21 Nov November 21, 2023 – 4 Doc Founded Nutraceutical Co Brenden Dougherty and Urban Sandbox Danna Okuyama
Brenden Dougherty – CEO/COO of MDBio – The Doctors Brand
Brenden Dougherty is the CEO/COO of MDbio – The Doctors Brand. The company was founded by four doctors to bring pharma-level testing to the nutraceutical market. The company was created to treat the most common conditions seen in patient care – sleeplessness, stress/anxiety, and chronic aches and pain. Recently, MDbio’s hero product, MDsleep, was clinically proven in the largest onshore, randomized, placebo-controlled sleep study in history and demonstrated to improve sleep quality, decrease feelings of stress, decrease feelings of anxiety, and improve overall well-being. Brenden Dougherty, a visionary leader in the nutraceutical industry, has spent the past 10 years refining and developing business concepts in traditional and emerging markets. His early professional background in finance for UBS and PPM America instilled a strong analytical background and understanding of business modeling and growth strategies. In 2014, he combined his passion for cultural travel and business acumen into his own concept, OneGlobe Citizen, a Chicago-based tech/media platform that predated Airbnb in connecting travelers with cultural activities and local favorites. By 2016, the market had shifted, so Brenden applied his successful growth strategies to early-stage businesses needing strong visionary and operational leadership. He saw a gap where companies were scaling through outdated advertising and solely seeking capital rather than strategic partnerships to expand exponentially while requiring less capital to launch. This concept, venture development, took off with the rise of fractional leadership services. His strategic growth ideas and interpersonal leadership catalyzed many clients at his consultancy, Team Shift, founded in 2016. This ultimately led him to the nutraceutical space, where he currently leads MDbio – The Doctors Brand. MDbio is a groundbreaking pharmaceutical alternative company redefining supplements with clinically-backed plant medicines. When Brenden first met the founding physicians, including Dr. Babak Larian, Department Chair of head, neck and throat surgeries at Cedars Sinai, he knew MDbio converged his passion for developing meaningful companies with a culture prioritizing patient outcomes. In 2012, Dr. Larian performed invasive tumor removal surgeries at Cedars Sinai. He noticed older patients statistically likely to struggle with recovery were actually faring better than younger, healthier ones undergoing identical procedures. Further analysis revealed patients using plant medicines, often cannabis, had superior outcomes – faster healing, less inflammation, and greater emotional stability. Plant-based medications erased weeks from recovery after traumatic healthcare events. This represented a paradigm shift combining pharmaceuticals with milder yet effective plants. Inspired, Brenden foresaw incredible benefits if consumers had plant-based medicines approved by healthcare professionals. The challenge was formulating effective, scientifically validated medications. With over 99% of supplements untested and under 1% demonstrating statistical significance, this was no small undertaking. For over 3 years, MDbio, under Brenden’s leadership, partnered with experts to develop sophisticated internal clinical research to test formulations on chronically ill patients with sleeplessness, stress and pain. With patient outcomes guiding them, MDbio refined products that garnered life-changing results. This was only the first step toward statistically significant clinical results at scale. In partnership with a leading clinical research organization, MDbio began unbiased clinical testing of their sleep aid MDsleep in 2022. With the largest-ever non-melatonin cohort (620 participants), MDsleep proved not just statistically significant but groundbreaking for clinically effective sleep, stress, anxiety and well-being. Achieving this first-ever clinically proven hemp sleep aid took four years, but for Brenden, it’s just the beginning. With two more products awaiting 2024 outcomes, MDbio is poised to lead clinically proven nutraceuticals that will transform health. Brenden’s drive stems from his purpose – creating joy for consumers relying on hope during tough times.
Danna Okuyama – Founder of Urban Sandbox
Danna Okuyama is the Founder of Urban Sandbox, the modern-day pen pal app and safe space for students that parents can trust. Students can connect, share, and grow with other like-minded peers from around the world and learn from qualified educators within the app, while parents have full access to their child’s platform to easily supervise activity and ensure safety. She represents the pinnacle of self-taught success and a role model for any aspiring AAPI entrepreneur. Having lived on four continents and coming from the competitive world of finance, Danna knew the sort of challenges and stigma children can face. When her own son entered school, she saw that he was struggling to make the right friends, and online forums and screentime left many concerns for safety. Her solution? She quit her job and launched Urban Sandbox. Born out of her passion for fostering diverse connections and learning experiences for her son and his peers, Urban Sandbox stands as the modern-day pen pal platform for children worldwide, offering a secure space parents can trust. In her role as CEO, Danna envisions Urban Sandbox as more than just a digital platform—it’s a global community where children can discover, share, and grow together. The platform, announced on October 25, 2023, prioritizes safety, allowing students to connect with like-minded peers, learn from accredited educators, access educational resources, and showcase their own achievements. Danna’s mission extends beyond traditional education, aiming for children to not only learn from global educators but also from each other. Recognizing the inevitability of screen time in the evolving digital world, Urban Sandbox optimizes this time for young individuals. By combining the social interactivity that students love with an emphasis on academic interests, teacher-approved content, and cyber safety, the platform helps build smarter technology habits. Through this innovative platform, Danna Okuyama and her team at Urban Sandbox are redefining the way children learn, share, and grow in the digital age, providing a secure space for global citizens to connect and thrive.