Founder and CEO of digital system, MedRegis, Dale Trotman has emerged winner of the first ever Entrepreneurship World Cup to be held in Barbados.
He won a prize pack valued at US$500,000 and became one of 10 fully sponsored global finalist to participate in the global competition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia later this year.
Trotman won from a field of seven start-up founders who made the national finals of the global competition, with his pitch for the digital system which aims to improve ambulatory care by streamlining the check-in to check-out process by replacing paper.
“We’re looking to solve the issue of physician burnout from technology. It is good to introduce technology into a sector, but if that technology is not efficient it’s going to create a headache for those that are using it, especially doctors who have hectic work environments. So our aim is to streamline the process with technology and the workflow of the clinic,” Trotman said.
In addition to attracting local clientele, MedRegis has also been building contacts in the African market
“We’re looking to move forward and build. Our aim is developing regions because most developing regions still utilise paper from check in to check out in outpatient care. So that’s why we want to focus on these regions to get things right from the beginning because if you look at the US market when it comes to health technology, there are a whole set of issues that are plaguing doctors in the US and it’s going to be difficult for a start-up to solve. So my aim is to look at the regions that the technology hasn’t kicked off as yet so to speak, and try to do things right from the inception. Because that will save a lot of time and a lot of money as well.”
Trotman developed the idea for his business after he received an email from the Youth Business Trust about the Caribbean Innovation challenge.
“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but I didn’t have a specific sector that I was focusing on. Then I started to think of where we could really do with innovation in the Caribbean [and] health care was the most interesting because from check in to check out, most doctors still use paper, and paper has a whole host of problems when it comes to health care. So that is where the idea started from, trying to solve these issues within health care,” he said.
MedRgis also collaborates with Blackberry, which offers engineering and other technical expertise.
Trotman disclosed that his main challenge is sourcing funding to grow his business, however views competitions such as the Entrepreneurship World Cup as one way to access funds.
“You have to be strategic with funding so I enter competitions with the aim to win them because if a competition is offering you US $10,000 and you win it, that is $10,000 less that you have to look for when you’re building your company. So I look at competitions, I look at areas where I could build funding including my own funds because I see the potential in it I must also invest my own funds myself.”
He offered this advice to budding entrepreneurs: “Competitions are a good way especially coming from the Caribbean, where funding is not exactly the same as if you’re in the US market. Competitions are a good way to build funding, and grants as well, which I also have the privilege to get access to.”
Meanwhile Mark Hassell, one of three judges, said they were impressed with the pitches from all the competitors.
“Each of them in their own way thought about not just the competition, but how their business model is going to evolve, and potential challenges that they saw.
Hassell, who is also on the advisory board of Ten Habitat, advised budding entrepreneurs to seek assistance from other entrepreneurs.
“The biggest thing is to involve yourself in an ecosystem where people are supportive of your ideas and who can help you create your pitch and create your plan so that you can attract funding and that help that you need to bring your idea from just a spark that’s at the back of your mind to something that supportable and investable,” Hassell said.
Other companies which participated in the Entrepreneurship World Cup are Alluhwi Comics, Caribbean E Waste Management Inc., Global Tutoring Hub, Nail Lyfe Spa Services, Plant Lyfe Barbados, and Red Diamond Compost. (MCW)