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 Dr Marcus Tan, founder of HealthEngine. .
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Having worked as a clinician for 20 years, I recognised that Australia needed a healthcare system that makes life simpler for both patients and practitioners – this is where HealthEngine came to life. HealthEngine is an online marketplace that helps people find and book health appointments, anywhere, anytime.
The idea behind the business was, and still is, to help empower patients to create better healthcare experiences and outcomes through innovative technology.
Currently, the Australian healthcare system is complex and daunting. Our goal is to simplify the system and make it simpler for patients to connect with caring healthcare professionals, ultimately allowing them to live healthier lives – through the touch of a button.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
Our growth strategy is not set around one thing in particular. It was a movement to change our general mindset around growth – that is, the way we think about it, understand it and approach it.
Growth for us is about moving towards experimental thinking. By thinking in such a way, we’re able to be agile and adapt our offering to market wants and needs.
We have financed our growth through a number of quality investors that believe in what we do. We have leading venture capital funds and entrepreneurs, such as the CarSales CEO (Greg Roebuck), championing and supporting our cause. This means we have a ready pool of funding and experience to draw upon for future growth.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
The biggest challenge for us as a fast growing tech startup, has been attracting the right talent to help us take HealthEngine to the next level.
We are continually looking for talented people who possess entrepreneurial spirit as well as people who have the right tech skills to help grow our proposition for customers.
Being headquartered in Perth, which hasn’t traditionally been a technology hub, has been an issue in finding quality talent in the numbers we require. We have overcome this talent and geographic challenge, by establishing satellite offices in Sydney and Melbourne to open up our location options when it comes to finding the right talent.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
Other businesses that offer a similar service tend to focus on a simple one-sided online booking technology that benefits GPs alone, that’s what makes us different. HealthEngine works to benefit both patients and practices. Our two-sided marketplace, provides consumers access to a whole host of different providers, from GPs to specialists, dentists to physios.
We also stand out because we are medically led. As an experienced health practitioner that is still actively involved in clinical and leadership roles within the healthcare sector, I work with GPs from local practices to attain a 360 view on the wants and needs of practitioners.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
I spend an inordinate amount of time on Slack at the moment. It’s the communications tool we use at HealthEngine to keep up with what is happening. I’m not sure I would say I couldn’t “live without it” but it’s important for keeping a finger on the pulse of the business.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
It’s a piece of advice I received from my parents which I have applied in life and business. It’s that you’re never as smart or good as you think you are, so stay humble, and you’re never as bad as you think you are, so stay positive and get back on the horse. Be patient, work smart and work hard, and you will succeed.
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