Elevator Pitch: Medigo

Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Pawel Cebula, co-founder and MD of healthcare platform Medigo.

In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.

Medigo improves access to healthcare for people everywhere. It is an easy to use platform and service that helps patients to get medical second opinions and to schedule affordable, high quality medical treatment abroad.

With more than 600 trusted hospitals and clinics, thousands of expert doctors, and a dedicated 24/7 Care Team, the Medigo network supports the journey towards health on your terms.

What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?

In the December 2014 A-Round, Medigo received a total of €5 million (AUD$7.9 million) in funding led by Accel Partners. More recently, we raised a further €3.39 million (AUD$5.3 million) to assist with our expansion into the Asian region.

We have a great team of prominent business advisors and investors supporting the global development of our platform and service. This experienced team includes Peter Read of Google Ventures, Daniel Graf of Twitter, Christophe Maire from Atlantic Internet, and Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins University.

What's the biggest challenge facing your business?

Medical tourism is an industry still in its infancy. Apart from striving to capture the market share from existing players, we also face the daunting task of building up this industry so that medical travel becomes a widely known and accepted option for care. Just like it took Airbnb a while to make staying in other’s people apartments a common alternative, we need to grow the awareness of medical travel among the general population.

How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?

We are the first of our kind! Medigo is the first truly global online platform and service operating in the medical travel space. Our clinic and hospital network spans across five continents and patients come from over 160 countries.

We value healthcare transparency and patient empowerment. With Medigo, patients are able to review all of their care options, compare treatment prices, and make informed decisions based on their personal needs.

We have a global team building our global product. Medigo is incredibly international, with a team of 50 people representing over 30 nationalities. In our Berlin office alone, we speak 28 different languages! This element is really key to building a successful global yet localized product and allows us to broaden our focus to more than just one or two markets.

What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?

Don’t underestimate the power of incentives. It’s incredible how they influence people’s behavior. Even though I think about this every day, I’m still constantly surprised by how much I end up undervaluing this.

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