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Best Shot // a digital companion for fertility patients [UP087]

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Abby Mercado 0:00
So right now there’s this huge black market for infertility medications. And we’re focused on eradicating that altogether. The black market doesn’t have to exist. Patients are tend to have like $2,000 in extra medications that they never use during their IVF cycle.

Jay Clouse 0:17
The startup investment landscape is changing. and world class companies are being built outside of Silicon Valley. We find them, talk with them, and discuss the upside of investing in them. Welcome to Upside.

Eric Hornung 0:44
Hello, hello. Hello, and welcome to the Upside podcast first podcast finding upside outside of Silicon Valley. I’m Eric Hornung, and I’m accompanied by my co host, Mr. one and done himself. Jay Clouse, Jay, how’s it going, man?

Jay Clouse 0:58
I’m feeling great. I’m feeling invincible. Actually, we may have already talked about this. But as you and I both just said, We don’t really remember. Being two weeks post vaccine feels like a whole new life. I feel like a whole new man.

Eric Hornung 1:09
Is that a maybe a side effect of the vaccine? You just don’t remember things anymore. We’re getting old.

Jay Clouse 1:14
It could be also a side effect of the vaccine apparently, potential blood clots but seems a little overblown to me. I did get a lot of text messages of people who were concerned about my Johnson and Johnson vaccine and the blood clots.

Eric Hornung 1:29
Do you feel your blood is flowing appropriately still?

Jay Clouse 1:32
Yeah, I feel like my blood is actually flowing more strongly. It feels like like the river is even less obstructed.

Eric Hornung 1:40
What a way to describe your veins.

Jay Clouse 1:43
I just have immunity coursing through my veins and I feel great. You have the first shot?

Eric Hornung 1:52
I have both. I was Pfizer guy.

Jay Clouse 1:54
Are you are you two exposed?

Eric Hornung 1:56
I am a month post and more than a month post.

Jay Clouse 1:58
Wow. Having that hook up at the hospital really, really worked out for you.

Eric Hornung 2:04
All you got to do is get your name on a list and that worked out but hey, now anybody can get the shot if they want it. So get out there. Get your shot. There’s my little PSA on the podcast.

Jay Clouse 2:14
You get your vaccination you go back into the world and you live this one life you have to live the best way that you can.

Eric Hornung 2:20
And if you want to learn more about living that one life you have to live the best way you can. You can go to and check out our friends Ethos Wealth Management, Jay speaking of shots, and living the best life you’d have to live. Wow, do we have a portmanteau here?

Jay Clouse 2:37
What a slam dunk segue? I don’t know what portmanteau means does it mean a slam dunk segue?

Eric Hornung 2:43
It’s when you mash two words together.

Jay Clouse 2:44
Oh, wow, that’s a great word. Today we are speaking with Abby Mercado, the co founder and CEO of Best Shot. Best Shot is a patient’s companion in fertility treatments, providing medication management and education, streamlining the pharmaceutical ordering experience and enabling safe supportive micro communities led by experts. Eric, this is a world that you and I probably know less than just about anybody else about.

Eric Hornung 3:11
We are the perfect interviewers for this. I’m gonna ask some dumb questions. I can already feel it.

Jay Clouse 3:18
I can’t wait. Abby is a former venture capital investor and current mom of IVF twins. Best Shot was founded in January 2019. And based in Denver, Colorado.

Eric Hornung 3:29
You know, I think I used portmanteau wrong earlier. I think that’s a compound noun Best Shot. It’s two separate nouns next to each other. a portmanteau would be like if I really mash those words together. So be like best.

Jay Clouse 3:43
Portmanteau has like some weight to it. It feels like it feels like something related to a fight. I don’t know. Like, they got into a real portmanteau. Through fisticuffs.

Eric Hornung 3:52
It’s also annoying because a portmanteau, the word portmanteau should be a portmanteau, right? But it’s not as far as I know.

Jay Clouse 4:00
I’m also cool about Best Shot is they went through 2020 TechStars boulder at the very beginning of the company. So I’m excited to learn more about this world of fertility. Eric has to engaged man, this is probably something we should be thinking about in the near future. See, if we learn something.

Eric Hornung 4:16
I’m guessing we will. If you want to chat with us about what we learned the stupid questions we ask or anything else, you can hit us up on Twitter @upsideFM or if you have something a little longer reach out to us at And we will get to that interview right after this. I hate that we’ve demonized scheduling links, Jay.

Jay Clouse 4:39
Scheduling links are actually one of my favorite things. I love the ease of someone saying here’s where you can book a time with me. And then I can choose when it’s best for me too.

Eric Hornung 4:47
Whenever I get an outreach and someone says what time looks good for you. I asked them, hey, do you have a scheduling tool? And you know what scheduling tool I wish they had?

Jay Clouse 4:56
Which one is that?

Eric Hornung 4:56
It’s a new scheduling tool called SavvyCal. SavvyCal makes it easy for both parties to find the best time to meet.

Jay Clouse 5:03
SavvyCal makes the scheduling process even more savvy than any other scheduling tool that I’ve seen. And I mean that it makes it so easy to personalize your link, you can say, Hey, this is a meeting time for Jay and Eric. And it just looks so professional, so sophisticated.

Eric Hornung 5:20
So much so that we’re going to be using it for Upside going forward, and maybe even rolling it out to the Upside network.

Jay Clouse 5:26
You can use SavvyCal as well. You can sign up for a free account at That’s And when you’re ready to upgrade to a paid plan, you can use the promo code Upside for a free month.

