The health and wellness startup and L-SPARK portfolio company is one of nine companies in the health track.

Jang Wang, co-founder of health startup Optimity at L-SPARK's 2016 Cottage Pitchfest.

Jane Wang, co-founder and CEO of Optimity, at L-SPARK’s annual Cottage Pitchfest.

Health startup Optimity, a corporate digital health coaching program, is spending the next several months participating in 500 Startups’ 20th batch.

As co-founder Jane Wang was preparing for the program’s infamous ‘Marketing Hell Week’ she told me about her excitement to attack the U.S. health care market — which she says is vastly different from Canada’s.

“My thought process was ‘let’s go explore.’ We’re currently running U.S-focused sales experiments and we probably need more help with marketing.”

We really needed some help in the local space. There’s a lot of investment [in companies] similar to what we are in the Bay area.”

While Jane developed sales processes while at L-SPARK, they are tailored to the Canadian market.

Rebecca Woodcock, a 500 Startups Entrepreneur in Residence whose startup was acquired by Inbox Health last year, is working with Jane and helping her navigate the complex U.S. health system.

Jane connected with 500 Startups after meeting David Dufresne, Partner at 500 Startups Canada, at last year’s SaaS North. She was put in touch with Rebecca and after their chat Jane was accepted into the program.

Jane counts this as one of many milestones the companies has experienced since launching in 2014.

She also cites gaining her first corporate client in 2015 as a milestone, in addition to securing a spot in L-SPARK’s Foundation and subsequently Scale program.

“It was the first time working with advisors on everything from sales to legal. It was a big inflection point for us in terms of sales.”

She says another major milestone was launching with their first blue chip customer in early 2016.

“This year the big inflection is that we find our first insurance deal, and then getting to 500 is awesome because it’s the first time to be able to have an anchor within the US, and such an incredible anchor as well.”

Besides focusing on U.S. sales, Jane is also looking to hire engineering talent and source channel sales partners in Canada.

On the product side, Jane says there are several new features in the works, including building in dynamic health risk assessment capabilities.

Jane credits the support of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program for helping refine the mobile platform, which has gone through several iterations since September.