[quote style=”boxed”]Take a risk to accomplish and stand-up for your own dream, not follow others. Some people only dream of achieving great things, while others stay awake and do them.[/quote]
Paul Schultz is a co-founder of Nurep, a digital health company focused on improving the interactions between the life science and healthcare industry through mobile technology. Paul is responsible for the strategic product design, taking ideas and feedback from concept to market.
Prior to co-founding Nurep, Paul was a manager at Campbell Alliance, focused exclusively on product launch and commercialization, and has consulted for nine biopharmaceutical companies (3 of the top 10).
Paul holds a Master of Bioscience with honors from Keck Graduate Institute (a member of the Claremont Colleges) and a B.S. in Biotechnology from Washington State University.
Paul lived most of his life in Alaska, enjoys riding his motorcycle and spending time with family.
What are you working on right now?
Creating Medical FaceTime. The easiest way for healthcare professionals to obtain the information and support they require from life science companies (medical device, pharmaceutical and biotechnology).
Where did the idea for Nurep come from?
The vision for Nurep came about when Adam (co-founder) and I were consulting for Genentech. We developed best practices for how life science reps should utilize an iPad when interacting with healthcare professionals, such as physicians and nurses. The iPad best practices were utilized across Genentech brands.
We learned through this engagement the struggles facing the current customer engagement model and the weaknesses associated with how mobile technology is currently utilized by life science companies.
How do you make money?
By contracting with life science companies to customize the Nurep platform to meet their specific needs. Core revenue is generated through monthly licensing of Nurep and supplying valuable analytics to life science companies. Nurep is free for hospitals and healthcare professionals.
What does your typical day look like?
A typical day starts out around 6-7AM with a team meeting over Skype. This is then followed by managing my e-mails and calendar of events for the day. Being in a startup is very dynamic, and everything seems to be high priority, so I have my priority list, but will re-prioritize as more important tasks come-up. I’ll tackle e-mails in-between meetings and focus on completing my daily to-do’s by the night fall. Evenings are spent attending relevant meet-ups and conferences. We meet as a team in-person once or twice a week, but are starting to look into office space as we grow.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Sheer determination and perseverance. Practically speaking, there is a systematic process our team follows using the lean startup methodology. The core problem we are solving and idea has not changed, but we have continuously pivoted our product design through trial and error by constantly refining our prototype with insights from customers over the past several months.
“Develop, collect insights, refine and iterate.”
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I’m really excited about the future of mobile technology in the healthcare industry. More than half of physicians own a tablet and the majority are using their iPad at the point of care. This trend is increasing too. Also, the top-25 biopharma and medical device companies have equipped their global sales force with iPads.
Physicians are typically slow to adopt new technology, so to see them fascinated with a mobile tablet is very exciting. It also has specific implications for Nurep and the broken customer engagement model we are focused on.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
When I was 18, I worked for a month on my grandfather’s Dole banana plantation in Guatemala. I wanted to be outdoors and travel, so I thought it would be fun. Turned out to be the opposite. Waking up at 4:00 AM and 120+ degree weather. I had to wear full layer clothing and carry spider bite medication in case I was bit. I also stayed in a little hut, and my first night I had to scare away an iguana that was stuck belly-first in the toilet and spend hours every night chasing away all the spiders.
What I learned most was about the people and culture. They lacked many modern day conveniences and there was a significant delay in receiving information. I learned what an isolated environment looks like without the advent of modern technology. The plantation was a secluded eco-system. I reflect on that instance and think about the potential benefits and drawbacks mobile communications could have on such a confined ecosystem.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have gone into the tech-side of healthcare sooner. Right now, our company is at the intersection of technology, healthcare and customer engagement. I’ve been focused on the biopharmaceutical and medical device industry my entire career.
However, I think many of the problems facing the life science industry today could have been prevented if the appropriate technological solutions were thought further in advance. But I also appreciate the barriers to entry were higher before the evolution of the cloud and software-as-a-service (SAAS).
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Take a risk to accomplish and stand-up for your own dream, not follow others. Some people only dream of achieving great things, while others stay awake and do them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When we were first starting out, we needed to get a technical person on our team. I can tell you this is the most difficult part of starting a tech startup. We went through two individuals, both whom ended up not working out (one due to conflict of interest and the other landed a high-paying career).
We overcame this challenge by being more personable with our recruitment. Instead of trying to “hire” a technical co-founder, we focused more on “earning” a co-founder. We spent less time learning about their professional background and spent more time trying to understand if this individual would work well with us. We also made sure we did our sanity check on whether the individual could handle the risk and workload associated with a startup.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Mobile websites for healthcare companies. I don’t have the statistics on-hand, but 99.9% of e-mails and websites are viewed on mobile devices. Then why aren’t 99.9% of websites (and e-mail newsletters) tailored for mobile devices? I still can’t believe global companies such as Roche don’t have a mobile-friendly website. It isn’t hard to have a desktop, tablet and mobile website. And the increase in customer satisfaction (and conversion) is tremendous. I can’t stand having to pinch zoom on desktop websites when on my iPhone or iPad.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
Access to medicine and quality care in remote regions of the world, such as areas in India. I would utilize a low-cost communication platform, similar to Nurep, to connect rural areas with qualified healthcare professionals. A non-profit organization to improve healthcare in rural regions of the world through mobile technology.
Tell us a secret.
Medical device reps are frequently asked to enter the operating room to assist a surgeon with installation of a medical device. These reps can make upwards of $1 million dollars, more than the surgeon.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge by Edward O. Wilson. The national bestseller explains the concept of “consilience”, an underlying principle that everything we think we know in this world is connected. Expands your mind.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why? (please don’t include yourself)
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I was in Yosemite with my father and wife and we got locked out of our cabin in the middle of the night. My wife took charge and wore my dad’s boots, went to the front of the house and managed to break into the front window without damaging any glass.
Who is your hero?
What is the most influential quote for entrepreneurs that you have heard?
I don’t view risk as something that’s to be feared – It’s something to try to mitigate, but not avoid; the worst thing you can do is not trying to do something. Try things that are hard to pull off, take chances. Only the brave are rewarded.
When you have time, what do you do for fun?
I live most my life in Alaska when I was young, so I enjoy camping. I love Yosemite. Also, I enjoy traveling around on my motorcycle and spending time with my wife and family.