Abby Mercado 5:49
I am a Texas girl born and raised in Dallas, Texas, I went off to college at Vanderbilt University. I studied something called human and organizational development and history because I enjoyed learning about what I wanted to learn about. I went off to Wall Street right after college. My parents who have worked in finance were like, yeah, it’s a good skill set to learn. It was also 2008, 2009. So any job was a good job. And so I worked for Merrill Lynch, in the industrials Investment Banking Group. And I absolutely hated it. I just it was horrible, like the worst. So I promptly decided that was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, which I think is pretty common among investment banking analysts. I was working 100 hours a week, but it was it was fun living in New York. So I decided that I would do something totally different than what I was doing. So I didn’t want to work in private equity, didn’t want to work for a hedge fund. But I wanted to work in something called corporate development. And so I snagged recruiter, and she was like, Hey, this is kind of a wild idea. But would you be interested in moving to Denver and working for a startup? And I was like, I’ve never been to Denver. And I’ve never worked for a startup. But I am an Aries. And I am a natural born entrepreneur. And I did sell lemonade door to door if nobody was driving by my house as a child. So maybe this makes some sense. So I moved out to Denver sight unseen to work for an energy company. So I was an early employee at a company called Triangle Petroleum. The shale oil and gas boom was kind of taking hold at this point. And, you know, I was really interested in all things macro. I was also interested in energy poverty. And I was like, this just sounds like a ton of fun. So it’s a couple guys who had met at business school, they went to Wharton together, and they were really just, you know, looking for a kind of a young, bright eyed, bushy tailed chief of staff. So that was me and had a blast. It was so fun. That was kind of my first case of startup life. And it was very much I decided I wanted to work in the startup world for the rest of my life. The CEO one day came to my desk and said, Hey, we’re gonna start a midstream company. And it was like, right, I thought I came here to work for an EMP company. This is this is where I was like, well, we’re gonna vertically integrate besides that, okay. I was like, okay, figure out how to do it. So I did. Here’s the kind of boss to John symbioses, his name, and still very much a part of my life. And he kind of asked to, just says, Alright, here’s your challenge. Let me know if you need additional resources. And here’s your due date. So, long story short, I founded a company called Calibre Midstream, we obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for that company. And we we killed it in the Bakken Shale, which was really fun our differentiator was that we gathered and process not only crude oil and natural gas, but also produced water. So it was a unique value proposition at the time. So I was there for a little while I am a finance role became very unfun, because we had a lot of money. So I was like, this business development thing looks really fun. So I turned the sales team. And it turns out, I was pretty good at it. And I loved it. And so I really got my sales training at Calvary minister, when I sold, I sold pipe, which was you know, it was fun. So the energy industry crash in 2016. And I said, you know, like, this isn’t so fun anymore. Like at all I’m gonna go I’m gonna go out looking. And I am. I’m really interested in like, how to fix the oil and gas industry. I didn’t love the industry. I found it strategically interesting. But, you know, I thought that there were a ton of problems. And, you know, I wouldn’t have said proudly, I worked for the oil and gas industry just because there were, you know, even on this podcast, I’m like, oh, should I tell them I worked in oil and gas. Like I live a little bit too close to Boulder at a time. It wasn’t that I just turn around, I guess. But I so you know, I kind of had this thought in my mind. Like how do we how do we fix this? Like, how do I become part of you know, fixing this problem? And so I quite literally googled oil. gasps venture capital, and I found this firm called terror group. And so I became really interested in how do we take technology and affect change in oil and gas industry? You know, this is a massive amount of, you know, how the world gets their energy, like, how can we make it better, like maybe we can eradicate emissions altogether, who knows, the opportunities are endless. And so I joined the Spare Maltier group, as a pre partner. And it was, it was a ton of fun, I found myself investing in b2b SaaS, which was my first piece of software, it was awesome, I learned so much about software, you know, I was really able to get ahead to these founders. And it was a blast, you know, understanding how to build and how to grow a software business. And we invested in three companies that I was pretty involved in from a software perspective, thoughttrace seek and a company called Russ Frac, and about a year into my VC experience, I found myself, like, jealous of the founders. And so I kind of took a step back, and it’s like, oh, this is a little problematic, like, I don’t know, if I’m doing the right thing. And so, you know, I kind of had that that sight. And my, you know, I knew that there was going to be an exit patch, in which I would go back to being an entrepreneur. And so, you know, I was kind of always used to the ground, you know, trying to find, you know, is this going to be my business? Is this going to be like a, you know, at a young team that I would go off and join, you know, I knew that I wanted to exit VC at some point to become an entrepreneur again, myself. And then in the meantime, my husband, Sean, and I were trying to conceive, and it was hard, and it wasn’t working. And I experienced some challenges there. So yeah, so that’s, that’s my history kind of before Best Shot.

Eric Hornung 11:43
You mentioned that you’re kind of a buffer, all things macro. How do you think about, I mean, you’ve been down oil and gas, and then you found b2b SaaS, you’re doing venture capital? What awesome, just backstory in general, I feel like we could spend an hour and a half just digging through that alone. But how do you think about analyzing, like, macro trends? What How does something show up on your radar? And how does it become interesting to you?

Abby Mercado 12:07
I think that I, well, this is all back in college, when I became interested in in energy. I remember writing a paper, you know, about why third world countries are third world countries. And the answer that I came to was that they all had energy poverty, they all didn’t have, like, easy access to energy. And so that’s, that’s how I became very interested in that. And then, you know, in terms of the, you know, a macro trend that is fascinating to me, right now, in this business is eight, when I first became really interested in fertility, which is, of course, what I do now, like, we’re all waiting to have kids, like our parents had kids, when they’re in their 20s. We’re all having kids in our in our 30s. And biologically speaking, that’s really not exactly supposed to happen, but for our bodies are made. So I think in terms of under uncovering this macro trend, it was, you know, just something that I was going through myself, and I just got really, really curious about it and started kind of running the numbers. And yeah, I don’t know, The Wall Street Journal. Eric, maybe. That’s how I end up in macro trends.

Eric Hornung 13:16
The investment banker in you is coming out?

Jay Clouse 13:20
Did you offhand say that you co founded a company that raised hundreds of millions of dollars in funding?

Abby Mercado 13:25

Jay Clouse 13:26
Tell me about that. That that was your first time doing so. I know, this is like, way more than I can get into and probably the next couple of minutes, but hit the highlights of what was that experience like? Did you feel equipped to do that?

Abby Mercado 13:39
No. But like, are we ever equipped to do anything that we set out to do? No, I don’t, I don’t think so. We all kind of play it by ear. So this isn’t here. I think we come at this kind of with the lens of VC, like raising hundreds of millions of dollars of VC, really, like, you know, wow. This is like very much investing in assets versus technology. So yes, it was a lot of money. We raised money. So you know, essentially Triangle Petroleum was a publicly traded company. And that company because the company had like proven its value proven its worth and had assets to dedicate to the midstream system, the capital raising process was I mean, I think it was it was impressive, because we were basically raising money off of an idea. But the assets were there, which was helpful. We raised money from First Reserve, large private equity firm. It was really interesting, because we had kind of you know, John had had the relationship in place with first reserve and they were very much a part of, you know, kind of the idea and you know, the formulation of, of you know what this would look like what a full service midstream company was was going to look like and yeah, I mean, it was it was definitely challenging, but it because it was asset focused versus you know, poof technology like whoa, what is this. Like this is literally, you know, pipeline, like it was it had a very like distinct cost. So and you know, like I said the oil and gas assets were already there, which Triangle Petroleum contributed to. And then because of course, these are assets that was was easy to raise, because, you know, there was also cash flow. So, yes, it was challenging. No, I did not want to know what I was doing. But it was really cool to have that opportunity when I was like, 25.

Jay Clouse 15:28
Okay, one quick follow up, then, being that young and having this itch that you knew, like you were a natural born entrepreneur, you said, when you raise that kind of money to do something, how committed to the long term did you feel to that thing in that moment? Because to me, that feels like a huge commitment to take on.

Abby Mercado 15:48
Oh, my gosh, yeah, spot on. I was Palgrave minstry was my babies. I was so like, the day I left Calibre was, that was a really tough day. And the company is still there. I named the company like, I remember this really distinctly as I was in New York was visiting some friends and I was going through the Holland Tunnel. And I had just gotten off the phone with John. And he’s like, Okay, you got to name this company. And my, so what John said, okay, he was like, you will have to name this company in like, the next few hours. It’s like, Whoa, it’s really stressful. But that was kind of the culture that we are, you know, operating in. And so I call my dad who very closely he was in he was for fear of sounding like so oil and gas and like, so Texas, like, I guess that’s who I am. But he’s a big sportsman. So he was, he was cleaning his guns. All like very safe. Like he likes to shoot ducks, like, you know, they’re overpopulated, like, whatever. And he was like, What about Caliber Midstream? My dad said that, and I was like, Yeah, that sounds sounds crazy. Okay, I called John back. I was like, Calibre Midstream. He’s like, done file the LLC agreement. And I did. So I thought, yes, I felt I mean, this was my baby. Like, I felt very, like dedicated to this business for the five years or four years that I was there.

Eric Hornung 17:18
Let’s pivot from that baby to babies generally. The idea of fertility. You mentioned earlier that we’re getting married later, we’re having kids later and biology is not supposed to work like that. Why not? Technically, why isn’t fertility a thing?

Abby Mercado 17:34
Yeah, biologically, like, when a woman has her period, which happens during puberty, like, that’s when we’re supposed to be having kids. So, you know, if you’ve added a young girl has her period between the ages of I don’t know, 12 and 15, or so give or take. So like, biologically, that is just how that’s just how our bodies are made. You know, and there, there are all sorts of drivers as to why, you know, fertility is now a thing versus when, you know, prior to when IVF was a thing, which was, you know, IVF became a thing, and I think 1978 was the first IVF baby was born. So, you know, essentially at a so a woman is born with with millions of eggs, and you know, that is rapidly declining, as she as she’s getting older. And like the crazy, the crazy thing is that I so hold on, see if I can get this right. I was at one point in my grandmother’s stomach.

Jay Clouse 18:38
What? Yes.

Abby Mercado 18:39
I know, I know what is right. So my mom, you’re born with all of the eggs that you’re ever going to have. And that’s just going to decrease and decrease. So my mom was a baby in her mom’s stomach, and I was in an egg in there. Like that is wild, you guys are looking at me like kind of a nut case.

Jay Clouse 18:57
That is crazy. Well, it’s just crazy. I’ve never, I never knew this, like I’ve heard the term egg. Obviously, I kind of thought that they were generated constantly. And then lost, not that you started with like this overall tally, that decreases over time.

Abby Mercado 19:13
Decreases over time. So basically, at age 35, your egg count drops off a cliff. So think about a lot of people that you know, at age 35 you know, some people are not married, and maybe they’re never going to get married, like, you know, doesn’t matter. But it is it’s definitely become a thing to like women are in the workforce, right? Like, when can we have 50% of the population like that didn’t used to be a thing. You know, we have to remind ourselves of that. We’re waiting longer to have babies and to have families. So you know, I don’t I don’t know if I answered your question. But it’s definitely a societal trend. And like IVF has to be more accessible, because it is so challenging for so many people, because of the societal shifts.

Jay Clouse 19:59
Can you define IVF for people who are not familiar with the acronym.

Abby Mercado 20:02
Yeah, for sure. IVF means in vitro fertilization.

Jay Clouse 20:06
And that is.

Abby Mercado 20:06
So essentially, that is extracting an egg or a bunch of eggs from a woman’s body and marrying those eggs with sperm that are extracted from the man’s body, essentially putting them in a petri dish for simplicity sake, I’ll put it that way, letting the meet letting them combine, and, you know, essentially absorbed, either fertilized or not with the sperm. And then they have to survive, they have to make it to something called blastocyst phase. And then they’re often frozen. And then they’re genetically tested. So one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. And the number one cause of a miscarriage is that an embryo is not genetically normal. So we do genetic testing on embryos to make sure everything’s all good. And also to prevent miscarriage. This is, you know, I love talking about this, because it’s something like infertility. IVF is not covered by insurance by and large, but genetic testing is never covered. So if you think about, you know, kind of the economics of IVF, like, it makes absolutely zero sense. So anyway, genetically tested, and the embryos that are genetically normal, they are transferred back into a woman’s body, one of the embryos or two in my case, which is becoming less and less common, and quote unquote, allowed. And I can go into that if you’d like for me to. But um, yeah, and then, you know, presumably, that embryo grows into a baby inside the woman’s stomach. So the scientific process helps people that are not otherwise able to get pregnant, the old fashioned way.

Jay Clouse 21:45
Let me one real one more real quick question. on this front, you know, you mentioned that at age 35, your number of eggs drops off a cliff. If we think about individuals, how much variance is there with that age? Are some people hitting that cliff at age 30? And 35 is kind of the average?

Abby Mercado 22:01
Yeah, I’m no physician, but my understanding is, it’s pretty much the average like it doesn’t there’s not too much variance, kind of across different people’s bodies.

Eric Hornung 22:12
So with this kind of background, take us into Best Shot, what is it? And how did it come about.

