Medinas Health was borne from the long standing, yet ever growing problem of unaffordable healthcare.
According to CEO Chloé Alpert, billions of dollars worth of surplus medical supplies end up in the trash each year, while the cost of healthcare in the US continues to spike. We spoke to her about how her company is using technology to tackle the problem and how overcoming depression has helped drive her success.
Give us the elevator pitch.
Medinas is a marketplace that makes it easy for healthcare organisations to monetise their surplus medical supplies and equipment, and optimise their clinical asset disposition programs.
Why do you think your company has been successful?
We’re getting in the trenches with our users so we can ensure that we’re building a product that truly solves their problems and pains and we’re making sure we integrate with their existing work flows. We’re turning cost centres into profit centres, and reducing time and complexities.
You recently won $360,000 at the Creator Awards, that must have been an incredible experience?
It was a blur and I still can’t believe it happened! Everyone we met – our fellow finalists, the WeWork team and the production team were absolutely incredible. I’m still blown away by how smooth and efficient the entire process was. It was so much fun to meet everyone and get the word out about what we are doing at Medinas Health and winning really capped off the whole experience.
Creator aside, what’s been your biggest achievement to date?
Closing our first sale. It’s a huge milestone for any startup, and we were able to do it in half the time we expected, and it was really rewarding knowing that we were helping businesses save money whilst also bringing healthcare to more people.
What’s been the biggest challenge?
Getting time with our users. We work with the clinical engineering, materials management and supply chain departments at hospitals, and those folks are insanely busy. Their roles are absolutely vital in maintaining the bedrock for a hospital’s operation, and we really appreciate the value of their time.
What’s your team structure like?
We have four full time employees and three part time employees between Berkeley, California, Cleveland OH, and New York City.
What was your dream career as a child?
Believe it or not, it was to be an entrepreneur! My mom is an entrepreneur, and I remember her explaining what that meant when I was in kindergarten ( I also remember struggling to pronounce it). I’ve always had an insatiable desire to solve problems and I’ve been really fortunate that I’ve been able to marry that into my career today.
Name one past failure that contributed to your success.
My first venture backed startup right out of college failed and it knocked me down in a way that I can’t even put into words.
I’ve never experienced depression at that level and at the time I couldn’t appreciate how valuable and formative that experience would eventually be.
Years later I’ve found that the lessons I took away from that experience have been mission critical to virtually all of my subsequent successes and underpin the momentum we’ve built with Medinas Health to date.
What advice would you give to someone considering starting their own business or applying for a job at a startup?
One of my guiding principles in life is the “relentless pursuit of the truth”. Whether you’re founding a startup or joining one, you’re not always going to have good data to make decisions and your judgement can be clouded by social pressures or emotions. At the end of the day, the only thing that truly matters is the truth. It can help you see through biases, it can help you solve problems, it can help you face the painful realities of problems in your business, and it can help you find the solutions to keep going.
How do you measure success?
There’s a different definition for everyone and everything. For Medinas Health, we have a mission to reduce waste in healthcare, and every time we find a new home for surplus medical equipment or supplies, we know we’ve taken a step closer towards doing just that.
What’s your ultimate ambition?
To reduce waste in healthcare through technology. If we can accomplish even a fraction of this, we can help better the lives of so many people.
How can companies nurture a more diverse team?
Medinas Health does it by treating culture like a product. We have bi-weekly retros that are similar to engineering retros that we use to better communicate and interact with each other. We’ve found it’s a really great way to help everyone’s voice be heard and create a healthy environment that attracts other healthy people.
What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your business?
This is a huge problem that directly or indirectly touches literally everyone and we have the chance to make a difference.
What does the future hold for your company?
Our goal is to be the global solution for any healthcare organisation to monetise their surplus equipment and supplies, and we’re heads down working hard to become just that.
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