Laurence Girard, Founder And CEO Of Fruit Street Health, Leads Company In Switch To Benefit Corporation

New digital health and wellness platform changes corporate structure to B Corporation, emphasizing social impact and commitment to business ethics

01 Dec, 2014, 11:00 ET from Fruit Street Health

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Laurence Girard, Founder and CEO of Fruit Street Health (Fruit Street), along with Fruit Street's Advisory Board and shareholders, voted to amend Fruit Street Health Inc.'s certificate of incorporation to become a Delaware Benefit Corporation or a B Corp., chartered to "to use business to have a social impact."

Fruit Street is a new digital wellness and telemedicine platform whose mission is to help patients live a healthier lifestyle while enabling healthcare providers to connect with patients using telemedicine and wearable mobile technologies. Fruit Street, which recently achieved status as a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited organization, is expected to launch in late 2014, and has already received recognition in advance of launch in Wired.com, Entrepreneur Podcast Network, and several other leading media outlets and research firms.

As a recent Forbes article pointed out, "incorporation as a benefit corporation legally protects an entrepreneur's social goals by mandating considerations other than just profit. By giving directors the secured legal protection necessary to consider the interest of all stakeholders, rather than just the shareholders who elected them, benefit corporations can help meet the needs of those interested in having their business help solve social challenges.

Each year a benefit corporation must give shareholders an annual report. Key to this report is the requirement of a "third party standard" for assessing overall performance, and the process for selecting this third party standard must be explained within the report. The report must also indicate the efforts made to achieve a general public benefit or the circumstances that hindered that achievement. Finally, if the benefit corporation has a website, it must post this annual report on its site.

Under a benefit corporation, the purpose of the company is to engage in any lawful act or activity which a corporation may be organized under the Delaware General Corporation Law ("DGCL"). In addition, the company's public benefit purpose is a "positive effect of educational, environmental, medical, scientific, and technological nature through its telehealth and telemedicine platforms and community outreach to help treat and prevent disease through lifestyle interventions."

Coming on the heels of Prevently, a previous start-up that failed and ultimately led to Girard's termination as CEO, Girard felt that the directors had failed to think about the consequences of their actions among other parties aside from shareholders. Girard elected to convert to a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation to hold the company true to its social mission and also ensure that this time around the directors act in the interest of not only investors, but also employees, society, and the patients and healthcare providers that Fruit Street serves.

This news comes on the heels of last month's announcement that Fruit Street had raised a $500,000 round of seed investment, led by a series of individual investors, the majority of whom are prominent physicians. Additionally, Fruit Street recently announced the appointment of leading physicians to its Advisory Board and the opening of its headquarters in the San Francisco East Bay. The platform is expected to launch publicly in the coming months. 

For more information on Fruit Street Health, and to sign-up for updates in advance of the company's launch, please visit www.fruitstreet.com.   

ABOUT FRUIT STREET HEALTH:

Fruit Street Health is a new digital wellness and telemedicine platform which helps patients live a healthier lifestyle while enabling healthcare providers to connect with patients using telemedicine and wearable mobile technologies. Fruit Street Health's platform is expected to launch in late 2014. For more details, please visit www.fruitstreet.com.  

Media Contact: press@fruitstreet.com

SOURCE Fruit Street Health