Abby Mercado 22:18
Where I left you was that I really wanted to start my own company or join a young team. And, you know, kind of simultaneously my husband, Sean and I were going through something really challenging. So we were going on, and I’m pretty excited. So Sean, and I met in college, and we we met at in Denver, he was my first friend, and then we decided that we are in love and yada yada, yada, which is fine hi sean. So I told him, all right, we’re gonna get married. And then you know, two years after we get married, we’re gonna have a baby. And then two years after that, we’re gonna have another baby and you know, we’re gonna have a mortgage and a suburban and you know, all of these things. And like, that’s just what life is going to be like. And he was all for it. So got married two years later, started trying to conceive big deal, pulled the goalie, like, all that good stuff. And three years into trying, I was freaking out, and nothing. Nothing was happening. So I get checked, I’m totally fine. Sean gets checked. He’s not. So you know, fertility is stigmatized, no matter what. malfunction and fatalities, you’re like, even more stigmatized? Because you’re like, wait, this is a women’s issue. And in our case, it very much was not. Sean’s very transparent, or very public, there are public figures that have a shot. And they don’t, they don’t move for they, they chase each other around in a circle. They’re very social. So is he so you know, essentially it like we were, we were told that we had less than a 1% chance of getting pregnant. If we did not do in vitro fertilization IVF. So we did an IU bi, which is a precursor to IVF, just to be safe. And that didn’t work failed miserably. And then the next month, we decided to do IVF. So we went to we actually so living in Denver, Denver is one of is the home to one of the world’s best fertility clinics called CCRM. Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine staff and founded by Dr. Bill Schoolcraft years and years and years ago, huge pioneer. So we were going to this clinic with Dr. Sarah Barton. So it was our IVF months and things were hard things are really hard. So we were younger than the average population going through this. We have 32 and I, you know, like I didn’t really have any friends who have gone through this. My friends were, you know, having babies and having babies really easily. I’m just going to like a baby shower a weekend. It was emotional. It was hard. It was just tough. And so we and then you know, it was also incredibly expensive. So $30,000 my venture capital firm that I was working for, didn’t provide fertility coverage. Sean works in actually the one Help space. And his company didn’t didn’t have infertility coverage either. And so we were left to spend $30,000 out of pocket, which

was hard to come up with. And so we ended up taking out a second mortgage, we literally tacked onto a HELOC. And yeah, we that was wrapped that was the best interest rate we could find at that point in time was 2018. So but you know, we we prevailed, we decided that we were going to do this, like, we were going to do it with a good attitude, like, you know, we’re gonna have a baby. So it was, it was a prime moment. So an IVF cycle or our particular IVF cycle was essentially going to be split into three different months. So the first month is a priming month. So you know, you’re essentially priming your body with all of the medications that you need to generate as many eggs as humanly possible, such that they can be obvulated such that they can be retrieved. And then you know, the second month is the actual stem cycle when you’re doing just that. And then the third month is the transfer month, when you take the frozen embryos that have come out genetically normal, and then you know, transfer them back into the woman’s body. So month three, month one of three priming month was taking all these medications. And so a couple of facts generally during a stem cycle, it’s going to take about 50 self prepared and administered shots to generate all of those, those eggs, follicles with eggs inside of them, that will be retrieved. So a lot going on. And the whole process is a mass and, you know, these are the problems that we’re solving. But, you know, essentially you’re ordering from a mail order pharmacy, never heard of these pharmacies before, there’s no way to, you know, kind of pick out the, you know, very value propositions of these specialty pharmacies. It’s not church, local Walgreens, or CVS or Duane Reade, or wherever you live. And then you have the big box of medications, and they’re delivered. And you’re like, What is all this crap? Like, I’m, I’m, uh, you know, I work in venture capital. And, like, all of a sudden, you’re giving me like a bag of syringes, and like gauze pads, and like diluent, and all this stuff. It’s all these chemicals that you’re putting in your body. And, you know, as a proud millennial, female, I want to know what’s in it. So, long story short, I was taking a drug called Cetrotide, during the month of May, Sean and I were camping with some friends, and it was Memorial Day weekend, and we live in Colorado, hashtag Colorado. That’s what we do. We came over Memorial Day weekend. And, you know, I was we were taking the Cetrotide and you know, had to be temperature controlled. So we had it in this little cooler. And, you know, I remember being very dutiful, about, you know, going and taking the Cetrotide and, you know, making sure it was correct. And, you know, it had this regimen that, you know, my doctor had given me my nurses given me an eye taking picture of it. And, you know, it was just flat out, it was confusing, like stuff is scratched out everywhere, you know, it was and you know, another fact about IVF you have to go to the doctor every day, every other day to get blood work done and to get an ultrasound done. And every time you do your regimen changes, and you get a new piece of paper. So as a technologist this is already like driving me nuts. So, yeah, so anyway, I thought I was following my regimen. Turns out, I was not following my regimen. So I accidentally took 3x the amount of Cetrotide than I was supposed to smart person, right? Like my husband smart. Also, you know, I’m very incentivized to get pregnant, like not only because I really wanted to have a baby, but also because I’m paying $30,000 out of pocket. So like, really wanted to do this, right, but I got it wrong. So we go out to Denver, and you know, about about a week later, I’m a week late. My parents always been very regular, you know, weird. And so, you know, I went and got a pregnancy test, which was like the last thing I wanted to do, because like, when you’re going through fertility, you’re like, no way. Like, no way. Am I pregnant, I was pregnant. Naturally, after being told by a doctor that I had less than a 1% chance of getting pregnant. You hear these stories sometimes, like when you’re when you least expect it, even though you’ve been it’s been determined that you have infertility, you get pregnant, and so call my fertility clinic. I told them I was pregnant and they said, you’re probably going to miscarry because you were taking Cetrotide. And I was like, Well, yeah, and so I took I think I actually took more Cetrotide than I was supposed to like 3x because your sheet was so confusing. And they’re like, yeah, you’re definitely going to miscarry. So sure enough, I miscarried. Incredibly tragic, horrible, horrible thing to have worse than that’s ever happened to me. Ultimately, we were successful in IVF by two year old twins, Max and Annie. But that miscarriage is why I started this business. The medication process just has to be easier for patients. And you know, you there’s there’s a lot of really cool startups in the fertility space right now. And there’s a ton ton of female founders who have experienced the problem firsthand, and they all seem to attach like one thing, and I am one of those ones and I’m one of those founders. My was the meds like, let’s make the meds easy, like why I like I felt like I was I was being pushed off a literal, Colorado fourteener when I was asked to take all of these medications, there’s just not enough education. There’s not enough answers for patients, you know, this is an incredibly stressful process. And, you know, the medical industry is, is quite literally failing patients when it comes to infertility. So that is my founder story.

Eric Hornung 30:27
How much of what Best Shot is doing is just pure education, then like, what is what is the product here?

