Marysville News

LifeBio helps seniors tell personal stories

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JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEKNEWS
Beth Sanders is the founder and CEO of LifeBio, a Marysville business that helps people compile their life stories. The company has been experiencing recent growth.

A Marysville-based company is turning individual life stories into big business success.

Beth Sanders is the founder and CEO of LifeBio, which she started full time in 2006. The Internet-based business helps people record their own life stories in hard-copy, audio and video formats.

The company serves individuals looking to share their stories with family and friends as well as organizations that serve senior citizens, for whom the stories can serve as a source of comfort as well as provide information for long-term caregivers.

"We have expanded to serving all three of Mayo Clinic's sites in Minnesota, Arizona and Florida. Mayo Clinic uses LifeBio's approach to help people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease or those with mild cognitive impairment," Sanders said in an email interview.

"If you've seen the movie The Notebook, imagine the power of having a person's stories and memories so they can be read to the person who has memory loss. I actually saw this work with one of the relatives in my own family," Sanders said.

She got the idea for LifeBio after interviewing her grandmother. Sanders was fascinated by her life story and surprised at how little she really knew about her.

The company has been expanding and in the last few months launched a new videorecording iPad app called LifeBio Studio and a new phone interview service.

"We're used by not only the Mayo Clinic but also one of the largest health insurers in the country. We're now in senior care/health-care organizations in 29 states so we're growing," Sanders said.

"The biggest part of LifeBio's business comes from serving organizations that serve older adults; health insurers, hospitals, retirement communities, assisted living, nursing homes, hospice organizations, home care and senior services agencies use LifeBio's approach to make sure people's memories and experiences are captured," she said.

LifeBio has one investor in California and two investors in central Ohio.

"I pitched at the first 'Wakeup Startup' event about three years ago at the Ohio State University and one of my future investors approached me after hearing the pitch," Sanders said. "We have had great support from the Marysville community. The Union County Senior Services agency, the Marysville Public Library, Memorial Hospital and McCarthy & Cox have all been involved in using LifeBio to make sure seniors' stories are told locally."

Community Action Partnership is using LifeBio computer programs and journals to connect Richwood senior citizens and youth through the power of storytelling. The company also works with National Church Residences sites in central Ohio, Green Hills Community in West Liberty, Friendship Village of Columbus and others.

LifeBio employs five people and uses about a dozen contractors. Prices for its Web-based services range from under $10 to almost $300. Sanders declined to disclose the company's annual revenue.

Eric Phillips, executive director of the Union County Economic Development Partnership and CEO of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, said by email that the business exemplifies the benefits of doing business locally.

"LifeBio is a perfect example of how perseverance and a spirit of entrepreneurship can create a wildly successful and unique company. Beth's dedication to her company -- and her clients, truly reflect the best of Union County's business community. Additionally, Beth strategically located LifeBio's headquarters in Uptown Marysville and strongly supports its continued revitalization."

The company will have a big presence at an AARP conference in Boston in May and will continue to work on new technology.

"We are gaining a lot of traction and we've become the standard for life stories for thousands of consumers and also in senior care and health care. There is more and more emphasis on a holistic approach to wellness, care and mental health. So we'll just keep that momentum going," Sanders said.

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