Episode 48: Meet Maree Beare – Founder and CEO of Wanngi, Savvy Entrepreneur, and a Driven Surfer

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on print
Print
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Listen to the Episode Here

Show Notes

Creating a start-up can be very intimidating. Given the statistics and success rates of businesses makes one think if such an endeavor is worth the risk. On the other hand, the glorious feeling of your first sale and the vision of finally affecting change can be a reminder of why you started out on the journey in the first place. The business space is full of unique struggles and challenges that only businessmen understand. But it is also full of solid reasons why many are still attracted to the industry. 

For Maree Beare, her whys came in connection to health information discontinuity. The rate by how passive people are with regards to their own health information and how they settle with believing whatever it is that the doctor tells them is tremendously alarming. Hence, she created an app that addresses this very problem. Maree founded Wanngi, a secure compliant application used to monitor health status, keep track of appointments, and set reminders for medications. Her passion is to help individuals become their own health champions.

During their conversation, Maree gets to relate her entrepreneurial journey- from the conception of her start-up to its actual implementation. She also shares the joys and struggles of an entrepreneur in conquering this male-dominated space. On top of that, she lets us in on some tips and advice on how to successfully create and launch an app and incorporate it into the business. Of course, as busy as she can be, surfing is not something that Maree can leave out in her schedule. She recounts her first encounter with a wave and how serene and simple everything becomes in the water. Don’t miss out on today’s episode and get stoked with another amazing surf story!

Episode Highlights:

03:24 The Tech Guru
08:43 Health Information Discontinuity
11:01 Wanngi- How It Works 
16:34 Conquering A Male-Dominated Entrepreneurial Space
18:34 How To Make Your Start-Up Financially Viable 
22:30 Your First Sale
23:36 How To Incorporate An App
28:40 Surfing Helps Keep Things Together

How are you doing?  How are you managing? Have you been stuck in lockdown? Have the beaches near you been closed? I’ve been having a tough time juggling with our new life and the fact that I can see the sea but not go anywhere near it, and that has left me a bit speechless vis à vis most of my projects, including this podcast.  I haven’t been that active on social media and I have been procrastinating a lot.  That said, I guess I have learned to digest and process the information, get over the grief of the « nothing’s going to be the same again », express gratitude, and now it’s time to get on with it! So here I am today, launching episode 48 of the Oceanriders Podcast.

“I love what I do in that I can see the future of it.”

In this episode, I got to sit down for a chat with Maree Beare who is based in Brisbane Australia.  She is passionate about using innovative technology.  My conversation with Maree was quite serendipitous but at the present moment is so relevant with the news that it’s uncanny. Maree is the founder and CEO of Wanngi, a startup that is solving the problem where people have little access to their health information. In these trying times, it could help to have all our health records centralized in an app that we could share with doctors and nurses: things like symptoms, injuries, medication, chronic illnesses, and much more.  Maree and I discuss her HealthTech app and the challenges she faces building a startup, finding funding, and finding balance in a pretty full-on environment.  Maree’s work has been recognized by Forbes in the top 50 women-led startups disrupting health tech so I was very honored she cared to drop in for a chat and that she shared her knowledge of building a startup, and health issues she solves with her app.

I hope you enjoy this episode.

Take care, have fun, and enjoy the waves.

 

Ciao,

Imi

Connect with Maree:

Resources Links:

Download the Wanngi App
30-Day Trial
App Store
Google Play

Photos

Related Episodes

Episode 23: Meet Nigel McBride, Founder of Wave Chaser

Today, I got to sit down for a chat with Nigel McBride. Nigel is from Australia and grew up along the shores of the Pacific Ocean between Sydney and Queensland. He was invited to join the elite surfers of the Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club at the ripe age of 12 growing up in a competitive surfing environment. But fate had an other path for him, leading him through the military and out the other end as a fierce entrepreneur in the automotive industry.
Nigel has returned to his passion for the ocean and created a hi-tech range of hybrid water crafts…

Read More »

Episode 11: Meet Jenn Biestman, Waterwoman and Co-Founder of Local-Ish

Today’s conversation is taking us to Hawaii, on the island of Maui, where my guest was up before the chickens to talk to me, her name is Jenn Biestman.
Jenn’s story is truly uplifting.
At the age of 27, Jenn suffered a severe back injury that left her immobilized and in pain with no real prospect of recovery. Basically, the doctors had made it clear that her life as an adventurous human being was doomed…
In the turmoil of having to face this life-shattering news, she hobbled to the airport, and took off to Maui to try to figure things out.

