Amy Brown

Amy Brown

  • Founded
  • Invested

My career has been a windy road of different jobs, but every step was an arrow pointing down the path to this place where I found the thing I was willing to risk it all for.”

My dad is a pediatric heart surgeon. Sometimes he would work around the clock without meals or breaks because he was so passionate. He used to tell me, “It doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure you find something that you absolutely love and that you’re driven.” My career has been a windy road of different jobs, but every step was an arrow pointing down the path to this place where I found the thing I was willing to risk it all for, and it came from a place of total conviction. Starting a tech company has been the hardest journey of my life, but it doesn’t feel like a job. It feels like my calling, my mission, my life’s work. 

My graduate degree was in social work, and my first stop was in state government working as a liaison between branches of government shaping and forming healthcare policy. Over the next 18 years, I worked in a variety of healthcare companies: health insurers, managed care companies, even pharma. That’s where I got to see where healthcare policy and business and the consumer experience all intersected — where the rubber meets the road when it comes to healthcare. It was through those experiences that the idea of Authenticx was born. 

I was 42 in 2018 and a mother of four young children. My husband was a full-time stay-at-home dad. I was a COO with the best salary I have ever had, and yet I didn’t feel like I was living my full potential. I saw the problem that I wanted to go tackle, and you can’t do something like that without confidence in yourself, but the even bigger driver was this compelling internal conviction that I had to do this. I couldn’t die happy until I tried.

Being a mom played a role, too. On one hand, it doesn’t feel very reasonable to leave your job when you have four kids and no income. But on the other hand, I talk to my kids about following their dreams and listening to their passions. If I don’t set the example of what it takes to do that in terms of sacrifice and compromise, and having courage, then I’m letting them down, too. And so it was all of those things that led to me taking the leap in late 2018.

Elevate was one of the earliest companies to make a financial commitment to Authenticx and take a risk on me. That was back before I had a team or much revenue. What I had was an idea that had some early signs of traction — that’s it. And I recognize the chance they took on me, and it’s in those early days that as a founder, affirmation like that matters so much because you’re living on the edge. 

I raised a Series A in 2021 of $7.5M, and with that funding, we were able to hire a lot more people, start to build our product with more speed, and see the product-market fit take hold. I raised a Series B in 2022, and, well, you don’t get to a $20M Series B if you haven’t deployed your capital well from your Series A. We had been great stewards of the capital.

What I’m most surprised about this experience is that I didn’t anticipate how spiritually raw you would become and how exposed you would feel in terms of risk. You are going to have your absolute scariest days and you’re going to have your highest mountaintop experiences all in the same journey — sometimes in the same day. 

I remember a couple of months into the business, I had no revenue coming in, and I was walking around a conference in Las Vegas trying to meet people. I came back to my hotel room and had a freak-out moment. I was like, What are you doing? You can’t do this! I actually started looking at CEO jobs on LinkedIn, but it was momentary. Soon after that, I had a transformative moment where I was reassured that this was the path I was supposed to be on. My first almost six-figure contract started January 1, 2019. On that day, I was crying and hugging my kids and telling them we were going to be OK. It was definitely a high moment.