Why did we create a startup? The idea may surprise because entrepreneurship has it’s inherent risks. Financially, it’s difficult to start up a company. Finding an idea that will generate revenue isn’t easy. It’s also incredibly long hours, lots of contacts and phone calls and a huge amount of stress (especially when doing demos) . Most startups are great ideas pushed ahead by passionate people. Remember, if you don’t have an element passion for your idea its vowed to failure. Return on investment is often only years away. Finally, our startup involves a niche market incredibly complex with significant responsibilities.
The idea for iMedevac was a logical next step to my experience in the medical assistance market.My first company, International MEDEVAC Services provided physicians and nurses for medical escort. As we grew we provided more resources such as air ambulances, ground ambulances, medical clearance capacities etc….
The major pain point was the time it would take to provide a quote. It was easy providing a quote for an air ambulance flight. All you had to do was calculate your fuel burn, hours of flight and crew costs. Every once and a while some one threw you a curve ball like overflights etc
It was however much more difficult to provide a quote for an ambulance transfer or a commercial flight transfer. Simple cases took almost an hour to complete, from request to quote and involved a lot of waiting and follow up. On busy days one person would be doing 8 to 9 quotes with different options per day. The takeaway was that one person was involved almost exclusively for quoting.
When I left IMS in 2008 it was amid disagreement with the shareholders on the direction to follow. Unexpected as it was, I kept faith and was convinced that I would start up something new. Watching a company grow is really awesome, and the positive energy I got out of it was almost vital. There were many reasons for this, the human relationships, the constant quest for quality, the idea that we were providing unparalleled patient care were one of several . On the other hand the conditions in which I left the company pushed me to take a breather and rest…
So I spent my time reading, going to class and talking to ex clients and providers. What I learned was that the pain that I had been feeling while I was CEO at IMS was the same for everyone.
There had already been several attempts to provide online solutions for the medical transport Market. Most of these involved air ambulances, and some of them were highly successful (but most weren’t). But up until now none of these involved anything else. It’s as if 95% of medical transport missions were being ignored because it was too complex or there was no business model.
IMedevac had already been sprouting in my brain back in 2006 when we tried to automate processes to save time and money. Unfortunately the technology was still too unreliable to be used in a production setting. However in 2009 it was mature. Armed with this technology and intimate knowledge of how the Market worked I set out to create a prototype.
More to come of which I’ll talk to you about in part II.