By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.
This past year has been an exciting and challenging one for Michael Crain, Founder of local start-up Vuture, a start-up first profiled in February on teknovation.biz..
While holding a full-time job, he’s also been busy, participating in a variety of entrepreneurial events including “What’s the Big Idea?!” and the more recent “MediaWorks” accelerator. In addition, Crain has continued to balance family time with evolving his idea of an app that allows individuals and businesses to record videos for delivery at a later date.
There have been several recent developments as well as an important one that is forthcoming.
“I quit my full-time job on August 1,” Crain said. “I’m still selling insurance, but on my schedule.”
“I’ve been going out and calling on businesses,” Crain told us. His original concept – allowing individuals to make video recordings to share with loved ones at a later date – has clearly evolved, in no small part through participation in activities like “What’s the Big Idea?!” and “MediaWorks.”
Today, thanks to the web-based version, he’s focusing on businesses like banks, financial services firms, insurance agents, physician practices, and hospitals.
In the case of the healthcare market, Crain cites the importance for hospitals and physicians to have “proof of compliance” with new rules regarding reimbursement.
“Our web-based version can be used by doctors and hospitals to send pre- and post-operative reminders to patients,” he said. The idea is to use Vuture to send an email or text to a patient 24 hours before an event. The message could include a link to a pre-recorded video with more understandable instructions.
After a medical procedure, the physician or hospital could send another message to remind the patient of post-operative procedures. Further follow-ups are also possible with the scheduling software.
“Patients don’t have to have the app on their mobile devices to receive the message,” Crain says.
Twenty businesses have Beta-tested the web-based version.
Thus far, Crain has not pursued the venture capital market.
“I’ve spoken with a lot of local people,” he says, adding that a capital raise is further down the road.
At the same time, he’s optimistic about his focus on healthcare in terms of eventually tapping capital.
“If you are going to have an investible idea, healthcare is a good space,” Crain notes.