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🌊 Being Your Best Self

🌊 Being Your Best Self
By Open Water Weekly • Issue #24 • View online
Welcome back to Open Water Weekly, I’m Jacob Peddicord and today we are joined by Amanda Bender, the founder of Kilo. Amanda is on a mission to help men become their best selves. Hope you enjoy the interview!
👀 Checkout out our Contributor Application.
3️⃣ Takeaways
  1. 🤕 If you want to be an entrepreneur, take care of yourself first.
  2. 🎪 Grow your community through hosting unique events.
  3. 🔧 Explore products for underserved niches.

Sponsored by OnePager
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Before you read the interview, check out Kilo’s OnePager to get background on Amanda’s company.
OnePager is a tool for founders to consolidate and share their startup’s information. With OnePager, founders can bring together their company overview, team info, pitch deck, demo video, FAQs, and more under an easily shared URL with privacy settings and analytics built in. OnePagers are used by founders for sharing new projects, fundraising, sales, and recruiting.
Currently, founders have to use static PDFs, limited smart link tools, or spend days building a new landing page to share important information with external stakeholders. Ultimately, OnePager is a storytelling tool for founders that enables them to better communicate who they are, what their building, where they’re headed, and what they need.
Amanda Bender Interview🗣️ 
What is your vision you have with Kilo? 
Kilo is for men who want to be their best selves. We’re building an app for men to track qualitative data. Think things like your quality of relationships, sociability energies, and sleep. In return, Kilo will give personalized data visualizations on how you’re doing. Then we’ll provide some insights into how to make behavioral and emotional changes. We’re trying to make Kilo look cool for men, specifically for their mental health.
Was there something unique about men or some insight that led to Kilo being for men specifically?
For the majority of my life, my closest circle of friends have been men. I think men, unlike women, are not socialized to track and reflect on what Kilo calls qualitative data. If we want to move the needle and make it cool for men to talk about feelings, having something specifically for men is really important.
We want to work with other companies in this holistic ecosystem for men’s mental health. Some men will benefit from Kilo to build that muscle of, “How do I feel today?” Then there’s going to be men who are already optimizing their lives. They’re using quantitative tracking apps, like Strava, but haven’t jumped over the fence into tracking their qualified self. 
Where is Kilo at as a company, and what has your journey been like so far? 
I had the idea for Kilo at the end of 2018. In 2019, I decided to do a couple of pilots with men to see if there was any product-market fit.
I used to work in neuroscience research, so I’m pretty skeptical about data. Still, I convinced myself enough that this was a good idea and created Kilo in January of 2020. I started putting together the vision for Kilo and then got accepted to the Open Water in September of 2020. We’re also raising a pre-seed round currently. 
We set up three men’s mental health events that we’re going to be doing over the next nine months. May is mental health awareness month. We’re going to do an event just for men at the beginning, and then a follow-up event at the end of May. I often find awareness months are a lot of cheerleading, which is wonderful for awareness, but not a lot of action gets taken.
In December, we’re putting together what I think is the first men’s mental health conference ever. We’re going to have some cool, interactive stuff, and I’m super stoked about that. 
Did you see more of a need you think for something like Kilo because of the COVID pandemic? I’ve seen a bunch of statistics of how physical or mental health has taken a sharp decline.
The idea for Kilo came about in 2018, so it’s pre-pandemic by a few years. But when I started it in January of 2020, we were in this crazy accelerated mental health crisis because of COVID. In a way, it aligned, but I also have seen more mental health companies. I think the need is felt very sharply right now.
What’s one thing you could teach our readers about startups or life in general?
First is, you have to fucking take care of yourself. Even when you’re young, you gotta sleep, eat healthily, don’t drink too much alcohol, and love people a lot. Tell them you love them. It’s really, really, really important for you and yourself.
Having that foundation is really important for people that want to be entrepreneurial because it is work. You have to be very organized. 
I had a totally different career. I was in psychology. I worked in neuroscience research and then made the jump to tech six years ago. Some days I have five more tasks on my to-do list and don’t feel a hundred percent, I’m going to take a break. I’m going to go for a walk, or maybe I’m going to go see the sunset. Then I’m going to come back, and I’m gonna crush it. 
There’s no rush. What are we rushing towards? It’s about building a company where your idea solves a real problem and making sure that you’re listening to feedback and listening to customers. There’s no rush in that. 
You can sign up for Kilo’s beta program here.
🌊 Open Water Contributor Program
If you have a passion for tech, founders, or social media, we want your help! We are starting an Open Water Contributor program where you can earn a share of our sponsorship revenue. This is a one-man shop (Hello 👋), and we are ready to take it to the next level. Some of the roles we are interested in:
  • 📝 Editorial: Do you write industry think pieces, have a bunch of startup ideas, or hot takes? By working with us, you can get them out to our 60k subscribers.
  • 🌟 Social Media: All we have is a small Twitter account. We think we can achieve a lot more we just need your help to grow it!
  • 🎙️ Podcast Editor: The interviews are typically conducted over audio and transcribed. We want to start sending this audio out as a podcast and speed up our editing workflow.
  • 🧭 Interview Scout: We want your help finding our next interview guest!
If these are interesting to you here is our application, and you if have any questions you can message me on Yac.
Internships 🖥️
Curated by Hridhay Suresh
🎨 Listen Brand Manager Application - A bit about the role: this program is a 10-12 week paid summer internship with the option to continue into the 2021-2022 school year. The internship can be remote or in office (we’re located in Chicago). 
🤖 TechStars Associate (Boston) - This role is an opportunity to work directly with the Techstars Boston accelerator leadership team and dig in on helping create experiences worth having for founders across the startup ecosystem in Boston
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