We caught up with Medinas Health CEO Chloe Alpert to talk about the progress the company has made since graduating the LAUNCH program last year and her key learnings thus far.
Medinas has big plans to dramatically reduce waste in the US healthcare system by creating a reseller marketplace for hospital and healthcare equipment. They believe this is a 700 billion dollar opportunity and investors are buying in to the Medinas mission as well. Since launching in 2017, they have done 1 million dollars in sales and have already helped hospital clients save millions of dollars. They were one of the one of the winners of the LAUNCH Demo day last Spring and also participated in Y-Combinator’s accelerator program that same year.
Chloe breaks down her lessons learned from LAUNCH and her advice to the upcoming LAUNCH cohort below. Pay attention, this company just won 1 million dollars in January at WeWork’s Global Creator Awards Finals and has already raised an astonishing 5 million dollars pre-Series A!.
You have founded a few companies already, what motivated you to participate in the LAUNCH program?
I have done LAUNCH twice; first with another company in 2014 and then again in 2018. The first time I did LAUNCH, I had no understanding of what a venture backed company looked like. LAUNCH prepared me. The second time around was humbling for us. We thought we already knew everything that would be in the curriculum, but we got lazy and LAUNCH pounded us again with the fundamentals. For instance, we had done a landscape, but we hadn’t updated it in six months. The LAUNCH program held us to task by reminding us to talk to twice as many users as we normally do and constantly re-address our strategy.
Three key lessons learned?
People need to get down to one sentence about what their company does. Great businesses have focus; if you have too many “ands” in your mission statement, your business isn’t going to get off the ground. LAUNCH helped give us a framework to say “no” to things.
Stack rank the pains of your users to help you make decisions.
Starting a company has become “very cool” these days, but it is also a lot of hard work. It is very useful to have a group of supportive peers going through similar problems as you are while building your company.
Advice to the upcoming cohort of LAUNCH founders:
Use these accelerators as part of your fundraising strategy. The VC decision making process at early stages is largely based on limited data, signaling effects and some emotional decision making. If you can become a top company at one of these accelerators (e.g. LAUNCH, YC, 500 Startups), you can have some signaling effects with investors who are worried about missing out on the next rocketship.
Use data to help them back up that emotional decision making. Make sure you prepare a diligence package that pattern matches a company much further along which signals that you have it together and that you are a legit company. Show that you have a product roadmap, a well thought-out business model, proper accounting, legitimate sales data, and certificate ledgers.
Go the extra mile and do the work. If you have a Series A level deck as a seed stage company, you are more likely to have investors take notice and take you seriously.