“The country is facing an unsolvable direct-care worker shortage. The costs of nursing homes and other institutional settings have inflated to be prohibitive. At the same time, our 65-and-older population is in the middle of doubling, and more people than ever prefer to age in their homes and communities,” explains Max Mayblum 16BBA, founder and CEO of Givers.

Mayblum is talking about the prevalence of family caregiving, in which family members informally care for their loved ones. He references a quote by the late Rosalynn Carter, who said there are four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, are currently caregivers, will be caregivers, and who need caregivers.

“My goal is that Givers will be there for all of them.”

Givers aims to help ease the financial burdens of family caregivers. It does so by using state programs to hire, support, and pay them.

In less than three years, Givers has grown out of an idea Mayblum had. It is now a six-person company that supports thousands of families—with no plans for slowing down.

In fact, Forbes recently recognized Mayblum and Givers as part of the 2024 30 Under 30 Class for consumer technology.

“Being recognized by Forbes was a very humbling honor. I believe it really speaks to the importance of our team’s mission,” says Mayblum. “The recognition is less about me and much more about all of the work our team is collectively doing to bring such an impactful vision to life.”

Builder by Design

Before Givers, Mayblum graduated from Goizueta Business School. He’s one of the 10 or so members of his extended family to graduate from Emory University. Initially, he began working in retail strategy consulting. During this same time period, Mayblum was starting small businesses, ranging from Shopify plug-ins to group shopping. With a love for creating, Mayblum wanted to get closer to building a product with a big impact.

I was excited about being entrepreneurial and creating things that actually change people’s lives. A few years into my career, jumping into an early-stage, mission-driven startup felt like the natural next step.

Max Mayblum 16BBA

He became the first business hire of a telehealth startup and recalls being a jack of all trades in that position. The company focused on lowering barriers to high-quality, holistic care for people. It served as a precursor for what was to come in Mayblum’s career.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Mayblum temporarily relocated from New York City to Florida to be with his family. His aunt was also diagnosed with cancer around this time.

“My aunt and her family lived in Georgia, so they were the family I saw the most while at Emory,” shares Mayblum.

As he watched his parents care for his aunt, an idea for a startup company began to form. He wanted to help the people who alter their lives to care for loved ones.

“My parents made care for my aunt and her family their number one priority through her last couple of years,” says Mayblum.

In my effort to support their caregiving, I noticed a shocking gap in support for family members who are caring for loved ones.

Max Mayblum 16BBA

There are roughly 53 million Americans caring for parents, siblings, children, friends, or other family members. However, Mayblum saw no formalized support or payment for these individuals. He explains government websites can be hard to navigate, the insurance portals are clunky, and several systems operate independently of one another. It’s no wonder families find the matter confusing.

“We know that caring itself isn’t the burden: It’s all this other stuff.”

Given his previous role of helping connect people to the resources they need through easy-to-navigate websites, Mayblum got to work.

“It’s very easy to over-theorize an idea. Entrepreneurship and building a company are complete acts of doing,” he says. “The best first step is taking any step.”

Focus on the Problem – Not the Solution

Givers, which launched in 2021, actually began as a financial technology company. Mayblum focused on building banking products for caregivers, hoping to lower financial stress. However, he says it’s important to remain focused on the problem, not one solution.

When companies narrow their focus too tightly on a solution, they miss out on potential opportunities to truly help their intended audience.

“Over time, we learned more and more about state programs,” recalls Mayblum.

We saw the challenges family caregivers faced to actually get paid for the work that they’re doing. We also saw an explosion in demand for those sorts of programs.

May Mayblum 16BBA

So, they pivoted from fintech to health-tech. They launched an app to help connect caregivers to financial resources and government programs. They even hire eligible family caregivers for their own home care agency.

“I think it’s a good thing we were not overly obsessed with our solution. We wouldn’t have seen the opportunity to serve family caregivers as well as we do today,” says Mayblum. “It’s better to obsess over the problem you’re trying to solve. That allows you to iterate and continue to move towards what the right solution is.”

Mayblum says the best moment on this journey so far was the launch—the act of hiring and paying their first family caregiver. Not only was he able to share the idea for the company with his aunt before she passed, but her home state of Georgia was also the first place Givers hired a family caregiver.

“For me, that was one of the most exciting, full-circle moments in the company’s history thus far.”

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