(Contributed by Claire Hansen, Capital Factory Accelerator)
Join me in welcoming Paul Robichaux, co-founder of md Portal, to the Capital Factory community. md Portal joined the accelerator program in July 2015 as a healthtech startup with a focus on telemedicine in dermatology. But what does “telemedicine” mean, you may ask? It basically means that you can take care of that embarrassing rash (we’ve all been there) without even having to visit a doctor!
With a lot of passion and a little bit of luck, Paul, his wife, Venessa Pena-Robichaux, and CTO, Victor Lyuboslavsky cofounded md Portal and were able to bring their solution to market through partnerships with Visible Health and Hamzavi Dermatology. Since then, md Portal has made big waves both here in Austin and in Dallas, where they’ve also begun participating in the Health Wildcatters accelerator.
Ready to dive a little deeper? Here we go!
What inspired you to found md Portal?
The idea for our company was inspired by the experience of our cofounder, Dr. Venessa Pena-Robichaux, growing up in south Texas. There was very little access to affordable, quality healthcare and she often found herself traveling to Mexico for healthcare. With md Portal, we want to help ease the burden of traveling to the doctors office for routine conditions starting in the dermatology field.
Why did you choose Austin as the home for your company?
Is there a better place to start a company? There are obvious reasons why Austin is a great place to start a health tech company: up and coming medical school, tax advantages, experienced talent, low overhead. As much as I’d prefer people to think it was a well thought out strategic plan, the honest truth is that Austin is just a great place and I always planned on living here.
What is your favorite part of being a part of the Capital Factory community?
FREE REDBULL!!! Just kidding…Capital Factory has a strong vibe of everyone working on something their passionate about and trying to succeed no matter the challenges–it generates an energy that really helps everyone keep on pushing. And the Mentors, of course the Mentors are awesome!
Why did you choose to join the Capital Factory Accelerator?
Capital Factory’s tagline is “Austin’s Center of Gravity for Entrepreneurs” and it’s true. It has the largest local presence and a reputation for amazing mentors. It was a no brainer for us. Being able to tap into experienced entrepreneurs who have time and time again started successful companies is an incredible asset and ultimately a competitive advantage.
What is the most exciting thing md Portal is doing right now?
We were accepted into and started the Health Wildcatters accelerator in Dallas, TX. This represents a big opportunity for us to really drive customer adoption and start to scale up. Also, we’re about to release a major update to our application that includes ePrescribing. This enables our physician users to have a completely seamless experience and represents the first of several major planned integrations. To know that we’re helping to modernize healthcare delivery and provide access to care that some patients might not otherwise have is an incredible feeling that keeps us driven.
What is the most challenging part about being an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur can be an incredibly lonely experience. Luckily, Capital Factory helps by surrounding you with others that are trying to do the same thing you’re doing, starting something from nothing. Also, meeting with and having the mentors around is a constant reminder that what you’re doing is possible and you have lots of support to ensure you succeed.
What is the most rewarding part about running a startup?
I worked in the corporate world after graduation. Doing anything required lots of time and meetings before it was even experimented with. As a startup, we’re developing and testing features almost daily. To be able to see what is working and what is not and address it immediately is incredibly empowering and rewarding–not to just for us but also for our customers!
By now, you’re probably wondering what could possibly be next for md Portal. Paul and his cofounders are currently focusing on fundraising to further penetrate the dermatology market and are also potentially be doing some testing in the dermatology space in the upcoming months. Learn more about their acceptance to Wildcatters Health here.
Tune into Access Accelerator again next month to get the scoop on another stellar company!