Patient Sortal, a Hen Hatch 2019 winner in the alumni track, has grown from a nascent startup to a qualified healthcare data management company eager to make a difference in the lives of patients with chronic conditions. Founder Kenny Eck, Alfred Lerner College of Business Economics, Class of 2018, says that persistence and the unwavering support of his family, are what have made the two-year journey possible.
“It’s super exciting to have laid the groundwork for the past two years and to come to this point ready to provide clients with the highest quality of service possible,” said Kenny. “I’ve been persistent in working through a new challenge every day, working 40 to 60 hours a week to make it happen and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family.”
In 2018, Kenny participated in Summer Founders, Horn Entrepreneurship’s pre-accelerator for students to earn a stipend and work on a venture. Through the experience of Summer Founders, Kenny was able to refine his value proposition and build contacts to leverage his success and knowledge into potential clients and business partners.
“One of the key things we're doing on our backend is what we call care and information mapping,” explained Kenny. “We can look at a chronic disease and identify the care team that the patient needs. Then, we’re able to assess what information needs to be shared among the different providers. And after discussions with people from around the country, our value comes from the fact that even as a conduit, we are not a portal. By not introducing a new system but rather by integrating into existing systems used by providers we are able to provide unique value.”
The proactive approach has helped Patient Sortal and Kenny stand out. At Demo Day 2018, the final presentation and closing day of the Summer Founders program, the young founder was able to network with invited local business experts. From there, Kenny started obtaining investments and building out his advisory board, a tricky task that promises another arduous journey to progress.
“It’s been immensely difficult trying to find and get connected to the right people for the advisory board,” noted Kenny. “I have been talking to startup founders around the country about how they went about building their own board, and for lots of them, it’s a real horror story. Getting the team right is make or break for many ventures, and I’ve learned to look for someone who is going to bring in connections, willing to put their chips down for a seat at the table and work through the issues with dedication and passion because they value the company. It requires a lot of research on the backend to find the right people and we’ve been moving mostly through word of mouth.”
Fortunately for Kenny, his network and success have meant he hasn’t had to look far for a suitable partner. Steve Campbell, a serial entrepreneur and an executive coach in the Annapolis, Maryland area serves as his business partner.
“Steve has been a family friend and a great mentor of mine,” mused Kenny. “We were catching up one day and got to talking about Patient Sortal and we both decided that the time was right to do it together. Steve brings some expertise in areas I don’t know, like in health insurance and risk management, and it helps me push harder every day knowing I have some knowledgeable support.”
Now, while still working on building out the Patient Sortal advisory board, Kenny is ready to take on clients and start providing the services the healthcare data management company has promised.
“Patient Sortal is here, ready to serve and help patients through complex treatment plans with our own encrypted and secure data management system,” said an ecstatic Kenny. “It’s been a long two years but it’s time to start reaping what we sow and shake up the industry. It’s thanks to the support of my family and the connections and work I have been able to do with Horn Entrepreneurship and I couldn’t be more excited to work with new clients.”
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Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.