Read More »

Quotes:

“Everything's connected because we're familiar with that in every other aspect of our lives. But with health, most people are very passive. They just trust what the doctor says.”

“I love what I do in that I can see the future of it.”

“Do a proof of concept first to be able to visualize whether it's something that people also think is a problem.”

“Surfing is the absolute best way to unstress.”

“Surfing is a journey… It's unpredictable.”

SHARE THE LOVE: SUPPORT THE OCEANRIDERS PODCAST

The Oceanriders Podcast is a passion project and, if you like it, you can support it in a number of ways:

Number 1: Share your love for this podcast on iTunes by giving it a few stars, or a review. Better still, subscribe. Anything in this direction increases my ranking and lets more people hear about my fascinating guests and how they are busting the surfing stereotype

Number 2: Comment, and join the conversation on social media. You will find links to my social media accounts on theoceanriderspodcast.com 

Alternatively, you can connect with me on:

Number 3: Join me for an episode or sponsor my podcast! Just send an email to hello@theoceanriderspodcast.com  with a quick bio and I’ll take care of the rest.

Number 4:  I have created an online merch shop, called the Oceanriders sShop.  It has a collection of t-shirts, sweatshirts, greetings cards, and wall art for all types of budgets, so be sure to check them out on theoceanridersshop.com.

Transcriptions:

Imi Barneaud: “Hello everybody and welcome to The Oceanriders Podcast, conversations with creatives, entrepreneurs, thinkers and dreamers who also happen to be surfers. My name is imi and I am your host.

How are you doing? How are you managing? Have you been stuck in lockdown? Have the beaches near you been closed? I’ve been having a tough time juggling with our new life and the fact that I can see the sea but not go anywhere near it, and that has left me a bit speechless vis à vis most of my projects, including this podcast. I haven’t been that active on social media and I have been procrastinating a lot. That said, I guess I have learned to digest and process the information, get over the grief of the « nothing’s going to be the same again », express gratitude, and now it’s time to get on with it! So here I am today, launching episode 48 of the Oceanriders Podcast.

In this episode, I got to sit down for a chat with Maree Beare who is based in Brisbane Australia. She is passionate about using innovative technology. My conversation with Maree was quite serendipitous but at the present moment is so relevant with the news that it’s uncanny. Maree is the founder and CEO of Wanngi, a startup that is solving the problem where people have little access to their health information. In these trying times, it could help to have all our health records centralised in an app that we could share with doctors and nurses: things like symptoms, injuries, medication, chronic illnesses and much more. Maree and I discuss her HealthTech app and the challenges she faces building a startup, finding funding and finding balance in a pretty full-on environment. Maree’s work has been recognized by Forbes in the top 50 women-led startups disrupting healthtech so I was very honored she cared to drop in for a chat and that she shared her knowledge of building a startup, and health issues she solves with her app.

So without further ado, please welcome Maree Beare.

Welcome to The Oceanriders Podcast, how are you today?

Maree Beare: I am excellent, and you?

Imi Barneaud: I’m really, really well. Actually, it’s a beautiful day here in France and I’m really excited to have this conversation. I guess before we start, do you think you could introduce yourself to the listeners?

Maree Beare: Yes. My name is Maree Beare and I’m founder and CEO of Wanngi, it’s an online health wallet for people to manage their symptoms and their health information.

Imi Barneaud: Excellent. I guess before we actually talk about Wanngi, which is a fabulous project and a fabulous company, maybe we could go back and discover your backstory, and what kind of a family did you grow up in?

Maree Beare: Well, I grew up in a family with six children and we lived in a country area, we used to camp near the beach at Christmas time and long holidays. And so I guess growing up in a big family, you learn how to, I guess, negotiate. And being the eldest daughter I suppose, I guess your life is guided by that. You know where you are in the family.

