Series Sponsor: Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab

This case study series was made possible by the Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab. Their in-house startup accelerator promotes financial inclusion and provides access to capital for early-stage technology and technology-enabled companies led by women and multicultural entrepreneurs. Visit their page to learn more about the program.

We spoke with B.J. Wiley Williams, a participant in Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab and Founder and CEO of SoHookd. B.J., a wellness enthusiast, founded SoHookd in 2017 after realizing the gaps in the healthcare industry.  

SoHookd’s mission is to inspire healthy lifestyles and unlock access to wellness for all.

“Wellness has been a category that, for a long time, has been only accessible to this privileged class.” Williams told The Plug. “In reality, wellness is a category desired across gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic groups. Everyone deserves access to aspirational offerings that elevate their mental and physical well-being, and it is important that all segments of the population have access to wellness offerings”, Williams said.

SoHookd curates a collection of products & experiences from top-consumer wellness brands that health plans and employers can integrate into their benefits and rewards strategy. SoHookd is committed to making wellness more desirable, accessible, and affordable so that it can play its part in closing the health equity gap, Williams said.

Last year, the company went through the Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab. During the accelerator, Williams and her team learned valuable lessons on positioning their products and running a more strategic sales process.

“[Morgan Stanley] helped us shift our product so we would thrive in a post-COVID world. The pandemic highlighted the critical importance of supporting holistic wellbeing and being accessible to anyone anywhere. Prior to entering the Lab, our offerings were mostly hyper-local.  Today, 90% of our offerings are available across the U.S, and we also have a global collection. ” Williams said.

We went through the Lab during COVID, and used the opportunity to gain insights and hone which customer segments would garner the most momentum around product-market fit.”

One of the most significant shifts for SoHookd since graduating the MCIL has been establishing an additional revenue stream with Health Plans as a result of the insights gained from the program and coaching.

“We quickly unlocked a [new] revenue channel. We've started partnering with more health plans in a repeatable way,” Williams said.  The company is on track to significantly outperform what they accomplished last year and are working to keep up with the inbound of qualified leads and further unlocking this segment”, according to Williams.

Beyond the financial benefits of the accelerator, Williams acknowledges that one of the best attributes of participating in the Lab is being part of the community to further amplify the SoHookd journey.

Founding a company is holistic, having Morgan Stanley as part of our ‘village’ is invaluable”.

Series Sponsor: Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab

This case study series was made possible by the Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab. Their in-house startup accelerator promotes financial inclusion and provides access to capital for early-stage technology and technology-enabled companies led by women and multicultural entrepreneurs. Visit their page to learn more about the program.