LifeBio's family focus fits with Columbus' welcoming community

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LifeBio likes to see itself as "born and raised" in the Columbus Region.

It fits. After all, this Marysville-based company is dedicated to helping people tell stories about themselves or loved ones, and much in the region is geared toward family, says Beth Sanders, founder and CEO of LifeBio.

"For us, the Columbus Region is a family-oriented community, so it just seems logical for a company like LifeBio, that helps families with our web, apps and journals, to be 'born and raised' here," she says. "We like to bridge together grandparents with their grandchildren through sharing life stories."

The company, started in 2006, allows people to go online to create an autobiography or the biography of a loved one and then assists them in publishing a book of those stories. The goal is to bring people together, promote better communication and deepen relationships. It can become a group activity and is used by senior living communities across the country.

The Region offers other advantages, too.

"It's central and easy to get anywhere in the U.S. in an hour or just a few hours, and this is good when you're serving customers from coast to coast like us," Sanders says. "We have an educated workforce, and it's affordable to live here, so salaries can be reasonable. Talent is in our backyard."

Any new startup business in the area should be able to find plenty of help. An early stop Sanders recommends for a new company is Wakeup Startup at the Ohio State University, a monthly event where company founders can pitch their ideas and get feedback from entrepreneurs, investors, students, faculty and the community.

LifeBio, which has eight employees/contractors and license agreements to train senior living and healthcare organization staff, attracted its clients by "listening to what they needed beyond the web and beyond the journal," Sanders says.

"Organizations asked for assistance in training their staff members about how and why to gather the biography as a tool for wellness, engagement and to reduce loneliness and isolation," Sanders says.

That avenue was a twist from early expectations when the company focused on individual consumers.

"We didn't know that we would be serving healthcare and senior care providers," Sanders says. "We learned that LifeBio really resonated when people were in long-term care settings, facing life-threatening illnesses or experiencing Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia."

Looking ahead, raising money and expanding technology will be keys to success for this company.

"Fundraising is going to be a priority to continue scaling as fast as we need to for the size of the senior care and healthcare market," Sanders says. "We will also need to continue to build out the technology with all the features clients are asking for today."

The future holds much promise as the population continues to age, and LifeBio is helping with some of the research into these areas.

"We are part of research that the Mayo Clinic is conducting right now," Sanders says. "This groundbreaking research is providing new quantitative data showing increased happiness and life satisfaction as people participate in the LifeBio process."

TC Brown is a freelance writer.


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