Imi Barneaud: That’s wonderful. And did you discover the joys of surfing when you went on these family holidays?

Maree Beare: I guess I discovered this simplistic nearness of the beach, which I still love now. And in fact, my husband and I have a van, a camping van which we use on the weekend and go surfing. But I didn’t surf when I was young. In fact, I would, I only learned to surf when I was older.

Imi Barneaud: Really.

Maree Beare: And I’m not gonna say my age, but I learned to surf probably middle age. Yes, let’s say that.

Imi Barneaud: Right, right. That’s really exciting actually. So to go back a little bit, what did you study at university? Did you go to university?

Maree Beare: I did go to university. I studied technology because I’ve been involved in tech my whole life. But in fact, I didn’t finish my degree because I was involved in technology in the very early days of technology. And I was a little bit bored with how it was at university because I was involved in so many interesting aspects of technology and software companies. And then when I went along to university, it wasn’t quite at the same level as reality. It might’ve updated now, but I’m sure universities are a different place now, but this is the first, I guess, iteration of a computer science degree.

Imi Barneaud: Yeah.

Maree Beare: So essentially I’ve dropped out halfway through, but I seem to have survived with the knowledge that I’ve had.

Imi Barneaud: That’s brilliant. So have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to found your company or did you work in some teams before you actually set out on your own?

Maree Beare: I guess if I look back, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit because in tech, we’ve never really worked in one place for a long time. It’s not like traditional jobs where you stay there for 10 years, 15 years, wait for the golden handshake. I think the most time I’ve ever stayed in a role has been three years. But when I had my children, I started contracting and taking on consulting type roles and working on smaller projects, and I taught how to set up systems, et cetera. But I guess if that was me now, I would be creating a startup. So I guess there wasn’t a capability to do it in a way at that time in my life. So I’m making up for it now.

Imi Barneaud: That’s brilliant. So would you see yourself as a tech guru?

Maree Beare: Oh, I’d never call myself a guru, but I try my hardest. I mean, I just love technology. I’ve guess I’ve been involved with it my whole career in different ways and constantly learning. I think technology and being involved in technology, it’s a lifelong journey and it’s moving with the flow.

Imi Barneaud: Yeah. Yeah. And then it’s moving super fast as well, so yeah, keeping up with it all if there is a full time job, yeah. So what happened in 2017?

Maree Beare: Well, 2017, this is a combined story because my husband is also involved in technology as well. And whilst I was working on significant projects within corporate and government, and with fairly cool innovation. My husband was very focused in the digital health space. So I was listening to the plans of what was going to happen in the future, possibly for digital health. And I thought, well, actually at this point in time, I see a lot of this work happening for the doctors, but we’re talking here about people’s health records. Why can’t people actually access them themselves? So I said to him: “I’d like to see if there’s some way that I can do that, provide a way for people to access their health records, because what if they could? How would that information empower them? How could they change their decision makers? How could they improve the way that they communicate to doctors? And how could they help themselves get diagnosed quicker, more quickly?” And that’s what I was thinking. So that’s why I started this journey in essence, to try and find a way for people to get a hold of their health information and use it to help themselves to put themselves in more control.

Imi Barneaud: Yeah, that’s really interesting because wherever you are in the world, it’s quite opaque, the whole health system, and you’ve got files in one doctor, and then you go to another specialist and they don’t have any record, so there’s no kind of continuity in the way our health data is actually stored and managed it. It’s quite surprising actually, yeah. Do you know why that’s the case?

