Shannon Hay Seeberan
Photo: Elena Zhukova

Growing up, Shannon Hay Seeberan’s father, a doctor, had a clinic space attached to their family home in Omro, Wisconsin. She didn’t know it at the time, but that clinic-space arrangement would end up playing  a major role in her eventual career.

It’s a career that has led her from the classrooms of UW–Madison to the sunny climes of Silicon Valley, where she serves as the co-founder and vice president of business development for CloudMedSpas. The thriving startup company helps aesthetics practitioners — the folks who deliver beauty-related services like Botox injections and laser procedures — operate efficiently and find affordable clinic spaces to ply their craft. Seeberan jokingly calls it “an Airbnb system for medical aesthetics.”   

Over the past decade and a half, the medical aesthetics field has exploded. The pandemic was a factor in this, in part because people spent more time staring at themselves on Zoom and in mirrors. 

“The culture has completely changed. It’s sort of like a badge of honor being able to say, ‘Yeah, I do some stuff that makes me feel better,’” says Seeberan (Gender & Women’s Studies ’99). 

But there was an all-too-common problem for the industry: employee retention. Employees administering the procedures were often frustrated by the percentage of profit going to the owners of the space in which they worked. Many ended up bouncing from spa to spa looking for a better deal. 

Four years ago, CloudMedSpas began to change that. 

“We tell spa owners, instead of having three employees, you could have 30 people renting your space, running their own business,” Seeberan explains. “It’s a smarter business model. The independent practitioner now has full control of the revenue. They’re deciding when they work, how much they want to work, and the owner of the location now has a very healthy revenue stream of rent.”

The software package CloudMedSpas offers its clients both helps them manage their space and gives them access to medical-grade prescription products by allowing them to be bought at scale. The company’s clients now include dentists and physicians who have underutilized space in their clinics. The rental revenue they gain from working with aesthetics providers is critical. The CloudMedSpas platform empowers clients to monetize their medical or health space.

Shannon Hay Seeberan
Shannon Hay Seeberan’s business is empowering medical aesthetic practitioners to achieve a more manageable work-life balance. Photo: Elena Zhukova

CloudMedSpas began its life as a brick-and-mortar business, but now it’s largely virtual, with “test kitchen” buildings in Boston and Dallas, where large groups of practitioners rent space. Seeberan hopes the company can push its practitioner base above 1,000 by the end of 2024.     

“We are empowering hundreds and hopefully thousands of women, mostly nurses, who seek a better work–life balance,” she notes. “We’re giving them the opportunity, instead of working a 70-hour week, to work a 20-hour work week and earn additional revenue in an industry that is booming with demand. It’s sort of like if you don’t take control of what you’re doing, someone else will.”

Seeberan got her spark for business while working as the ad manager for The Badger Herald student newspaper on campus. A consulting gig for a dermatology practice was her first experience with the aesthetics business.

“I knew that most doctors didn’t have the business mindset to run their practice and manage staff. Their main focus was and should be the patient,” she explains. “My consulting expertise added instant value to the practice, improved the flow and efficiency, and established goals for the entire team to contribute.”

In 2020, after successfully growing her own consulting business, she met Ignacio Fanlo and co-founded CloudMedSpas. 

“It’s a lot of fun to work for a startup because you’re just problem solving every day,” she says.   

Seeberan credits her time at UW for exposing her to different ideas and people with backgrounds different from her own.

“What UW gave me was a diverse exposure to a lot of things, and I took classes that I would have never taken had I not been encouraged to try different spaces, different studies and explorations,” says Seeberan, who now lives in California with her husband and two sons. “If I had been siloed from day one into a specific school, I would not be the person that I am today.”

The culture has completely changed. It’s sort of like a badge of honor being able to say, ‘Yeah, I do some stuff that makes me feel better.

Shannon Hay Seeberan

Seeberan recently reconnected with her college roommates, all of whom are currently in professions unrelated to their backgrounds and undergraduate majors. 

“We talked about our undergraduate experiences really resonating with what we bring to the table in our current careers — the ability to have healthy conversations, to build the ability to see all sides and all perspectives,” she says.

Seeberan remembers her time with her sorority and running on the Lake Mendota ice as part of the year she spent on the women’s crew team.    

“It sounds like an older generation saying I had to walk both ways uphill to school,” she laughs.

In the past few years, Seeberan has begun looking for opportunities to reconnect with UW and help recruit more students of color to Madison. Beginning with, potentially, her oldest son, who’s 16.

“He’s not excited about the temperature — nobody is, right?” she says. “But there are a lot of things that compensate for it.” 

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