This article is part of a series where we check in with past NVBC competition winners to see how they’ve progressed since taking home the Vancity prize.
Careteam Technologies is improving healthcare for complex chronic diseases, one patient at a time. The Vancouver-based company offers a digital health platform that facilitates patient-centered care by connecting the people and patient data needed to enable better care outcomes.
The team is passionate about improving healthcare for patients around the world. In 2018, Careteam was recognized for its achievements by winning the Social Venture prize in the New Ventures BC competition. To take home this $15,000 cash prize awarded by Vancity, the winner must demonstrate a strong commitment to a social mission.
Since taking home the Vancity prize, Careteam has been recognized on a global stage for its efforts. Among other achievements, they were notably invited to speak for the World Economic Forum and selected to work with the Digital Technology Supercluster.
We sat down the Careteam CEO and Founder, Alexandra T. Greenhill to catch up on everything the team has accomplished since the competition, and what they’ve learned along the way.
What do you do, and what are you passionate about?
Careteam’s platform enables healthcare providers to coordinate care and support patients more effectively in transitions between hospital, home, and community settings, for improved patient outcomes, experience, satisfaction, and reduce costs. The platform digitizes all the touchpoints for patients between different care environments, leading to improved information sharing between healthcare professionals and better patient outcomes.
Why did you build your platform?
We set out to build this platform since we saw there was a missing piece in the medical system. For years, medical software was only geared towards recording information on what happened in the past. Our focus is on sharing information about what should be happening for patients in the future to improve their standard of care – that is what we’re truly passionate about.
What does your team look like now?
To succeed with our platform approach we need four diverse mindsets working in combination – clinical, technology, adoption and business. For this reason the core leadership is made up of four people with deep expertise–from funding, business modelling, adoption, and development.
We then add people on our team and advisors who are experts passionate about patient-centered care and best practices at scale.
How did the prize impact your startup? What were you able to do with the prize money?
In addition to having cash to use to accelerate our growth, there were also intangible benefits from winning the NVBC Vancity prize.
We set out to be a technology company that stands for people to make a positive social impact. Because Vancity’s brand also stands for this, winning the award positively reinforced the emphasis we have on impact. We noticed that as people continued to see our brand in line with Vancity, they also believed in us as a business that is dedicated and passionate about social impact.
With the prize money, we put it to work as a small company to do things we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, like investing in brand positioning and marketing. This was beneficial early on when we were looking for partners. Being able to tell people the ‘why’, rather than just the ‘what’, through our website, marketing collateral and overall branding, was helpful to making the right connections and securing opportunities.
What have been some of the most exciting milestones you’ve achieved since the competition?
We were selected for the highly competitive Creative Destruction Lab program and the BCTECH Hypergrowth 2.0 program that enabled us to go faster and bigger. Both helped us set up our processes to support rapid growth and get funded.
One other highlight has been participating in Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster.
This is a highly competitive program, choosing from the best of the best in the selection process-for each of the intakes – and we had a successful project in each intake from over 150+projects.
The first project we completed with them, alongside our partners, was the Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Network. It’s an AI-powered medical imaging network that connects across all points of care for patients who may be dealing with skin cancer.
The second project is the Reducing Opioid Use for Pain Management, to prevent opioid dependence post-surgery. This is something that affects 5 to 10% of all patients undergoing surgery and is a huge contributor to the opioid epidemic.
The last of the three is the Athena Pathways project, which is helping Canadian women see the potential of the tech sector, and how a career in Artificial Intelligence aligns with their skills and interests.
Any other highlights?
Another big highlight for our team was being invited to the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting for New Technology Champions in China, the “Summer Davos” for two years in a row. In less than 18 months, we were recognized for our work in the healthcare field and were invited to share our expertise. It was great to confirm the innovation we are working on is unique on the global scene.
Lastly, we have also formed a partnership with Providence Healthcare, a leading healthcare organization based in Vancouver, BC. Also, a few hospitals in Ontario are now deploying our software using programs like the Built in Canada Innovation Program.
Above all of these achievements, seeing the impact on patients and their quality of life improve has been a great reward for what we work hard on every day.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced since the competition?
Part of the NVBC process is to help you think about risk management and help you prepare. For example: what it takes to decide who is a good customer and who isn’t. Having that thinking process in the back of our minds really helped navigate some challenging situations.
For example, we were getting ready to go to market in the UK, but then Brexit happened. The uncertainty of the economic shifts and business environment made it challenging to continue our plans for launch. As a small company, we decided it was better to adjust our plans and head into the US first. So that’s what we did.
From going through the competition, we had a helpful framework for making sense of these types of challenging situations. We were able to think through the critical decisions we needed to make and come up with a new direction for the business.
Did you benefit from any other programs?
For other startups who may be facing challenges and unsure what to do next, I would encourage you to tap into all the great programs available. While we got tons of value from NVBC, we also participated in Creative Destruction Lab as well as BC Tech’ HyperGrowth program. We found that each program built on each other and brought different strengths to the table.
I recommend everyone with an idea to go through NVBC first, shape that idea to become meaningful and appealing. And then aim to augment that with a post-graduate kind of training, through the many options available whether in-person, or online.
What’s on the horizon for Careteam Technologies, what are you looking forward to?
Currently we are focused on driving sales in Canada and the US. In addition, we’re working to improve user adoption and user experience.
We are just three years old and at the moment, we are somewhere between the growth and scale-up stage. As a team, we’re looking forward to everything involved in that scale-up stage.
We are also hiring and specifically on the hunt for developer and sales talent. We are looking for people who want more than just an ordinary job, and are passionate about making a huge impact in the healthcare space. If you’re interested, contact us through our site to get in touch.
2020 competition open for applications
Think your startup might have what it takes to be one of BC’s best?
The 2020 New Ventures BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC, is open now for submissions. Enter by April 7.