Maree Beare: Well, people think that everything’s connected because we’re familiar with that in every other aspect of our lives, but with health, we’re very passive. Most people are very passive. They just trust what the doctor says because they don’t think they should ask or they forget what they should be saying, and they’re under pressure and stress because the doctor only has 10 minutes or 15 minutes to see them. So this is the way it’s been with health. People don’t feel able or capable of actually interpreting or providing information. But this is historically the way that it’s been, and we hope that if we can start providing a way for people to have their information on hand, they might feel more in control and more able to communicate. That’s one aspect of it. The second aspect is we think that everything’s connected. I think I did mention that, but all the systems in the world, the hospital systems and the doctors are not connected mostly. Some are starting to, and what we’re starting to do in the industry is use standards so that your health records somewhere are stored in a certain way. And in other places, they’re stored in the same certain way. So therefore, you might be able to get a hold of them and talk. So if we can move forward in the industry with some standards and inter-connectivity, the way forward is that you could do that. Our mission is that no matter where you are in the world, you could access your health information. But I think we’re quite some way off, you being able to get it from everywhere. But in fact, your health records and your health information aren’t a lot of places right now. Like at a hospital, a doctor, probably childcare center, testing locations. But everyone else has access to it, and we don’t as individuals. So I guess there’s quite a few steps that we need to make. But if we start with educating people that they can start using this information, trying to get a hold of it, how might that change their lives? I guess that’s the journey that I’m on.

“Everything's connected because we're familiar with that in every other aspect of our lives. But with health, most people are very passive. They just trust what the doctor says.”

Imi Barneaud: All right, great. So specifically, what is Wanngi?

Maree Beare: Well, Wanngi, the name means health and life. So it’s an Australian word, and it’s the essence of what we’re trying to do, people to be able to track their symptoms. So that’s useful. If they check their symptoms and their health information, they can use that to communicate to a physician physically, or via telehealth, or to actually just self monitor themselves. So we’ve got a problem in the world in that over 50% of the population has chronic conditions. And most people, like, one in 20 people get misdiagnosed, and that’s worse if you’re a woman or if you’re from a group that is a minority and they don’t do their scientific testing on that type of information. So for us and for doctors, it’s hard to connect the two, right? People’s information and what a doctors trying to find out when they see you in that 10 minute window.

Imi Barneaud: Mm, yeah, yeah, absolutely. So obviously, this information is highly sensitive and very confidential. How do you actually manage that, secure that, and make sure and actually reassure your clients or your subscribers that their information will remain within their app and not get shared to third parties or whatever.

Maree Beare: Well, the key element, when you are a software supplier, you need to make sure that your app is designed securely. And in our situation, we use standards, encryption standards for saving health information. There’s also a standard called HIPAA, which is all about storing a secure standard for storing health records. So we comply with all of those standards and it’s really what we should do. We should make sure that people’s information is safe and secure as much as impossible in this world today.

Imi Barneaud: Yes, absolutely. But that’s really, really interesting that actually young people are getting access to their health records because even in a centralized system like in France, or in Australia, or wherever, it’s very difficult to get hold of your medical information. So how does a user actually get access to their health records? Does your app go to the national records and then feed it back into the app? Or is it the subscriber that has to fill it themselves?

Maree Beare: At the moment, it’s the subscriber, but this is part of this journey of connectivity. So at the moment, it’s a subscriber putting it in through documentation or electronic records that they may get from the places where health records currently are. And as we continue on, we all stay, I guess start making it easier for people to obtain their health records as we connect into hospital systems that freely provide them. We do have a history of all this and that, it’s a little bit of a sad story in 2018. Our first app that we created was actually an app to view the Australian My Health Record, because we’re based in Australia. And then what happened was, this has been throughout the world as there’s quite a lot of, I guess decisions made at the last minute about accessing health records or not accessing health records. So at the last minute they said, no, actually we’re not going to allow this mobile gateway to happen so we were completely devastated. But then, at the end of the day we thought, well, the problem still exists. People still want to try to get help records. So let’s create a global product, which is what we’ve done. So late last year, we created a global product which is available on the app store, and it’s still useful for people to be able to capture their health records and symptoms, set up reminders for their medication store, things like specialist referrals. So you’ve got them on hand, it’s a global problem. And as over time, we will start or try to connect into systems to make it easier for people to get a hold of their electronic health records.

Imi Barneaud: Yes, because there’s a subtle difference between the electronic health records and the health records that you’re punching in yourself, I guess.

Maree Beare: Yeah. Well, you can punch things in yourself, but always you can soon we’ll be releasing capabilities. We can scan something that you get from a doctor. So we’ll start trying to make it easier, and probably that’ll be available in the not too distant future. So it’s all about personalizing health and providing daily health reports for people so that they can start managing their health on a daily basis. That’s what we’re ultimately trying to do.

