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ClinicNote Founders Fox and Coldrake Encourage Others with Their Start-Up Story

July 21, 2015

“With about a year left in my Industrial Engineering degree I decided to add a Computer Science Degree, it was more of a stalling tactic than anything,” remembers Justin Coldrake, Co-Founder of ClinicNote. “I was looking for a start-up idea that would have some legs to it.” Meanwhile future fellow Co-Founders Tyler Fox and Morgan Hampel were looking for an idea with traction as well. Ultimately, they found the right problem to solve and began ClinicNote. The story of their journey from idea to product will be featured at the August edition of Square One DSM’s Startup Stories, when Coldrake and Fox sit down with Mike Colwell, Executive Director of Square One DSM.

“I think the college internships convinced both of us that we probably wanted to work for ourselves and start our own company,” explained Fox. Coldrake’s girlfriend, studying to be a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), would provide the catalyst in the form of a problem crying out for some bright young college students to solve on their path to entrepreneurial adventure.  

Discovering that a bane of a SLP’s daily routine was the inordinate time spent translating their clinical notes into the specific document that insurance companies required as a measure of a patient’s progress and a prelude to further treatment authorization, the trio began an extensive market discovery process interviewing more than one hundred in the profession to gain the needed feedback to craft a solution.

ClinicNote would streamline the reporting process for SLPs by replacing the traditional pen and paper approach with a digital format that allows information and data to be exported into a document that meets the needs of the insurance company without requiring the care provider to manually transcribe the information from one document to another. In so doing it would literally increase the efficiency of both parties.

At this point however, it was little more than an idea until fate provided an accelerator of its own. A chance encounter with a venture capitalist previously met by Hampel led to an introduction to Tej Dhawan, then serving as Interim Director of the forming Global Insurance Accelerator, which led to an introduction to Brian Hemesath when he was named Managing Director of the accelerator and long story somewhat shorter; the trio became the youngest and only student team admitted to the inaugural class.

“We were completely green to the whole operations question, we weren’t even a legal entity yet,” remembers Coldrake explaining that the mentors were for ClinicNote the critical component of the accelerator experience. “They literally took us from an idea to a business,” added Fox, explaining that the mentors forced the trio to have the discussions among themselves that as college students they might have glossed over leading to problems down the road. “Today we can focus on the business, rather than issues we might have otherwise failed to address in the beginning,” concludes Coldrake. Freshly graduated from the accelerator, Fox and Coldrake, have a product in hand with beta testing underway.

Having attended a number of Startup Stories sessions themselves Coldrake and Fox look forward to taking seats at the front of the room and sharing their thoughts. “I want to tell people that if we can do this they can,” shares Fox with a humility that belies the effort they have made and contradicts the opinion of the judges at the Pappajohn Student Venture Competition which recognized them as one of the 2015 winners. Coldrake adds that “We really just started by talking to people about their problems and what might work, and while it wasn’t easy, we aren’t the only ones that can do it.” Encouraging words their audience is sure to welcome.

Event Info
$15 admission fee (includes lunch) or free (if you don’t want lunch).
11:30 a.m.
Aug. 19, 2015

Ruan II, 601 Locust
Conference Room 101

Contact us at info@squareoneDSM.com for more information.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Square One DSM for details. 

About Square One DSM

Square One DSM’s mission is to connect entrepreneurial needs with qualified community and state resources and to provide guided professional and business direction. Square One DSM helps entrepreneurs maximize their successes by helping them navigate resources, strengthen knowledge, improve skills, form strategic alliances and secure proper capitalization.