He always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur but wouldn’t have envisioned a family tragedy as the catalyst for his first business start. While a college student at Ball State University, Matt Prasek’s grandfather was critically injured in a collision with a snowboarder while on a ski vacation in Colorado. From a devastating injury to a new startup venture, read more about Matt's story....
For eleven months, his grandfather lingered in a nursing home with a traumatic brain injury. Devastated family members repetitively chased clinicians for information and updates on his condition. The family could appreciate the burden on the staff to balance patient care-giving with family communications.
As Prasek approached graduation from the Entrepreneurial program, his capstone course was a high-pressure New Venture Creation course. The class is pass/fail, so if you don’t pass, you don’t graduate. A panel of alumni and CEOs judge your business plan and control your fate.
Prasek’s business plan was for a mobile app that would create a platform to inform and engage family in the care of their loved ones. Not only did he get to walk across the stage for his diploma, he won Best New Venture.
Looking to turn the plan into reality, Prasek approached Community Health Network to pilot the app. The greatest challenge was to create a HIPPA compliant infrastructure. Two facilities in Anderson, Indiana agreed to the pilot, and Safekeeping was born.
One of the early users of the product, Doug Wilcox, happened to be an individual who works with high-tech healthcare startups. Wilcox saw the value of the product firsthand in tracking the care of his mother who had been admitted to one of the pilot facilities. Wilcox reached out to Matt Prasek to learn more about his plans for Safekeeping and offered to lend his expertise with startups. After that, Prasek made Wilcox CEO and became Founder and Chief Product Officer himself.
As the pilot progressed, they honed the product. This issue was not access to data. Electronic Medical Records are common – even mandated. Key was making that data digestible for non-clinicians. This is a significant differentiator from other portals, such as MyChart. What evolved was what they call a “Digestible Dashboard” that includes Care Plans, Activities, Vitals, Notes, Nutrition, Meds and Pain Level.
About 50% of the families used the pilot app. Satisfaction levels were very high, with 90% stating they felt more informed, 97% said it would influence their decision on future care facilities and 70% noted it diverted their calls to the facility at least once a week.
Safekeeping is now in 20 facilities in Indiana and Florida. Wilcox and Prasek brought on another partner, Howard Nodine as Chief Technical Officer. 2019 will be a scaleup year for Safekeeping. The team is fundraising heavily with Angels and Venture Capitalists. One funder is the Vectren GrowLocal Lending program which encouraged Safekeeping to move the company from Indianapolis to Evansville.
Now based at Cowork Evansville (Innovation Pointe Building) in downtown Evansville, Prasek wants to make an impact and feels that you can do that more easily in Evansville. Scaleup plans are nationwide and in Canada. Matt Prasek’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to “let your passion fuel innovation.” Adding the importance to stay hyper focused, because there will likely be many hurdles to overcome, requiring all your energy