Imi Barneaud: That’s extraordinary. That’s really good. And would you consider health tech to be a male dominated business?

Maree Beare: I think the tech world itself is very male dominated, but there’s many challenges around that. But I think that the whole technology space, creating technology, creating startups, getting funding for startups, it’s all a very male dominated space. This is something that I’ve seen my whole life.

Imi Barneaud: And what’s it like being a woman in a male dominated business? How do you actually make the most of the situation?

Maree Beare: Sometimes because I’ve seen it so many times, I get a little bit exasperated, but I just let it go.

Imi Barneaud: Yeah.

Maree Beare: Right where I can because it’s difficult. Sometimes I feel a little bit annoyed, and what I find is that women, there is quite a group of women in my sector, the health tech and the femtech sector that I guess grouping around each other and promoting each other. But at the end of the day, what we need is the wider networks where the money is, and where the connections are, and where the big companies are. So we can’t isolate ourselves, we need to make sure that we’re very engaged with all stakeholders, that’s I guess a position that we’re in.

Imi Barneaud: Right, right. So what are the challenges that you’ve had to face over the past few years actually getting the startup off the ground?

Maree Beare: Well, we had that setback in 2018, and also we have a current setback of that, we’re looking for funding, and the amount of women that get funded is very small compared to funding available for guess startups that are founded by men. So that is frustrating because we are looking to grow globally. This is a space that the big companies like Apple and Amazon are all going into. And we have capability that can personalize health for people. So it’s validated that this space is very much needed, but we’re still not getting that visibility that some other big companies are, which makes it difficult for us to get funding.

Imi Barneaud: And what would your advice be to people who are in the same position, have a startup or an app to find mentors or partners to actually help the startup financially viable?

Maree Beare: Well, I think it’s about surrounding yourself with people that will help you in your networks.

Imi Barneaud: Yeah.

Maree Beare: And also, yes, if you’re a startup, sometimes you do need a solid network of support around you anyway as a startup because there’s so many difficulties constantly, and if you haven’t had a startup before, there’s so many things you need to learn. So obviously, being around people that have done before or being in a, I guess a co-working space or being in a virtual co-working space, whatever that means that you are being helped along the journey by other people, if you have a significant problem to solve.

Imi Barneaud: Right, right. Yeah. And I guess running a business in any case is often a lonely experience. How do you come to solitude?

Maree Beare: Well, if that is a big challenge because there’s a lot of things that I guess I have to keep them inside myself. Just because to express them sometimes is really hard. And I don’t want to burden my family, and I don’t want to burden my husband, so that’s quite difficult. So there’s probably some close friends in the startup world that may understand what I’m going through. And so then I will talk to them. Sometimes that’s easier to do. I mean, we have to, I guess we have to have a solid family around us anyway, but I think just some things you have to just do keep inside.

Imi Barneaud: Yeah, absolutely. And do you have a large team right now? How many people are working in the startup?

Maree Beare: We’ve had a larger team brought it back while we’re waiting for funding. There’s a lot of challenges with bringing us a team back to a smaller team while you’re trying to get funding. It means that more and more work comes back on to the startup founder, which is me. And that certainly has a lot of challenges.

Imi Barneaud: So how many people work for you right now?

Maree Beare: At the moment there’s about six, six on and off, different part time casual.

Imi Barneaud: And what do you absolutely love about what you do?

Maree Beare: I love what I do so that I can see the future of it. And when I hear the story of someone who’s actually feeling empowered by what I do, that is just glorious. I spoke at an event a month ago, and it was about 200 women actually. And there were a few men in the audience and the topic, it was a femtech topic, and it was about how you could use Wanngi to help yourself get diagnosed. And this one woman came up to me afterwards and she said: “Really been struggling with endometriosis and if I could use this to track that, that would just be amazing.” And I said: “Well, yeah, you could do that.” And then she said: “Can I give you a hug?” Oh, yeah, I just wanted to cry. So that is just, in moments like that. And then there’s some, I guess you’d call them consumer groups that I work with, and there’s one in particular in the US, there are some very passionate people that are not-profit about a particular chronic illness, and they are just so passionate about what I do. And the days that I have really difficult days, I think I have to keep going for these people.