Abby Mercado 30:36
Yeah, so the product, as it stands right now enables an easier way for patients to choose specialty pharmacies. So like I said, they’re not all equal, you know, they’re difficult to kind of, you know, understand, like, what is the, what is the value proposition? And how do you differentiate the value proposition. And so, you know, patients are easier, are able to easier, more easily select a specialty pharmacy, that’s a fit for them. Secondly, education, huge part of what we’re doing. So we filmed all over on med teach content. And we it’s really speaking to the millennial population who’s going through this, they’re more, you know, the status quo is like eight minute long videos that you have to search for on YouTube, and you don’t know if they’re right, and it’s like, it’s always like a 20 year old, like Russian size, double zero supermodel and you’re like, what like, I’m size six, and I’m like 32. And like, oh I’m sad, like, this doesn’t resonate. So anyway, we, we’ve, we’ve found videos that do resonate with patients more like Tik Tk videos, and we’ve spent a lot of time and money on the user experience the user interface. And then lastly, it’s really difficult to adhere to a regimen. So we’re making this a lot easier, quite simply, with push notifications, what we’re working on right now is, we’re a direct to consumer company. And so we’re focused on on wrapping the patient around with a digital hub, community content, resources, things like that, they’ll help them through this process. And just as though their employers have left them behind. We’re saying to them, we’re not going to leave you behind, we like join our community, you know, have a membership with that shot. And we’ll help you through this pharmaceutical process, and so much more. So we’ll we’ll actually, I mean, another thing that we’re really focused on, so the economic driver that we’re working on as a business is to reduce waste. So right now, there’s this huge black market for infertility medications, and we’re focused on eradicating that altogether. And the black market doesn’t have to exist, patients are tend to have like $2,000, in extra medications that they never use during their IVF cycle. This can be fixed with technology, and it will be fixed with Best Shot’s technology. So instead of trying to illegally sell each other medications, and exchange those medications at Target, or wherever these women decide to meet up, we’re getting rid of that waste altogether. So wrapping our patients with this community and providing them with tools and resources to make the fertility process so much easier. And also to save them money on medications.

Jay Clouse 33:09
Where does that waste come from? So I’m paying all this money to go into this process and do have to buy in bulk. And then somewhere through the process, I’ve like, the magic happens, and I just don’t need the rest or what?

Abby Mercado 33:22
Yeah, so essentially, because there’s there’s not a, like the communication link is broken. So what happened, so everything is very cute. Like, you’re going through this all very fast, like, you know, everything is has to be carefully timed. So a doctor typically orders 10 days of medications for you. And you don’t really question that because you’re like, Okay, whatever the doctor says goes, but we’re sitting here questioning that. And, you know, with our team of medical advisors, we know that that’s not totally necessary. And the pharmacies Of course, love it, because they’re like, oh, okay, I got a script, and I’m just going to fill it and make money. Whereas they could have filled 50% to 75% of that scripts, not 100% of that script, and save the patient thousands. So we’re working on just in time, medication delivery. And we think that this extends, you know, we think there’s a huge waste problem, just across the pharmacy, pharmaceutical industry. So, you know, what we’re doing is not limited to fertility, it’s you know, that MS, HIV AIDS, transplants, rheumatology, etc. That’s kind of our moonshot down the road. But, you know, we’re starting with fertility and starting with cash pay patients, that is our wedge to solve these problems for patients.

Eric Hornung 34:32
I want to thank you just for sharing so much, openly and publicly so far. I know we dove right into some questions there. But there’s just so much that came out in that founder story. How do you think about you mentioned we’re gonna focus on the medical, you mentioned, there’s a bunch of startups focusing elsewhere. But then there’s this waste problem that pops up and then there’s the finance problem of a $30,000 mortgage that pops up and then there’s this other problem pops up? It seems like there’s just so much to tackle here. How do you kind of stay focused every day, now that you’re in execution mode.

Abby Mercado 35:03
Yeah, you know, it was it was hard at first. So we, we went through TechStars, we actually were lucky to launch our business through TechStars, which is great opportunity to be able to have a move really quickly. So that was awesome. Then it became, like we had so so so many ideas as to how to and I was always I was always about the medications, like I knew that this was always going to be the the idea and the problem that I wanted to solve as a founder, just everything about the medications. And, you know, it’s we did test a lot of things like we’re definitely not this, this, this journey has not been perfect. I think we’ve pivoted twice. So it’s you know, that’s, that’s an important thing to you know, understand. It’s like any founder who admits that is great, like you will pivot, every company will pivot. To some extent, not every idea is perfect out of the gate. So, you know, I think the ability to stay focused now is because there there was a time that what we were doing didn’t work. And we had to make it work, we had to pivot such that it was working. So it’s hard, it can be done. And you’ve got it like I on the revenue ball. I on like, if it’s not going to generate revenue for your business, your business is going to die. So no revenue, don’t focus on it.

Jay Clouse 36:21
I wanted to ask one more quick clarifying question, make sure I heard you, right. You You mentioned you know, you get these boxes in the mail, and you have syringes and this medication and you have like this piece of paper. It sounds to me like the instruction manual itself was really, really poor and difficult to understand. How much access did you have to your physician to ask clarifying questions that feel like something that was easy to accomplish if this set of instructions itself was difficult to understand?

Abby Mercado 36:48
Yeah, that’s a great question. And the answer’s no, I love my physician. She’s our medical advisor now. Hi, Dr. Barton, or Sarah, I call her Sarah now. Dr. Barton seemed very formal, did not have access to Sarah, she is busy treating 750 patients annually at the best fertility clinic in the world. However, I did have pretty regular access to the nursing team. So some facts about nurses. And you know, kind of think about it with the lens that we are providing a connective tissue between all three key stakeholders. So the patient, the clinic, and the pharmacy. So yes, we’re we’re focused on doing things that help the patient. We’re focused on monetizing from pharmacy. But we’re also focused on helping the people who are actually preventing the patient care the clinic. So really building this like beautiful and strengthening this beautiful like Circle of Life of three people who really need to work together to get somebody pregnant, that otherwise exists, kind of they exist on these separate islands, and they shouldn’t be separate islands. So so the nurse right now 70% of that nurses time is spent answering questions related to medications. So that’s a lot of time, it’s a lot of wasted time, technology can do this. And nurses should be doing other things like providing top notch patient care, making sure you know, more medical questions are answered and less medicine, fewer medicine questions are answered. And then you take the pharmacist. So you know, this is again, this this kind of circle of life idea. I’ve watched The Lion King with my kids are really good. So so you take the pharmacist and we’re like, okay, since 2004. This person has been required to get a doctorate in medications, huh. Interesting. Often they have clinical residencies a pharmacist who is dispensing fertility medications, fertility medications or specialty, they have very specific training and what these medications are, you know, what their interactions are, how to prepare to administer them, etc, etc. So you’re like, Okay, the nurses spending 70% of their time doing this. What’s the pharmacist doing? That makes no sense. So for me, yeah, I had access to my nurse, but she was running around like a chicken with her head cut off like lever to death. Hi, Gracie. But like, it just it was broken, like absolutely broken. So truly, like, I wish I had had better access to, you know, some other advocate. And it’s our belief that that advocate can be the pharmacist.

