53 Degrees North interviewed Lorena Puica, CEO and founder of iamYiam
Walking into iamYiam’s fourteenth floor office is immediately calming, with its soft light, wooden floors and large windows overlooking the Thames. It embodies the purpose of the company, which is to help people restore a healthy balance to their lives. Lorena Puicia, the CEO and founder was born in Romania to a quantum physicist father and entrepreneur mother. With five degrees and a book published in Micro finance at the age of 25, she built her career in finance at top investment managers Morningstar IM, Octopus, ALLIANZ and KPMG.
She was however, forced to rethink this demanding lifestyle when her health begun to deteriorate, leading at one point to doctors recommending a dramatic treatment that intuitively felt wrong to her. No stranger to research, Lorena committed two years to understanding her condition, a journey that led her to the idea of iamYiam.
iamYiam and who are you?
iamYiam is a personalised preventive health platform which empowers people to take charge of their health every day and lifelong. To date, they have enhanced the management of health risks such as CVD, Stress/Mental Health, MSD and improved the life quality by up to 61% for people in 32 countries, aged 2 to 77.
They achieve this by combining data, genetics and scientific research. By analysing your genetic profile using bioinformatics and machines learning algorithms, IamYiam can measure your predispositions across Diet, Nutrients, Fitness and Health traits. They also have Syd, an advance personal health partner, who assesses your current state by asking psychodynamic questions. Through these regular engagements iamYiam can track your progress trajectory in order to adapt its recommendations accordingly.
In their own words they “leverage state of the art preventive health and molecular research, Reinforcement Learning (Ai) and digital technologies to empower people to personally take charge of their health.”
If it’s difficult to grasp you are not the only one! We spent an hour with Lorena simply wrapping our minds around the complexity of such an incredible tool. I highly recommend you visit their website for further enlightenment www.iamyiam.com
Lentils and AI
As we sat eating a delicious bowl of lentils, aubergine and tomatoes, Tim Howland, an investor and board member, gave us another perspective. He explained that iamYiam creates a ‘digital twin’ of you online that benefits from the platforms exponential learning as more and more users generate data that can be analysed and turned into recommendations. It is a science, but a science only as accurate as its source data.
Most of iamYiam’s 20 000 subscribers came from direct to consumer in their first year, but Lorena believes that faster, scalable growth will come through B2B by targeting big corporates. “They have a much bigger pain point because they understand that if their people are not experiencing a high enough quality of life they will not be performing well in the corporate space either.”
They have already signed on ten big corporates (predominantly in the private equity space) that prioritize their employees health for success. In this billion-euro industry, iamYiam’s competitive advantage is the targeted level of personalisation only strong ai and genetic analysis can offer.
On a mission
Lorena has been meticulous about her team-building noting that only one in a hundred applicants are employed. She has also been careful to stay clear of VCs. With her experience in that world, she is weary of the pressure they apply to grow and exit in five years. With an ambitious mission to touch 1 billion people’s lives by 2025 you can understand her protectiveness.
If you really want to know how well it works you can subscribe to a lifetime membership for only £387. Lorena is adamant that iamYiam has turned her life around, not only because she has found her passion, but because she is healthier and happier. After telling us that she subsequently ran seven marathons, in seven countries, in seven days (for charity)… we are inclined to believe her.
And finally, our two wacky questions…
…If iamYiam was an animal what would it be? “For Lorena an eagle and Tim thinks an elephant. They agreed the combination is likely what makes them a good team!”
…And if you can hire anyone in the world for iamYiam who would it be? “Steve Jobs!”