“I love what I do in that I can see the future of it.”

Imi Barneaud: Yeah. Yeah. That’s wonderful, that really is. And what did it feel when you got that first download? Did you have a notification light, you downloaded the first app or whatever? What did that feel like?

Maree Beare: Oh, well, it was pretty exciting for the first person that actually downloaded and paid for it. So it’s like, Oh, my God. Okay. So we’d have to keep going now. But yeah, that was pretty exciting.

Imi Barneaud: Yeah. I remember when I had my eCommerce business and used to send me a text and it would go — cushling– every time there was somebody placed an order on the sites. And it was just so exciting to go rush to the phone and look at what they’d ordered and everything, and then go and prepare the order immediately and everything. As it was growing it, you get immune to it, but I remember that first, that first sale that was just amazing. I felt it, felt amazing.

Maree Beare: Yeah, it makes all that the pain go away for that split second.

Imi Barneaud: Yeah. I was interested, also maybe this could be interesting for our listeners. If you are anticipating creating an app, what is the procedure? Are there special web designers for apps that you can hire? Or are there tools that you can buy or use online to actually create the app? How does that work?

Maree Beare: Well, I guess I would take it back a step and think about what problem you’re solving. And really, if you’re looking at what problem you’re solving, there’s easy ways of testing, whether it’s still valid in many ways. Put a prototype together. In some cases, particularly if you’re wanting to present the idea to some people to say, is this valid? All you really need is some screenshots, possibly PowerPoint or something like that. You could do it in or whatever. Sometimes, a lot of people start off with even just a WordPress site as their first, just a proof of concept. I think the idea is to do a proof of concept first, to be able to visualize as to whether it’s something that people also think is a problem. That’s probably the first thing I do, and then if you go, if it’s a valid problem, then go/look at what it’s going to be looking like, I guess, and to actually then do their development on it. I guess it’s working out what’s the minimum you need to do, you just start validating it and that could be, well, it could have already happened with your prototype, or it could be that you just gauge one developer to start doing a few screens. Particularly, it depends on whether you’re bootstrapping it or whether you’re looking at getting funding. I think if you’re looking at getting funding, I guess there are accelerators where you can just show proof of concept and get some funds. Or if you’re bootstrapping it, then you need to do the product and get customers. There’s many challenges, so yeah. But I guess the key thing there is to make sure that it’s solving a problem and then other things will come.

“Do a proof of concept first to be able to visualize whether it's something that people also think is a problem.”

Imi Barneaud: Right, right. That’s interesting. And in terms of actually getting approved by the app store or by the Google apps for Android, I don’t know what the validation process is. Is there a special validation process? Or is there a timeframe that you’re supposed to propose the whole app? Or how does that work?

Maree Beare: Well, I mean, with both of those, obviously you need to have a developer, or yourself if you’re technical, to be able to create the app version that needs to be uploaded to the app store. And then if you are receiving payment in there, then you need to abide by their rules for payment. Mostly Apple is more like that than Google at this point. So there’s this ongoing challenge with the app stores. You can also have an alternative route by having a web app, which is what we have. So we’ve got three alternatives, we have a web app, Apple store app, and Placer app to cover all bases.

Imi Barneaud: Yeah. But that must be really expensive to run to actually update and make sure that everything’s working simultaneously. That must be quite challenging.

Maree Beare: Yeah. Yeah. And there’s a lot of technical challenges around that too, as to what you can do with an app versus whether it’s a web app.

Imi Barneaud: Right, right. That’s interesting. So what’s a typical day like for you?

Maree Beare: Well, a typical day, or this is probably embarrassing because, I guess the first thing in the morning, I walk the dog. So I live in the city. Let me say this, I live in the city during the week, and then on the weekend, we go and surf. So it’s pretty much our weekly routine. And I don’t generally work on a Saturday, and then I’ll touch base with things on a Sunday. So my routine during the week is first, I walk the dog, go to the coffee shop, talk to everyone there, and then come home, get changed and head into work. And then when I come home, usually I’m doing my work as I’m watching Netflix or whatever. And it’s brilliant that being a founder, there’s not many gaps in my day that I’m not really doing some work. And of course, I stopped for dinner and had dinner with the family, whoever’s home. And we don’t have any devices at that time so it’s a safe time. But my day is fairly busy.

