SafetySit Profile

Posted Jul 19th, 2021

SafetySit is a mobile backrest allowing clinicians to treat patients without additional staff, eliminating $1.8B of unnecessary/unsafe support labor in healthcare.

Mark Harburg, CEO

Mark Harburg has 8 years of experience in product design and manufacturing and is an avid entrepreneur. Mark is a dedicated entrepreneur, designer, and inventor. He is passionate about new ideas, innovation, and technology. Over the years he has developed key insights and knowledge in the rehab market and is focused full time on SafetySit. When Mark is not at work, he enjoys spending quality time with his family, friends, and exploring new places in Detroit and beyond.

 

1. What experience or person encouraged you to be an entrepreneur?

I can point to my experience back in college - this problem/opportunity fell into our lap as a school project, and the school encouraged us to bring SafetySit to market. I took that challenge to heart and ran with it. I will also say that I am predisposed to the "entrepreneurship bug," and the motion to jump on this path is something I found naturally within myself. 

2. What has been your biggest challenge in being an entrepreneur/startup? 

It can be an exceptionally lonely path. You feel the weight of everything on your shoulders as a solo entrepreneur, and without the support of a team, it can be hard to motivate yourself and get past hurdles. So, if you want to stay accountable, and attain your goals, then you should surround yourself with people who can help you and/or join accelerators.

3. What are you most proud of? 

I'm proud of what we have accomplished and how we got to where we are today by persevering. Rather than being proud, I am grateful. We are grateful for all the people who have helped us shape our product, put us on the right path, and supported us throughout difficulties. 

 

Chris Holland, COO

Chris Holland is the Chief Commercial Officer for SafetySit and serves on the company’s Board of Directors. Chris is a strategic and commercial leader in the medical device and biotechnology space, with expertise in launching and growing medical and biotech products directed at the hospital, OEM/B2B, and consumer markets.

In addition to SafetySit, Chris leads Growth Diagnostics, a sales analytics company. Previous to this, Chris was the Chief Commercial Officer for Nonin Medical where he led the commercialization of multiple products, expanded the OEM and digital health sales focus, and initiated a pivotal brand transformation. During Chris’ tenure, the company reversed a long trend of declining sales and went on to set new revenue records and significantly expanded gross margins.

Chris also spent 10 years at Cisco Systems in e-Commerce leadership roles, helping grow this to over $25B in transactions. Prior to this he worked with companies such as Coca-Cola, PwC, and Accenture. Chris earned an M.B.A. from the Jack Welch Management Institute, a B.S. from Minnesota State University, and has completed executive education programs at Stanford. Chris invests in the community by serving on a non-profit board directing youth programs in Minnesota.

 

1. What experience or person encouraged you to be an entrepreneur?

My family history is replete with independent business owners and entrepreneurs, including my father, his father, and my great grandfather. There’s a spirit of adventure, independence, determination, and pride that goes hand in hand with being an entrepreneur, and I think some of those traits have been handed down to me.

2. What has been your biggest challenge in being an entrepreneur/startup?

I don’t think there’s been just one challenge. Being an entrepreneur means being ready for the inevitable challenges from funding, to building the right product, to getting it built, to getting those first vital customer champions and scaling it all. Probably, the biggest challenge is prioritizing what challenges you focus on first and knowing when you’ve solved it well enough to move to the next. 

3. What are you most proud of?

My family is always my first answer for this, but if we’re relating it to the startup, I’d say I’m very honored to be part of SafetySit and a founder who’s shown true, dogged perseverance in bringing the product to market. Through his genuine approach and passion (plus a great idea), we built up a lot of faith and trust in the clinical community who became our eventual customers.