Beer! We have the best Mexican food and a margarita or two before I started planning the next trip 🙂
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have had countless mentors over the years and been part of many amazing communities that have all contributed to my success. The two people who guided me during the beginning stages of my entrepreneurship journey are Renee Rock and Greg Monterrosa. They not only supported my journey by joining my team and I during our business competitions throughout the United States, but also acted as amazing mentors and still to this day are very supportive and encouraging to me. The three communities that have brought me the most value from the mentors, connections, and support are Hub101, ScaleLA, and the Preccelerator Program. I’ve been an active member of these three communities for some time now and cannot express how important it is to be part of a community of like minded entrepreneurs and incredible mentors. Hub101 was the first co-working space I was part of and my team and I practically lived there during our early entrepreneurship days. ScaleLA is the hub of innovation for healthcare in Los Angeles and my current office space. The Preccelerator program is an early-stage accelerator that my company was accepted in and in addition to the beautiful office space, they have nearly 100 mentors to support us in all ways possible. I also want to credit my family, especially my mom and sister (Ani Schomer and Tiffany Schomer) for being a nonstop support system during every step of my journey. My friends have also been a great support system and I want to thank my best friend, Sammi Alexander, for coming to my business events and speaking events to support me.
Website: AlexisSchomer.com Simply-Branded.com ExpyHealth.com
Instagram: instagram.com/schomeralexis instagram.com/simplybrandedla