Imi Barneaud: Yeah. Yeah. And I love the dog walk. I’ve got a dog and I take him for walks every morning too. And I think that that’s really necessary to actually clear your head and your mind, and stay creative for the rest of the day. I know I need that, that’s my daily meditation in the woods kind of thing.

Maree Beare: Oh, I love that time. It’s just good for so many reasons.

Imi Barneaud: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So how has surfing actually helped you balance your lifestyle? Because as a founder and a CEO, it must be pretty full on.

Maree Beare: Yeah. Well, I love surfing, although I’m not that good of course. But I do love surfing, and we go to the beach on the weekend, and now we go on road trips, and I’ve gone overseas a couple of times with some girlfriends on some surfing trips. So for me, it’s really a wonderful way to clear your head and just stay connected to life. I mean, when you’re out surfing, if you get a difficult wave and then you get pummeled by the wave, there’s no way you can be stressed because you have to think about other things. So for quite some time, I have found that surfing is the absolute best way to unstress.

“Surfing is the absolute best way to unstress.”

Imi Barneaud: Yeah, me too. It’s definitely necessary. Do you remember the first time you stood up on a surf board and what you felt?

Maree Beare: Oh, well, I was getting lessons, so it was very, I guess I love that. I could be projected by, well, at that time it was whitewater, but I just wanted to continue that journey and just continue to get better and better. And I do remember that feeling, obviously it never goes, it’s a journey. Surfing is a journey because you’re always, it’s the flow of life, isn’t it? Because when you go surfing, you have to look at the conditions, you have to see if the waves are massive, you then have to consider your own skills. And whether you actually go out, or whether you go out and you go, I wish I didn’t go out. So I love surfing because it’s unpredictable sometimes. And sometimes you’ll go out when you think, Oh, look, it’s terrible. But actually, you get a few good waves and then the reverse happens.

“Surfing is a journey… It's unpredictable.”

Imi Barneaud: Absolutely. So, yeah, yeah. And do you think that surfing has actually helped you with your business ventures and actually to be more resilient?

Maree Beare: I think that if I didn’t have surfing, I wouldn’t have that definite downtime on the weekend. I think it forces me to have that time where you go to the beach, you connect with everybody at the beach, all the locals, or your friends at the beach. It’s just a different way. It’s almost like you have two lives, you have a life in the corporate startup world and then you have a life at the beach where everyone knows, you wear daggy clothes, you come out and you have — dresses, and I love vintage clothes so I’ve got a selection of different types of towels that you have. It’s all of that beach scene versus corporate startup life that I think it just blends and helps you keep it all together.

Imi Barneaud: Lovely philosophy. And I guess we are arriving to the — maybe the biggest surf mission or the most hardcore spot that you’ve visited. Have you got any anecdotes or stories?

Maree Beare: So obviously, I’m surfing in Australia, but sometimes I go on road trips and there’s a place called down Hayama and then Garie back beach and then Garie itself, which is a famous surfing spot, and I’m a longboarder rather than a shortboarder. And I think that I stick to the end Garie back beach side because it’s more for [inaudible], and I’ve only ever been out one set and Garie itself, and I thought I actually, this is too much for me. It’s too powerful, I know my limits. So I guess there’s a few spots like that, and Oh, Noosa, well, I love the nooses good and bad. Sometimes it gets so big, it’s internationally well known, there’s just so many good times and so many crazy times that you go in.

Imi Barneaud: That’s fantastic. Yeah, I remember visiting Noosa in August last year and I was hoping to surf because I’m a [inaudible], and I was hoping to surf the waves there, but it was absolutely flat. And for the two days that I stayed there, there were no waves whatsoever, so I have to go back one day.

Maree Beare: There’s a few spots that you can go, but even when it’s small it’s, yeah, I think the sand moves that’s why it was like that.

Imi Barneaud: Anyway, I guess we’re arriving at the end of this interview and I would just wanted to know what your next set of plans for the next few months, a few months and years in terms of Wanngi.