Eric Hornung 39:20
How many women are going through this, whether it’s IVF, or some other? I’m assuming that there’s more than just IVF in terms of people who are signing up for the shop, but I could be wrong there. And how big is that as a percentage of women, your target audience just trying to understand like, is this happening at is this 25% of the time is this 1% of the time?

Abby Mercado 39:41
Yeah, that’s a good question. So the markets big. So I would say IVF and egg freezing so IVF and you know, IUI as well lets people do a IUI. It’s not like the medication problems, which we’re answering are not huge issues to tackle if they are an IVF but they’re still confusing. You’re subjecting yourself with a shot. So 400,000 IVF cycles in 2021 and 20,000 egg freezing cycles. However, one in eight people have infertility, one in six Canadians have infertility, and one in 10 Danish babies is born an IVF baby. So the reason we’re not seeing more people go through IVF is because it’s not covered, it’s not accessible. So $30,000, for someone to pay to have the baby, it’s just not something that’s realistic for most Americans, the average salary, so the average, the average person going through IVF will do two and a half cycles. So if you add those numbers together, $75,000, that’s higher than the average salary in the US by far. So again, it’s just, it’s just not accessible. When it is, I think we’ll uncover the true numbers associated with infertility. But until then, I think we just we have to believe that, you know, one in eight people have infertility, and a lot of those people just don’t have access to this kind of care. And it’s, it’s fundamental, I believe.

Eric Hornung 41:09
Are there any trends around how that one in eight has been changing over time, like I said, has been stable throughout human history? Or is it?

Abby Mercado 41:15
No. I don’t think so. They’re, they’re not, there are any statistics that I’m aware of, you know, I think we’re we, we started, this is a, it’s the science is very new. And, you know, it’s, it’s also stigmatized, so we haven’t really set like, we didn’t start talking about it until a few years ago. And, you know, IVF was, has been, you know, a thing since 1978. I have a friend, I was born in 1986. And I have a friend who’s an IVF, baby, but that’s, that’s like, very, very rare. So this is a very new science. And it’s a really, it’s a really exciting science. It really is, I think, you know, kind of the latest, the latest greatest and this is a few years ago, it was like vitrification, so flash freezing eggs and embryos, we didn’t used to be able to do that as well. And so that, that preserves the embryos, preserves the eggs, there was a new story a couple months ago, that was talking about the the oldest embryo to ever be transferred. The embryo was like 20 years old, or something like that, like that is wild. That’s amazing science, like holy moly. So that, you know, this. Statistics have not been there’s a data problem in this industry, for sure. That’s all summarized data problem. But you know, there’s a lot of people kind of working on, you know, how to make this industry better with data.

Jay Clouse 42:35
It sounded to me like, when you’re talking about this circle of life of patient, clinic and pharmacy, it sounds like the customer is the pharmacy, the user is the patient, is that correct?

Abby Mercado 42:47

Jay Clouse 42:48
How does that model work?

Abby Mercado 42:49
Because the customer is the patient. So you know, essentially, we’re providing a front end to the curated network of pharmacies that we’re working with. And with our front end, they’re able to better care for patients in the way that we want them to. So the real customers, the patient, the member of our community, who’s receiving much better care by virtue of being part of our community, our community, and like, you know, the best part of being in our community is that it’s free. So like, everyone can be a member. We truly, like we want to serve the underserved. That’s our mission. That’s our goal. We want to be the Walmart, somebody else can be the Neiman Marcus, but our hearts bleed for, you know, those who are just turned from a baby. And it’s just so dang expensive

Jay Clouse 43:31
When I was trying to get at is how does the Best Shot earn revenue? It sounded like it was the pharmacies.

Abby Mercado 43:36
Yep. Yeah. So we’re essentially taking a cut of pharmacy revenue for cash pay patients in exchange for bringing those pharmacies volume. And so we love kind of the small, medium sized pharmacies in the fertility space, who are great quality pharmacies, but they’re having trouble competing, you know, kind of in this day and age, with more technology solutions, or pbms. There’s one pharmacy in this space that’s owned by a PBM. And straight up, that is going to be difficult that pricing is going to be difficult for anyone to compete with. But if we take this reducing waste approach, when we as we are taking this reducing waste approach, we think we can beat that pricing every day. We’re just taking a more exacting approach to dispensing fertility medication. So success based cut of revenue is how we make money. And the scripts are $5,000 to $10,000 scripts. So you know, we’re excited to, you know, see those coach and at some point, we think that will that will take a while to see these medications go generic, but, you know, we’re really excited to we’re excited about the business model. It makes sense. Everybody’s incentivized to join and what we’re doing all different players. And we’re also you know, we want clinics to recommend us as the number one pharmacy of choice. And so that’s why we’ve we’ve done, you know, big trials we’ve we’ve been around for a year and change and we’ve done big trials with Columbia University, Boston IVF, Top Five clinic network, Mainline facility liked it so much that they asked to do a SaaS deal with us. We’re like, no, we’re just trying to learn but okay, like you can have our product and pay for it, that’d be great. And a handful of others that we’re working with. So like, we want to make sure we’re doing something for the clinic, too. So we’re, I mean, straight up, we’re trying to save nurse time, and we’re trying to improve outcomes. So saving nurse time, we want to do that by, you know, essentially limiting the number of phone calls that they’re making and taking on medications, and also providing insight into the patient’s medication inventory. I had my nurse calling me like, every day being like, Abby, how much Medicare do you have? Like, well, I’m in a board meeting. And he’s like, I can’t wait to take this call right now. Like, what is there an app for this? So neither as far as I tried, and then secondly, like increasing outcomes. So a lot of people don’t know this, but fertility clinics have to report their success rates to the CDC. And that’s how patients size them up is their success rates, because the public and the CDC, they mean business, right. So I like my miscarriage was a big black x mark, for CCRM. Because I did not adhere to my regimen. You know, if I’d only taken that one dose of saturated, I might not have miscarried, and that would have been a success rate versus CCRM. But that wasn’t the case. So we want to reduce risk for clinics and, you know, thereby improving outcomes for their patients.

Eric Hornung 46:23
You’ve mentioned that this industry is there’s a stigma around it in general, have you noticed any friction around members signing up for a shot.

Abby Mercado 46:32
So we’re partnering with a large community, I can’t talk about it freely yet that we have some really, really, really exciting things coming up. What we have noticed is that patients patients want to get off Instagram. So because I mean, straight up, you can see who somebody else follows. So that that was my that was and you know, historically, that’s been, you know, the only way to find community when you’re going through a fertility challenge. So, you know, I research shows that when a woman is trying to conceive for about three months, she’s freaking out, she’s not talking and nothing’s happening. She’s freaking out. And she’s not talking to her friends and family. And because of this segment, she’s going she’s she’s seeking community. My story was I thought community on Instagram, because that’s all there was. Now it’s gotten a little bit better. But you know, it’s a space that where we think it’s absolutely pertinent, not only from a like customer acquisition standpoint, but in terms of just like doing the right thing and wrapping these patients, we’re desperate for help in a digital hug and providing them tools like our pharmacy tools. So I was afraid to follow anyone fertility related because I didn’t want anyone to know that I was experiencing infertility. So, you know, I would say that the friction exists like on an Instagram, but yeah, 2021 there are way better ways to create community now. And we’re in it.

Jay Clouse 47:51
This is a traumatic experience that I can’t even fully empathize with as much as I would like to. Now this is part of your founding story in your company’s story. How has this changed your own relationship to this event? Like to me just sitting on this podcast and talking to us about this seems like it could be opening up old wounds, you know, what, what does that experience like for you, as a founder, who often has to sell the vision of the company has to tell the story of the company?

Abby Mercado 48:20
Yeah. I still get pissed off when people announced their pregnancy. I’m just kidding. I love babies. But like, I’m also that not kidding. Like, it is really frustrating when it’s really easy for somebody to get pregnant, and it just wasn’t super easy for my family. You know, I think knowing how much sharing my story might help somebody else is really important to me. So yeah, it’s opening old twins. Yeah. Like, I wish this hadn’t been my family’s story. But I also am happy that it was. It is very much strengthened my marriage. It it I look at my children, and I see little miracles every single day. Like, I mean, I think everybody has, like, it’d be weird if somebody was like, you know, how to that relationship. Like, of course, I have a good relationship with my children. They’re amazing miracles. But I think, you know, their miracle is something a little bit more scientific to me, which is cool. The cool thing about 2021 and, you know, obviously, it’s pushed me to start this business and help so many others. So I like yeah, even though the winds are there. That’s we’re such a mission driven company, like every day and I’m so excited to, you know, help somebody who’s experienced and who is experiencing pain that I’ve already been through, and I already know how to turn into a positive.

Eric Hornung 49:48
Abby this has been awesome. Appreciate you coming on. If people want to know more about you, or Best Shot, where should they go?

Abby Mercado 49:55
Yeah, shoot me an email., and hell send me a text too 2149129066 I’d love to talk to you.

Eric Hornung 50:11
Jay, what’s your favorite podcast app named after a fruit?

Jay Clouse 50:16
Gotta be Apple.

Eric Hornung 50:17
Can you think of any other ones?

Jay Clouse 50:19
I tried really hard. But I didn’t want I didn’t want to wait for too long. I didn’t want too much dead air.

Eric Hornung 50:23
Hey, you know what’s worse than dead air. Not getting reviews on Apple podcasts from your listeners.

Jay Clouse 50:29
Oh, my gosh, it is the worst every day that I wake up and I don’t have a new review on Apple podcasts. I just look up the sky and I go, Ah,

Eric Hornung 50:37
I like how the first thing you do when you wake up is to look at Apple reviews.

Jay Clouse 50:40
If only I was lying, but I’m not. And I’m looking for new reviews for Upside on Apple podcasts, Eric and if you are listening to this right now, you could be that person that helps get the day started right.

Eric Hornung 50:53
All you have to do is go to Apple on your iOS device or web browser, plug in and leave us a review. Five stars would be nice, four stars would be great. Let’s do five stars.

Jay Clouse 51:02
Let’s do five stars definitely prefer five stars. Even if you don’t use Apple podcast as your preferred listening app on an iPhone, please take a moment to rate us there anyway to helps us bring on great guests that helps us climb the charts. Our show will get better if you do this very simple act. So please, please.

Alright, Eric, we just spoke with Abby Mercado, the co founder and CEO of Best Shot, we covered a lot of ground there. We asked a lot of dumb questions, I feel a lot more informed. Where do you want to start?

Eric Hornung 51:35
I want to start with how open Abby was just about her story in general. And I, I guess I didn’t expect that coming in. I don’t know why I didn’t expect that. But it makes a lot of sense that in order to truly understand this problem, we talk a lot about founders starting on second base. in a weird way, Abby is starting on second base here by understanding this problem from like a first person perspective, and being able to share that story with her audience with her customers.

Jay Clouse 52:06
Yeah, I can’t imagine this being like, I think back to the TechStars days, and just how often we had to pitch the company. And to have this type of thing be so core to your business and your story. And having to talk about that over and over, I imagine just has to be really difficult. So I really do appreciate the vulnerability in Abby sharing that. And I appreciate the challenge that must be to do all the things that she’s doing and have that her and her husband story be wrapped so closely into the story of best shot. But it does help you better understand her perspective and where she’s coming from and why you would want to bet on her as a founder for this company.

Eric Hornung 52:52
When we think about the idea, it actually hits on a big trend that I’ve talked a lot about, with Nick Potts, future guests or the past guests of the show, potentially future guests to the show, who knows. And I think that for the average person, healthcare is just incredibly confusing. And I think that over the next couple decades, we’re going to see a trend of companies that come out just to simplify healthcare for the average person, more increase in very large companies just from, hey, here’s a really complex process. Here’s the easy part. Here’s what you need to know, here’s what you need understand. So I think Best Shot fits that thesis in spades.

Jay Clouse 53:30
So Eric, how would you describe the business model as you understand it for this company? Because to me, it kind of sounds like a media company, first and foremost, based on what they’re selling, and how they’re monetizing. But I’m curious what your impression was?

Eric Hornung 53:45
Yeah, I think I got the same. It’s kind of community led product, after almost, which is a business model that Jay, you and I are both pretty passionate about excited about generally, both with what you’re doing with SPI. And what we’re doing here with Upside, kind of starting as a media company. And being able to pivot into products, we believe is a lot easier than starting as a product company and trying to bolt on community or media. So from a business model perspective, I’d agree with you, I’d say it feels a little community focused, which is probably a good thing in the long run.

Jay Clouse 54:19
Yeah. What’s interesting to me is, most of the time the companies that go through TechStars are like very product first very software first. And to me, what the sounded like was, hey, we know that there’s a huge problem in the way that people communicate with their doctors and what their pharmacies and it has major consequences. And for the amount of cost involved in what people put into these processes. That just seems like a huge disconnect. But instead of solving that problem with like, quote, unquote, software like this is being delivered via an app. So there is that so maybe I’m overthinking this. It feels like there is a consumer play here. But I like that the team just kind of say how do we, how do we solve the problem with technology is more like how do we solve the problem? and technology is part of the solution, but not the entire solution.

