Jo Goodall is co-founder of luna, the world’s first digital health companion for teens. With luna, users can learn through expert created content, ask anonymous questions, track their emotions and periods and shop teen friendly brands and products.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role?

I am Jo, one of the co-founders of a company called luna. We are the world’s first digital health companion for teens.  My co-founder, Jas, and I met in September 2020 when we both went back to Oxford University to complete our Masters and it was there we had the idea for luna. Before that, I worked in management consulting for Deloitte and did a two-year stint at the fashion retailer, Boden.

Jas and I had the idea for luna after discussing female health issues that either we were having (in our late 20s) or our friends were having.  And we agreed that the education we received on our health and bodies throughout adolescence, when you need it the most, just wasn’t good enough. Instead of learning through teachers, doctors and parents, teens today are worryingly going to TikTok to find out this vital information.  So instead of going to TikTok, we have built luna, an app to teach teens about all the topics you should know about as an adolescent; periods and hormones, skincare, exercise and nutrition, mental health, navigating difficult scenarios, sex and sexuality and more!  What makes us different is that all of our content is created and filmed by doctors, so teens know what they are reading and watching is factually accurate.  They can also ask anonymous questions to our team of doctors and receive an expert response.

As one of the co-founders, my remit is to look after product, tech, finance and partnerships so a super varied role which I absolutely love!

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I wouldn’t say I specifically sat down and planned it, but I do think I’ve been very intentional with it.  I ran a really successful young enterprise when I was 17 years old and growing up with a father who owns his own business, made me think that I needed to be “in business” whatever that meant!

My first career post-university at Deloitte laid the foundations for me, as management consultancy is so varied, and no two days are the same, which is very much like my role now at luna. Returning to university to do my Masters was something I had to plan, as the process for applying was long – the GMAT test is one of the hardest tests I’ve had to do so months of preparation was needed!

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Absolutely!  Who hasn’t?!  I think my biggest career challenges have always been when I felt like I needed a change but didn’t know how to go about achieving that. I stayed at Deloitte for over five years before realising that I needed a new challenge, and then I was with the British clothing brand Boden for two years before challenging myself back at Oxford University.  To overcome these, it really helps to talk to people you trust and have your best interests in mind. Taking the leap to do something new is always a bit scary and you often question yourself, but if you have people on your side to guide you, it definitely helps.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Five years ago, I would have said placing 3rd in the world for my accountancy exams!  And even two years ago, I would have said being offered a place at Oxford University, but definitely now, my biggest career achievement is starting luna.  We’ve been working on the business for 18 months, we raised £600,000 in investment funding, launched on the Apple App Store back in November 2022 and now have over 25,000 users using the app; we’ve been Apple’s ‘App of the Day’, and were featured on the Today tab for International Women’s Day, showcasing luna to millions of potential users.  The App Store is a safe and trusted platform which helped us to build, market and distribute luna, in turn growing our business around the world. We receive feedback every day from our users sharing how much they love luna and how much it has changed their lives, so this is a massive achievement for me.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in your achieving success? 

Hard work! What’s the old saying, “nothing worth having comes easy?”

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

As someone who has moved into the world of technology, I would say connect with people who know more and learn as much as possible. For me, starting luna, which is ultimately a technology company, was something so new and out of my comfort zone; I’d spent my career to date in finance and spreadsheets, not code and UX design!

Thankfully, we have had the support of Apple from the word go and we have a lot to thank the App Store team for; they chose us for App of the Day, to be part of their IWD campaign and most recently, on their second cohort of the App Store Foundations Program, which provides developers with additional support to help create even better apps. App developers participating in the program benefit from a tailored curriculum, in which you take part in one-to-one and group sessions with App Store leaders from across the UK and Europe. This has been invaluable to help me learn about technology and apps and how best to optimise ours. So, for anyone planning to create an app one day, definitely make the most of the support out there, as there is definitely lots to be had!

What barriers for women working in tech, are still to be overcome?

I think just the fact that historically it has been a very male-dominated industry and that isn’t going to change overnight. I think it can still surprise some people when I say I co-founded a tech company and work with tech every day, especially coming from a finance background!

Hopefully, with the advent of more senior leaders and figureheads in tech being women, they will be role models for younger women to think they can do that too.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Technology isn’t going anywhere, and if anything, it is only improving and accelerating at a rate, so it’s important for companies to keep up with this.  If they don’t, people will walk and head to companies where technology is valued and utilised. And if we want to get more women in tech and having successful tech careers, they need to be supported to do so.  Whether that’s training or mentors to help them along the way, all companies need to be thinking about this.

In an ideal world, how would you improve gender diversity in tech?

Improving opportunities for women early on. Taking it back to school and college and university and encouraging girls and young women that a career in tech is for them, and it’s not just for the boys.  Ultimately, we need to start with the younger generations as these are the ones that will shape the future of the world – and if the gender diversity is low going into college, then by the time those young people hit their 30s and 40s, the likelihood of the gender diversity being worse is so much higher.  So, let’s make it cool for girls and young women to go into tech and make an exciting career for themselves there!

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

I love a podcast and there are so many great ones out there. Sub Club Podcast on Apple Podcasts is a personal favourite as they have some of the best minds from the best apps come on and speak about how they tackled specific challenges with their companies.

Books such as Digital Darwinism and Hooked, have really helped me understand more about product but the best way to learn is definitely through others.  Networking and even LinkedIn connections can be a great way to meet others in the ecosystem. I’m part of the Apple Developer network now and just knowing others who are working in the same industry and having the same challenges is just really useful to call on.