We had the good fortune of connecting with Danny Steiner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danny, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
After I left Brami, the plant-based superfood company I helped launch, I took some space to explore the question of “what next?”, and decided to pursue research in an area I’ve been fascinated with since studying under Daniel Kahneman at Princeton: behavior science. I partnered with a good friend, Spencer Greenberg, who is a researcher in behavior modification and we created a concept called Happiness Habits, which was designed to help users cultivate more joy by tracking micro-behavior changes – like smiling in the mirror or taking deep breaths – throughout the day. This proved moderately successful and helped me realize I didn’t want to be a researcher or pursue a Ph.D. in behavior science after all. What did emerge from this work was an interest in positive lifestyle and behavior change. I knew there was something big here.
Right around that time, I met my co-founder, Krista Berlincourt. We both had a strong interest in behavior change after extensive research in this space. Her last venture, Simple, used Goals and Positive Psychology to help people achieve financial wellness, and she was digging into the psychology of taboos and “hidden habits.” We were each also on the heels of personal journeys of making major shifts in our lives for greater impact and found ourselves seeking a more holistic approach to health for the people we loved most: our parents. Most importantly, we felt a call to help people and drive real, sustainable change. Mix these ingredients together, and Kensho Health was formed.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Kenshō Health is now the first virtual, coach-led, whole health care company. Kenshō exists to help you find better balance and whole health by matching our members with a dedicated coach to identify areas of imbalance, get clear on goals, and make lasting changes to help you get and stay on track with your health goals.
We started Kenshō with the intention of making holistic health more accessible. At first, we thought the best way to do this was by creating a large network of providers and making it easy for people to find and connect with them. After creating this marketplace with 2,000+ vetted providers across Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Therapy, and more, we realized we could actually deliver better on our mission to ‘make the world healthier, one person at a time’ by expanding our existing ‘Care Matching’ service — which provided people with personalized provider recommendations — into a membership for ongoing 1:1 care with a dedicated health coach.
We provide members with a comprehensive whole-person care solution that evolves with their needs in a way that has never been done before. We know one’s health is all connected and so we have created a platform that supports our members in this way. From 1:1 coaching support to referrals into the largest network of holistic specialists, to the ability to order at-home lab tests, we help our members identify areas of imbalance, get clear on goals, and make lasting changes.
It certainly hasn’t been easy, but it’s been well worth it. Starting a company is a harrowing experience that requires constant reinvention and iteration of your ideas and of yourself.
As much as the company has grown and changed, I have done so even more.
Without the people close to me in and outside the company, there’s no way I could have pushed through those hard times. I am truly lucky to work with amazing people that make me better every day. How many people can say that?
What do I want the world to know? This may sound a little corny, but I want anyone reading this to know that change is possible, I’ve seen it and experienced it. Regardless of your starting point, you can improve how you feel, your outlook on life, the way you interact with the world and the people around you. You can also take the leap and turn your ‘dream’ company into a reality.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ll list off some of my favorite places/things to do by part of town in no particular order. This is a list I often send to friends visiting LA. It’s a pre-Covid list, but still relevant for the most part.
Downtown / Silverlake // Always worth the traffic:
Elf – really good vegan
Sqirl – some of the best breakfast food in lala land
Funky Soul – funk and soul music at the echo on Saturdays. Good unpretentious fun with a crowd that represents LA
Hollywood / West Hollywood / Vermont // My early 20s stomping grounds:
Sunday Flea Market at Melrose Trading post
Runyon – a popular hike that is worth doing with a great view of the Hollywood sign. Go early to avoid influencers (or not, which is fun too)
Gracias Madre – great plant-based Mexican
Jitlada – best Thai in town. Jonathan Gold considered this one of the best restaurants in LA
Book Soup – my favorite book shop. I’ve never had a bad recommendation here
Venice // My local neighborhood haunts:
Piccolo – my new favorite dinner spot on Abbot Kinney
Butcher’s Daughter – my favorite brunch spot
GTA – Gjelina Take Away. Where I go for coffee. Community gathering spot
Cafe Gratitude – plant-based. They have a question of the day and all the menu items are affirmations
Will Rogers hike – a good hike for anyone with beautiful views of the bay
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have lots of people to thank! It takes a village to make any big idea happen and that is very true for my journey. I’ll list some of those people/groups here:
My partner, Morgane, is so supportive of me and my dreams.
My co-founder, Krista Berlincourt, pushes me to be my best.
Our investors: CrossCut, KB Partners, Company Ventures, Female Founders Fund, Evolve Foundation, Gaingels, Alumni Ventures Group, and all of our amazing angels.
My dog, River, puts everything into perspective.
My family, for always caring.
My friends for their patience, help, and encouragement.