Maree Beare: For Wanngi, our focus is on building out the product to make it easier for people to collect their health information and personalize their health reports that we give, and provide them more value in that way so that they can use it to help themselves. We also are looking at being global products, so building that out as well. Being more available, and connecting to more systems as we grow.

Imi Barneaud: Great. Great. That’s fantastic. So how can we actually connect with you on social media or online?

Maree Beare: Well, online where wanngi.com, W-A-N-N-G-I.C-O-M. You can go there, we have lots of blog articles. You can download the app from there and various forms. We’re also on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. We’re at all of those places. Yeah.

Imi Barneaud: Fantastic. And I guess before we parked the bus here, I have four questions I love to ask my guests. And sometimes the answers are very spontaneous. It’s just four sentences that you fill in. So the first sentence would be, I LOVE.

Maree Beare: My family.

Imi Barneaud: I MISS.

Maree Beare: I miss surfing if I can’t get there.

Imi Barneaud: I WISH.

Maree Beare: I wish that I could get investment funding for my startups so I could grow it more quickly, yes.

Imi Barneaud: And I WANT.

Maree Beare: I want my family to have a happy and healthy life probably.

Imi Barneaud: That’s beautiful. Well, Maree, we’ve arrived at the end of the interview. How do you feel?

Maree Beare: I feel good. Do you feel good?

Imi Barneaud: I feel great, it’s so nice to have you and to talk about other things than what’s going on in the news at the moment. So it was really, really refreshing. And to talk about surfing as well is so refreshing when you can’t actually get to the water, maybe 700 meters away from the sea, but it’s banned at the moment so we can’t actually get in. So the daily day is just not possible and it’s kind of getting through to us, but we’re staying positive. It’s been lovely talking to you so I guess we’ve made it. Thank you very much for being my guest today.

Maree Beare: Thank you so much. I’ve loved it. I’ve loved talking to you.

Imi Barneaud: That’s great. Thank you Maree, see you soon and good luck with you.

Maree Beare: Thank you.

Imi Barneaud: That was a lovely conversation. I think that Maree’s idea in Wanngi is so powerful that it could change the way we receive treatment and get cared for in tough times. You can download Wanngi on the app store and links to it are available in the show notes. To get in touch with maree at wanngi, just head over to wanngi.com (spelt wanngi) In any case, all the details are in the show notes.

I also love the way surfing is a sort of unnegotiable downtime that Maree uses to rejuvenate and reset. During these trying times, it’s incredible how important immersion in the sea is and how much it is missed. It really tries the blue mind of us all.

If you enjoy this podcast, and that it is livening up your lockdown days please hit the subscribe button. Share it with your friends and family. These are the best things you can do to help me grow the podcast. You can always join the listeners and me on the Oceanriders facebook group. It’s called The Oceanriders Community. (links to it are in the show notes) as I’m sure your stoke will be contiguous and help us all lift our minds. Share your tips for staying fit, kook slams, favorite photos, job offers, you name it…. You can also support my podcast by skipping over to my website www.theoceanriderspodcast.com where you’ll find the back catalogue of episodes, blog articles, photos and videos of my guests. Don’t hesitate to sign up to the newsletter too : I haven’t had time to make one yet, but when I do, it will be awesome. Take a look at my online merch shop theoceanridersshop.com to get yourself some oceanriders merch. There’s some lovely stuff going on over there. Alternatively you can head over to Facebook @ theoceanriderespodcast, instagram @theoceanriderspodcast and twitter @imipodcast and follow me instead.

This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the collaboration of my awesome podcast editor, Leng Inque who puts together this podcast and creates the show notes.

Thank you Maree for being my guest today: I have learned so much.

Last but not least, thank YOU for listening until the end. You are awesome!

Until next episode, stay healthy and don’t hesitate to catch a wave for me if you’re allowed out!

Ciao «

SUPPORT THE SHOW

Consider buying some Oceanriders merch'! Profits from the merchandise will be used to pay for equipment, podcast editor and promotion of the podcast on social networks. Find some beautiful art and limited 100% organic apparel. 1% of my sales will be donated to WIRES Australia (Australian wildlife rescue)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top