Randolph Lipscher is working on a revolutionary software business that could transform the way people cope with and treat chronic diseases and illnesses.
The Athlete365 Business Accelerator highlighted areas for Randolph to work on to take his business to the next level, and provided him with access to sector-specific experts.
Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to kickstart your own business idea by signing up to the Athlete365 Business Accelerator.
I was the goalkeeper for the United States field hockey team at Los Angeles 1984, and competing at the Olympic Games was a wonderful experience. I chose to move on from my sporting life shortly after and became a genetic engineer, before applying for medical school.
Now working in emergency medicine, I’ve drawn on my experience to create my own software business that aims to change the way we cope with chronic diseases and illnesses.
Fundamental medical technology
Around six years ago, I decided to embark on a new project to try to help people with chronic medical conditions overcome their problems.
This software business uses artificial intelligence to search medical literature to find treatments for a chronic disease or illness. By examining the condition of a patient, the software produces actionable information to help treat them.
Many of the treatments are non-pharmaceutical, often nutritional, as well as exercise and meditation related. For example, an individual could benefit from a nutritional programme that is high in zinc, and we would then monitor the individual to see how they progress and if any modifications need to be made.
My ambition is for this to become a fundamental piece of technology within medicine in the United States and beyond, which will be used by a wide array of people with medical problems. Nothing like this has ever been done before. We’re giving people the tools to really manage their own treatment.
A win-win opportunity
I came across the Athlete365 Business Accelerator programme while browsing the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee website. It was then that I noticed there was support available, through the IOC, for start-up companies.
I thought this might be a win-win situation for me; the IOC is really trying to promote well-being through sport, camaraderie and nutrition, and it seemed as though our goals matched.
I decided to apply to my national governing body, and I was accepted on to the first stage. From there, I attended a three day-workshop in Lake Placid, and after putting together an initial business plan I was accepted on to the full programme.
A driving force
The most important part of the programme was that it forced me to think about the business side of things. The technology had already been under development for many years, but I hadn’t yet sat down to assemble a business plan.
During the programme it was suggested to me by my mentor that I apply for grants, which, as I was self-funding, I hadn’t considered before. I started researching the possibilities and discovered one grant that would award recipients USD 150,000. I thought to myself that even if my chances of receiving the grant were one to two per cent, in the long run, I would end up with a business plan, which would be exceedingly valuable in and of itself.
I was declined for this grant, but I ended up with a very substantial and ‘beefy’ business plan. It explained the technology – which is challenging to do – and now that’s the document I can use when I talk to various different funding entities or lawyers to introduce them to the software application behind the business.
The programme drove me to get started on two crucial matters: firstly, to explore financing options and possibilities, and secondly, to write up a business plan. Without this support, I wouldn’t have that document sitting in front of me.
Access to new expertise
Notably, the course provides you with more information about certain areas and business resources to utilise. In particular, the course had a really strong leader in marketing, who I will now be able to reach out to in the future to create a specific marketing plan when my business is ready to launch.
It’s the same with each educator who delivered the lectures on the course: you’re able to connect with and contact those people to seek their guidance as you move forward. You will have access to expertise that you simply did not have access to previously. You may not draw on it immediately, but that support is there for you to turn to when the time is right.
An extra push forward
Developing a business that aims to help people is an extremely difficult thing. It takes tremendous patience, persistence and capability. You have to have all those characteristics and, more importantly, you have to be extremely dedicated.
In business, you will have to move mountains. It’s very similar to training for the Olympic Games. You have an opportunity. You have a goal. You have a vision. You have a dream. Whether or not you’re able to do it is partially up to chance, partially up to you.
The programme was an extra push. It told me: ‘We can help, we will help, keep going, and these are the things we think you should pay attention to’.
In the long run, this additional support could turn out to be critical in moving you and your business to the next level – as it has been for me.
THE PROGRAMME DROVE ME TO GET STARTED ON TWO CRUCIAL MATTERS: FIRSTLY, TO EXPLORE FINANCING OPTIONS AND POSSIBILITIES, AND SECONDLY, TO WRITE UP A BUSINESS PLAN. WITHOUT THIS SUPPORT, I WOULDN’T HAVE THAT DOCUMENT SITTING IN FRONT OF ME.