InputHealth won the Vancity Social Venture prize in 2017 for their Collaborative Health Record, a cloud-based software platform that connects physicians and patients. Since then, they’ve been expanding rapidly with new, high-profile clients like the Mayo Clinic.
Interview with CEO Damon Ramsey
Your company’s quick elevator pitch — what do you do, and why are you passionate about it?
The Collaborative Health Record is an integrated suite of web tools that empowers patients, allows physicians to practice more efficiently and paves a path towards patient engagement and collaborative care. It’s a shift for doctors away from paperwork towards more patient-driven care.
Describe what stage your startup was at when you entered the BCIC-New Ventures Competition. Did you expect to compete for the top prizes?
We came into it in at a bit of a later stage. We questioned whether we were a startup cause we’re cash flow positive, have stable revenue, and our market has been established – we were more of a later stage startup. The process of going through the competition validated that, which was really really nice.
How have you used your prize money / in-kind services?
We haven’t gone to Spring yet due to scheduling, but we’re looking forward to it.
We are distributing the prize money to employees to fund social enterprise projects that they want to pursue. We’re still in discussion on how to execute this, but we are focusing on digital health – projects that we could disseminate or we can subsidize. Since this prize came from Vancity, we want to ensure that it be utilized in a positive way to maximize community impact, while also creating a collaborative impact with our employees. It’s important to us to democratize the funds.
As an example of potential projects, one discussion we’ve had was about how we could distribute our product in areas with no internet, so it could be used for health record keeping in a developing country for village healthcare.
Any updates or successes you can share since completing the Competition? How did the competition help or contribute to your success?
Our successes weren’t directly linked to the competition, but going through the processes solidified and made it clear to us that we had a really strong business plan. What we submitted was what was already being executed, so we had never brought it up before or put it down on paper. Going through the competition was like a checkpoint – it is useful for when we’re having discussions with clients about our roadmap.
For InputHealth, it’s not a question of financing or raising capital from investment, it’s about building our client base and expanding in the market. Our revenue has been growing month-over-month by 20%, and our team has grown three times larger.
We’ve had some exciting client successes recently – the Mayo clinic is going to operationalize our product. It’s going from R&D and the piloting phase to options that they’re giving to departments on campuses. This happened a few months after the competition.
We’re also starting some pretty significant projects in Ontario, Manitoba, and soon Alberta in Q4 of this year, which have fallen into place in an organic and non-forced way. It’s exciting to see the fruits of the work being executed. Again, while the competition isn’t directly related, it was a really nice checkpoint – an interesting way of summarizing our plan, the past, and look forward to future innovation.
What was the best feedback from a mentor, juror or fellow competitor that you received?
In the initial phase, we connected with Rasool Rayani, one of the Round 2 judges – he had a lot of great feedback for us. We continue to dialogue beyond the competition – he’s become a mentor for our company now and has great insight into the healthcare space.
We found the feedback we received was confidence building – the mentors were impressed with the work that we’re doing and have connections in the field. We received feedback from a previous winner – it was helpful to get encouragement that we’re going the right direction.
What tips do you have for this year’s BCIC-New Ventures competitors?
Take advantage of every component of the competition. Specifically, it is a nice marketing opportunity for our local ecosystem – the videos that are produced for top 10 finalists (by Pushr video) are just fantastic.
Don’t treat the competition as a side thing or some sort of annoying thing to fill out forms for – treat it as a learning experience and journey to get the most bang for your buck.
Any other comments you’d like to share?
We’re super appreciative – the organization is fantastic. Thank you!