Eric Hornung 55:10
I wonder if that’s like the difference between a productized service and software as a service? I think that people have been like drawing a distinction between the two lately. And this is not a comment on Best Shot, but more of the industry generally, where software as a service is set it Forget it, it’s tech self serve, go do your thing. Or maybe enterprise level, but a productized service is more, the service kind of comes first. And the tech is an enabler to productize it? I don’t know, I need to think a little bit deeper on that.

Jay Clouse 55:37
Yeah, in the world of services. productized services look a lot different than products. Like, it’s usually more like, I have a very common approach to this service arrangement. And you can buy that approach in the outcome. And it’s easy for me to repeatedly deliver that. I don’t know, I don’t know if this really falls into a productized service,

Eric Hornung 55:59
Regardless of its a software as a service, a productized service, community first, I think that there’s there’s something out there that has some real traction because of two things. Jay. One, I think this is going to be an increasing and rapidly increasing trend is the issue of infertility, as we have people just who are older and older, wanting to have kids, look, you’re almost 30, I’m 30. And we’re just getting engaged now, even 50 years ago, we would be on the very tail end of who’s getting married. But I have friends in New York who aren’t getting married until 38, 39, 40. And I think that that trend is extending. And the one of the repercussions of that is that infertility is going to expand so we are in the we’re in an uptrend in infertility. So things like this are going to become more and more common.

Jay Clouse 56:56
I also think culturally, we are more open to share challenges in this world. Historically, I believe, you know, this has been a very taboo subject to talk about. And you know, this kind of came up for the interview, we don’t have a full sense of how many people this is affecting, because a lot of people either can’t afford to bring this into the system and kind of learn that this is an issue and that they have options, or they don’t feel like they want to come forward and talk about their experience in this world. So I agree for both of those reasons. I think this is a growing area of concern. Abby told us that this affects one in eight Americans, that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. These are pretty big, pretty big numbers. And you know, this isn’t an industry that we want to look at as a growing problem. But it seems that the timing on this does feel that does feel like good timing.

Eric Hornung 57:53
Yeah, I think all progress leads to more problems to be solved. And the progress we’ve made over the last 30 to 50 years. This is one of the kind of problems the unforeseen consequences of it. So now we get really smart people like Abby, and I’m sure a ton of other awesome entrepreneurs in the fertility space, trying to bring down the cost of that of in vitro services, trying to make it easier and better as a user as an experience for people who are going through that. And I think that looking at a current market size is probably looking at cross section when we should be looking at something over time, I’d be looking much more at the lines and the trajectories and the trends, when I’m looking at the market size of this space, very bullish on it from a business growth perspective. The markets, in my opinion is going to be growing and growing quickly. As we have more people like you and I Jay who are hitting 30 years old.

Jay Clouse 58:50
Just a couple more numbers I want to play here that were crazy to me, the cost of this being $30,000, there being a black market for infertility medication because of the waste in the space. 70% of nurses time is spent answering questions to medications, like this just screams that this is this is not a good experience and to have somebody like like Abby and her husband, Sean, who are extremely intelligent people who have a massively vested interest in this process going well having a hard time just understanding the essentially the directions of what they need to do on what timing. It seems ripe for disruption.

Eric Hornung 59:30
So, Jay, what do you want to see in the next six to 18 months from Abby and Best Shot?

Jay Clouse 59:35
I want to hear more about how things are going with their model. It does seem like they’ve taken a critical eye towards aligning incentives with everybody involved. You know, when you hear that somebody is paying $30,000 for a process, you say our technology is free to that person. That raises a little bit of a question in my mind like, well, there’s probably some space to go directly to the consumer. But if lining up with the pharmacy is more incentive aligned for everybody in the value chain? That sounds like a really smart, really elegant solution. So I just want to see how that’s going. I know this is still pretty early days. But I want to understand, you know, are these boutique pharmacies continuing to renew their relationship with a Best Shot? Is this proving out to be a really effective business model for them? Which are questions that we didn’t honestly get a chance to dig into as much as we probably wanted to, because of all of our other dumb questions about the the industry at large. But yeah, I would understand what I understand if that whole model of the value chain is working.

Eric Hornung 1:00:36
Well, you took my answer. So I will jump in with something else. I want to look at adoption amongst those who are actually going through the process. Want to see how that’s increasing? Is that increasing at an increasing rate? I think that my answer will stem a lot from yours. And whether or not this particular pharmacy pipeline will convert to actual users and a community in the long run. So I’m very excited about what Abby’s building. I learned a ton on this interview. And I hope you did as well. If you want to reach out to us, you can send us a note on twitter @upsideFM or send us something a little longer at And we will talk to you next week.

Jay Clouse 1:01:20
That’s all for this week. Thanks for listening. We’d love to hear what you think about this episode. So tweet at us @upsideFM or email us and let us know. You can learn more about us and browse our entire back catalogue of And if you love our show, please leave a review on Apple podcast that goes a long way in helping us bring high quality guests to the show.

Interview begins: 5:49
Debrief: 51:25

Abby Mercado is the co-founder and CEO of Best Shot.

Best Shot is a patient’s companion in fertility treatments, providing medication management & education, streamlining the pharmaceutical ordering experience and enabling safe, supportive micro-communities led by experts.

Abby is a former venture capital investor, and current mom of IVF twins, who experienced a miscarriage resulting from an error made in administering one of her IVF medications.

We discuss:
  • Analyzing Macro Trends 11:43
  • The idea of fertility 17:18
  • Fertility decreases over time. 18:57
  • IVF 19:59
  • Best Shot 22:12
  • Alleviate the black market 30:27
  • Targeting problems 34:32
  • Simplfying treatment 36:21
  • Target market 39:20
  • Earning Revenue 43:31
  • Fertility Stigma 46:23

Best Shot was founded in 2019 and based in Denver, Colorado.

Learn more about Best Shot

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SavvyCal is the most intuitive and powerful scheduling tool on the market. In fact, we just started SavvyCal to book interviews with our guests!

You can create personalized links in seconds and even allow recipients to overlay their calendar on top of yours.

You really gotta see how this works, and you’ll wonder why it wasn’t always this easy.

Sign up to create a free account at and when you’re ready to test out a paid plan, use the code UPSIDE to get your first month free.

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