Innovation. Resilience. Passion. These are a few critical ingredients that drive success in entrepreneurship. From a panel conversation with Grand Central Tech to the dialogue led by a few Health-Tech startups, our group of InSITE Fellows saw these shared attributes among those whom we interacted with.
As someone with minimal domain experience in Healthcare, I was eager to learn about the space. The strength and growth in a nation’s economy is a function of a strong, healthy population. A country may possess remarkable infrastructure and a wealth of natural resources; however, subpar workforces that are unable to consistently deliver productivity will curtail growth.
Through our conversations with founders and employees of Nomad, HealthWiz, and Oscar, we walked away with a deeper appreciation for the health care inefficiencies that they are looking to address. The underpinning of each discussion was rooted in the following theme: efficient, accessible, and equitable healthcare is vital not only at the individual level but also at the societal one.
The following represent some takeaways gleaned from our time together. While these materialized from scenarios that relate to healthcare, I have extrapolated their applicability to businesses in a number of verticals:
Focus on customer success
Growth can significantly benefit from “word-of-mouth” virality transmitted via forums and social media. This is a consequence of simple, efficient platforms that deliver seamless experiences to your core users
Expansion strategy is a function of key, discernable variables
After evaluating a business, identify what factors are most important for expansion and retention of market share. Develop a practical (and attainable) strategy that optimizes for such inputs
Human interaction is irreplaceable for bespoke needs
While automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics dominate technology jargon, not all services need those to thrive. The more targeted and specialized a need may be, the more it requires human intervention, touch, and ownership
Do what is best for the company
Multiple opportunities and tangents may present themselves. While pursuing them may be an interesting intellectual challenge, consider whether it aligns with the business’ trajectory before pursuing
Open and honest dialogue is a pillar of strength
Maintaining communication with your team at all times further solidifies and fuels your ability to overcome challenges and navigate prickly situations. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable
Capital is not a differentiator
With increasingly greater number of capital providers, do not accept funding just for the sake of it. Ask whether this partner will provide sage, strategic advice and positively impact your business
There are compelling advantages to being small
Assess your competitive landscape and take advantage of the size of your business. Smaller enterprises often face a lower stakes negotiation relative to the larger incumbents. Be nimble and position for future growth
Balance little vs. large bets on innovation
When first establishing a business, take smaller bets on innovation. Once securing initial traction, consider taking greater risk by simultaneously building processes that allow for proprietary advantages
Eat your own dog food
As a founder or member of a startup, the best way to build conviction is to be an end-user of the firm’s product or service. Use your product – it instills confidence in potential external partners and may even lead to new use cases.
Thanks to Marc Lombardo, Nate Maslak, Tonia Sun, Andrew Abshere, Hersh Patel, Nick Gossen, and George Spurling for engaging in thoughtful discussions around the founding, development, and growth of your startups. Also, a special thank you to Grand Central Technology for hosting our class of InSITE Fellows and providing us with an inside look and perspective around your program’s success.
On behalf of InSITE, we deeply appreciate the partnership along with the time and effort spent in preparing and conversing with our team.
writeup by Swati Patel, Wharton MBA ’18. add Swati on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter @SwatPat1010