We sat down with Zoe Barry, the CEO and founder of ZappRx, to learn more.
1). What is your "elevator pitch?"
The current process for generating (and filling) an RX is outmoded and inefficient. Most notably, patients are "excluded" from the workflow. ZappRx is a care coordination platform that electronically connects all stakeholders necessary in the life cycle of a script - from order generation, to fulfillment and refill request. With our technology, doctors can electronically route an RX to a patient via the ZappRx app. Patients can combine an RX + Insurance + Payment info into a single QR code to expedite the checkout process at pharmacies (with the added perk of an express line, so no more waiting in lines). This simultaneously reduces the administrative burden for Pharmacists
2) How did you get started?
I got started on ZappRx after witnessing an absolute disaster of a prescription checkout at a pharmacy. A young college aged woman arrived home from school and had forgotten her medications. Her doctor had "ePrescribed" her order into a local pharmacy, however upon arrival she learned the pharmacist had not received the order. Confused, the pharmacist and doctor tried to work out a solution by calling the order in over the phone (note the admin burden for each stakeholder and increased wait time for the patient). The pharmacist then asked for the woman's insurance information, however she had left her card at college - this resulted in the cost of medication skyrocketing from $30 ton$140 - which the woman couldn't afford. The college aged woman tried to have her mother pay for the mediation over the phone, but the pharmacist refused citing store policy. Terrified she wouldn't get her medication, the young woman began to panic. I was behind her in line and offered to pay the $140, but only if she sat down for coffee with me to talk about her experiences with inefficiencies in healthcare. Following this coffee, I had my "eureka" moment where I identified both the problem and solution to prescriptions: a platform that electronically connects all stakeholders and combines ePrescribing with mobile payments. I launched ZappRx in January of 2012, filed the IP for this system and method of filling prescriptions, raised $160K in friends/family financing in 2012, got VC funding in 2013, built my team out to 7 full time members and am now negotiating major enterprise contracts for the the company.
3) Where do you see the mobile landscape in five years?
Healthcare is a reactive not proactive industry. I believe you'll see a series of start ups at the vanguard of innovation in healthcare - engaging patients, positively impacting patient care, new mobile technologies that strive to reduce the administrative burden of seemingly "easy" tasks (see ZocDoc with scheduling). The big companies will either be disrupted or engage themselves - most likely through strategic partnering (see AthenaHealth with More Disruption Please) and acquisition. That being said, breaking into healthcare as a startup isn't for the faint of heart.
4) Any wisdom you can share with aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Through several conversations with both VCs and female entrepreneurs, I learned that women tend to hesitate and underestimate themselves more then men. A first time male entrepreneur/CEO/Founder will come up with an idea and march right into an investor's office with little more than a half baked idea on a cocktail napkin. He knows the investor is half betting on him and half betting on the idea - so he exudes confidence and asks for 4x what is necessary. Conversely, a woman will steadily work her way up the corporate ladder (or mitigate risk by doing a job while fleshing out the idea for her startup) and wait until she feels the idea is about 70% baked before engaging either customers, investors or advisors. At this point she also underestimates herself because she doesn't have 100% of the answers and simultaneously asks for a fraction of the funding she really needs. Investors sense weakness and don't fund her (or worse, give her the small fraction of funds which make it nearly impossible to accomplish milestones - which the investor knows. My advice to women is simple: stop sitting at the kitchen table trying to get all the answers; get out of the house/office/gig and throw yourself with full confidence into your startup. Be passionate. You will never have all the answers - and when you do, tell the investor it's a priced round at a $20M valuation. And finally - never, ever, let your gender, age or level of experience get in the way of being a great entrepreneur. You owe this to yourself, so get out there, launch your company and just do it!