For many, it’s no surprise that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. In fact, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. But what’s most startling is that in 2020, an estimated 6,800 people will die of melanoma, and of those, twice as many will be men.
One University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumna is looking to impact those stats in a positive way by reducing the rate of skin cancer. Elianna Goldstein and her mom, Chapel Hill-based dermatologist Dr. Beth Goldstein, are co-founders of GETMr., a company tackling the rising instances of skin cancer in men through its product The Daily, a dermatologist-formulated, 2-in-1 light-weight mineral moisturizer with broad spectrum protection.
“More men are developing skin cancer, and most do not have a product they’re using on a daily basis,” says Elianna Goldstein. “If men incorporate sunscreen into their daily routine, they can reduce their risk of skin cancer by 40 percent. We designed The Daily to be a simple, safe and effective product that men can be excited about using every single day.”
The idea behind the company’s product is to empower men to do something small each day that will affect their long-term health and wellbeing. The Daily is mineral-based and contains one active ingredient: zinc, which is recognized as 100 percent safe and effective by the FDA, unlike a majority of chemical products on the market. The formula is ultra-lightweight, non-irritating, fragrance-free and even blends well into beards and facial hair.
With the health of her two brothers and dad in mind – her dad is a skin cancer survivor – combined with her mom’s experience as a dermatologist, Goldstein was convinced there was an opportunity to explore the idea for a daily skincare product targeted toward men.
As a dermatologist, Dr.Beth Goldstein has treated thousands of patients with skin cancer. With so many available products on the market, she too saw a gap for a safe and effective, simple product for men.
“In practicing dermatology for more than 30 years, I have grown tired of seeing many products, with few if any acceptable to most men,” she says. “Elianna and I researched and ultimately developed an effective daily, all-in one moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF for men.”
As the daughter of two physicians and entrepreneurs in their own right – her father is a professor of medicine at UNC focused on public health research and policy, Goldstein arrived at UNC ready to focus on the intersection of health care and entrepreneurship. During her senior year, she took an entrepreneurship course that jumpstarted the idea for GETMr. Taught by Jim Kitchen, professor of the practice of strategy and entrepreneurship and entrepreneur-in-residence at Kenan-Flagler Business School, the course challenged Goldstein to consider what tactful skills would be needed to build a business.
“Jim’s course taught me the importance of building a network and leveraging the local entrepreneurship community,” says Goldstein. “I learned the value of making connections and have seen first-hand how that can be incredibly important in bringing awareness to the problem at hand. Leveraging your network and community can pay dividends down the road. I try to think about who I’m spending my time with each day and how I’m engaging with those people meaningfully.”
“Elianna was one of my standouts in my entrepreneurship course at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, so it does not surprise me that she is taking this entrepreneurial leap,” says Kitchen, who also helped conceptualized and open Launch Chapel Hill as well as the 1789 student innovation community and co-working space, which are both managed by Innovate Carolina. “As a professor who encourages students to find a problem worth solving, she has certainly done just that. Having had Stage 2 melanoma myself, she is not only providing a wonderful product for men to use, but this is a potentially life-saving product.”
Goldstein also participated in Venture for America (VFA), a program that prepares recent college graduates for careers as entrepreneurs. As a result, she was selected to join the VFA accelerator, a four-month program that supports early-stage companies through workshops and mentorship. The accelerator gives Goldstein the opportunity to showcase GETMr. through VFA’s National Demo Day as well as pitch for funding from VFA and its partners.
Creating a startup has involved tackling numerous challenges for Goldstein, not only to get the formula for The Daily right, but to also think through the educational component as well.
“I’ve been told breaking into the men’s wellness industry is a hard problem, and that’s exactly why I’m tackling it,” she adds. “There is a lot of misinformation in the skin care space regarding what’s safe and effective to use, and we want to be where credibility and approachability meet the road. While at UNC, I learned you can’t just have an idea. You have to be able to listen, execute, learn and continuously iterate on that process.”
Grateful for the entrepreneurial community she’s built through UNC and VFA, Goldstein is ramping up for the launch of GETMr. and The Daily this fall. Although COVID-19 has set the stage for a new normal, Goldstein is excited to be living her innovation journey. Her advice for other entrepreneurs?
“Define your own success and don’t let the opinions of others distract you from your values and goals.” says Goldstein. “Be incredibly motivated and driven but also find balance. You’re not going to find those moments of brilliance or spontaneity when you’re just staring at your computer. Give yourself permission to find time to do the things that bring you joy.”
GETMr. is taking pre orders for The Daily and will ship this November. The Daily also will be available for in-store pickup at Central Dermatology Center in Chapel Hill. For more information about GETMr. and The Daily product, visit its website.
The Carolina Graduate Certificate in Innovation for the Public Good (CIPG) is now accepting applications for its Spring 2021 cohort through Monday, Feb. 1. CIPG
Image from left to right: Jason Cramer, Director of Experiential Professional Development, Suzanne Barbour, Dean of the Graduate School, Jeffrey Warren, Executive Director of the