For Starters: Little Otter Health Tackling Childhood Mental Health Post-Pandemic

(Image by Jackie Sizing)

For Starters—sponsored by law firm Robinson Bradshaw—is back again with host Anil Chawla, but with a twist. Instead of learning about how startups that have already exited or are far along in their journey found product-market fit back in the day, this week focuses on a startup that is currently going through it right now.

Chawla speaks with Rebecca Egger, the co-founder and CEO of Little Otter Health, a digital platform that focuses on the mental health of young people 14 years and under by allowing the whole family to be a part of the treatment process. Having had her own personal experiences with mental health and realizing that so many others struggle similarly—exacerbated by the pandemic—Egger and her mother (child psychiatrist Dr. Helen Egger) decided to put their knowledge together and create a space for families to thrive by launching Litter Otter Health in 2021. [Editor’s Note: We first profiled Little Otter Health last June and also named the startup to our 2022 Startups To Watch list.]

Although they knew the target market they were trying to reach from the start, Little Otter Health did have to work towards finding a fit with their product and approach, which Egger focused on in this episode.


  • Egger talked about the importance of Little Otter Health’s research and discovery period, stating that the information that they gathered from families during this time is still helping them today: “I joined every parent Facebook group,” she said. “I messaged every random parent that I knew, I read everything that I could possibly do and just absorbed knowledge.” (11:59)
  • With product-market fit meaning something slightly different to every founder, Egger described how she views it, stating that she enjoys when the product can self-sustain: “The only way this thing worked, as we talked about for the pilot, is because I was pushing, pushing, pushing to get new users—I was constantly pushing,” she said. “And the fact that it can grow on its own, even when I’m not pushing, or even when our team is not pushing, that to me is product-market fit.” (26:05)
  • Egger said that since they are still working towards the same goal as when they started, she wishes that they avoided any distractions that disrupted their process: “I think the advice I would give myself is just, ‘Be more focused in on those initial signals and executing towards them,’” she said. (33:12)

To hear more about Egger’s work with Little Otter Health and how the search for product-market fit plays out in younger startups, listen to this week’s episode (and subscribe!) below: