2018 SVP Startup Profile: Dondoctor
Felipe Acosta MBA’18
Tell me a little bit about yourselves and your company Dondoctor?
My name is Felipe Acosta from Bogota, Colombia. I just graduated from the MBA program and I was one of the finalists in the B.E.T.A. Challenge. Because of B.E.T.A. Challenge, I learned about the Summer Venture Program (SVP). I had the chance to talk to some of my friends in the MBA program, and they all highly recommended the program.
Dondoctor is digitizing access healthcare in Colombia and Latin America by enabling medical center and hospital to release their services online. Their existing patients can book with them online, reducing friction of booking medical appointments. We found that in Latin America, people spend a lot of time on the phone or even in physical lines to book appointments. Once they have the final medical appointment, patients have to wait a long time to see the physician. We are trying to make the whole system more efficient for patients.
What is the story behind Dondoctor?
The way we started was from our first startup, which was a chain of restaurants in hospitals. We started making friends with doctors who would go to the restaurants for coffee. When we asked what they were doing there, they would tell us that patients didn’t show up. We did some research and found that it was a huge problem not only in Colombia, but worldwide. Missed appointment rates are really high. The whole scheduling is not efficient, and we want to change that.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve gained from the Summer Venture Program thus far?
There are some many things I’ve gained! The first is being in the Summer Venture Program gave myself the time to think strategically about my startup. The other alternative would have been for me to go back to Colombia, but I knew that the day-to-day wouldn’t allow me to think strategically about the business.
The second is that I get to work on something and get feedback from mentors very fast. This has been one of the most important things in the program because it allows you to move forward in the right direction very fast. If you were going the wrong direction and didn’t have that guidance, it would have been very easy to go back to where you were.
The interaction with the great entrepreneurs of SVP has been a beautiful experience. By interacting with each of them, you learn something new from each one of them. Everybody has something that they are very good at, and if there is something they are not familiar with or need more guidance with, you can help them and teach them. This opportunity has been amazing.
What’s been a milestone/accomplishment you’ve made since the Summer Venture Program started?
The most important accomplishment has been being able to come to the right segmentation and targeting of customers. We were really able to pivot our value proposition from independent doctors to medical centers and hospitals specifically. We have been able to build our entire strategy around that. This is a huge accomplishment for us. We are moving the right direction and we are already seeing the benefits.
What’s been an obstacle/surprise you’ve faced?
Something challenging is giving up on previous ideas that you have. After analyzing and discussing with the mentors, you actually realize that sometimes you need to give up those original ideas to follow a good strategy. This is not easy. It requires being humble and taking in feedback.
What is your favorite memory or moment from the Summer Venture Program?
To have the opportunity to go out with my peers in Summer Venture Program has been great. When you have a chance to grab a drink with them, you can learn a lot about them. When we went to the Midwest Corporate Venture/Innovation event, it was great interacting with attendees, and everyone was interested in getting to know us. The director of SVP, David Chang, gave a speech and it was amazing. Everyone was happy and having a good time. It was nice to see how all of us were proud of David.
If you could run any company in the world, existing or not, what would it be and why?
I don’t have a specific company, but the companies Google, Apple, etc., have huge potential. They have the opportunity to build impact around the world. Google for example has been exploring opportunities in healthcare. Seeing how they can make social impact is very inspiring.
What is your go-to restaurant around Workbar?
I like the fast healthy option around, like Sweetgreen, Grainmaker. It’s cool because it’s fast-casual, we can eat healthy, with good, non-complicated food.
Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs that you want to share?
The most important is to take action. It might sound cliché. If you don’t have action, it’s just ideas. Dare to jump, and see what happens on the way. You won’t regret it. The worst thing that can happen is that you can learn a lot of things and that’s an experience you’ll have for the rest of your life.