Wellpepper: Gives Your Health a Kick

The entrepreneur I interviewed is Anne Weiler, CEO and Co-Founder of Wellpepper.

annepro

Her business was founded in December 2012 as B2B firm that sells patient-focused rehab and outpatient treatment software to hospitals and other healthcare providers. These customers would then transfer treatment plans onto their patient’s app-based (I-Phone/Android/IPad) tool (provided free by Wellpepper), from which the hospital/healthcare provider can virtually monitor patient outcomes in-between check-in sessions. Wellpepper’s stated goal for its customers is to increase patient adherence rates to treatment programs as well as provide patients with better remote support from healthcare providers.

Wellpepper’s main customers are local hospitals and several physical therapy providers. Wellpepper will train hospital/healthcare providers on how to use the clinical application and patient treatment and analysis dashboard, both which are designed to run and be operated on an I-Pad.

Wellpepper is a disruptive start-up in that it pioneered the first holistic patient rehabilitation application for hospitals and other healthcare providers. It is the only healthcare technology company that offers digital treatment plans to patients requiring assistance for orthopedics, rehabilitation, trauma and burns, pain management, and neurology. However, in terms of the business intelligence/analytics focused patient engagement market it could be qualified as entering an existing market comprised of several firms, including OmadaHealth, a tech health startup providing an online diabetes and obesity prevention program.

The CEO, Ann Weiler believes Wellpepper is well positioned relative to its closest industry peers due in part to its early entry into this market, the loyal customer base it has cultivated, and the technological advantage offered in its suite of products.

To reach new customers Wellpepper is actively working with or aiming to foster partnership agreements with technology and healthcare companies seeking to reduce costs tied to patient treatment maintenance. Wellpepper’s executive team attend trade shows, healthcare/medical school conferences to collect leads, present their product to audiences, while finding stakeholders.

Blog 4: You Don’t Know Me Big Brother

As part of this exercise I re-visited several websites that I had looked over the past month and had either purchased from or had done some intense research with the intension of buying later on. These sites included Cabelas, ProFlowers.com, Trip Advisor, and Orbitz. After doing this I went to several news/social websites, including Facebook, Yahoo, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Jerusalem Post, and the Seattle Times.

I paid careful attention to the advertisements that showed up in every news and social site I visited. I noticed that a ProFlowers.com moving banner was at the top of Yahoo.com. I did not see any advertising on CNN.com or the Wall Street Journal.com. On Facebook there was a static advertisement for Progressive Insurance, which made some sense I visited various insurance sites in the previous month. On the Seattle Times website there was a static advertisement for Video Only, a place I have never purchased from and for which I have no interest in buying anything.

None of the advertisements I mentioned induced/incentivized me to buy at this time. I make my purchases based on the best price and convenience of purchase, not necessarily when I see an advertisement. In actuality, an advertisement, whether in pop up or static banner format often annoys me and turns me off to the product. So for the marketer, I am not a customer type who can be converted to making a purchase from online advertising.

Below are some examples of advertisements targeted at me, likely using built-in website cookies:

Proflowers

Flow from Progressive

Talview: Making Hiring Candidates Easier than You could Ever Believe

Talview is a technology company that sells small business and enterprise compatible hiring assessment software. Talview is delivered through a scalable cloud computing platform and is powered by some Amazon Web Services, IBM Softlayer and Rackspace. Its suite of products are both sold individually or as a package and offer customers the ability to use technology, namely video, mobile, internet and analytics to assess an interviewee’s skills across a wide array of areas. This includes automated video interview solutions, live interview platform, written assessment, code evaluation, talent engagement, and hiring analytics dashboards.

In terms of members of the press or bloggers I would reach out to if I were the CEO of Talview three names come to mind:

Karalyn Brown: @InterviewIQ. A former HR and recruitment consultant and careers journalist. She is the most connected Australian woman on LinkedIn and has pioneered the use of social media to help people find jobs

Lisa Wiley Parker: @RecruiterUncens. A former headhunter with words on recruiting, lead sourcing, resume/interview strategy and attitude job seekers need to hear.

Nicholas Livingston: @nlivingston. Technology enthusiast and talent acquisition leader with experience leading teams and building companies. Also the founder & CEO @HoneIT_Inc {Interview Software for Recruiters & Interview Marketplace

Bike Fixtation: Too Good to Be True

Bike Fixtation is in Rider Oasis’ product/service space—urban, bike-centric vending machines. Founded in 2009, Bike Fixtation “designs, manufactures and sells public use bicycle repair tools and solutions for bicycle infrastructure projects.” The firm also designs and sells cycling-specific vending machines.” Most of Bike Fixtation’s business is for its work stands and pumps. Currently, the firm operates self-service stands in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market.

The product that is most directly in competition with Rider Oasis’s product/service offering is its Vending Machine. It is designed to vend emergency bicycle repair parts and accessories, and machines are designed for indoor and outdoor applications. Bike Fixtation however, is not in the business of servicing this product after its manufacturing. Rather, it will send this Vending Machine, along with its other product lines to customers, including bike shops, cities, cycling organization. The product recipients will be responsible for stocking and monitoring its inventory, paying for electricity, and collecting revenue.

In terms of Bike Fixtation’s online channels the company has chosen to focus on several outlets. Its central online channel is its website, which although not pretty offers a wealth of information on product locations, product offerings, custom work, about the firm, and contact information. It appears that all purchases of Bike Fixtation services/products must go through its website and requires customers to call or email the firm for pricing information.

From its website I found a specific link to its Facebook page (2,703 “likes”) where Bike Fixation posts promotional videos, customer feedback, and bike news. Surprisingly, the company does not have active Twitter or YouTube accounts. With that said, several college students at regional universities posted videos of Bike Fixtation’s installed self-service stands.

Regarding Bike Fixtation’s Positioning and Value Proposition, the firm and its founders identified what they deemed an untapped and neglected service/part infrastructure for bicyclists. Their vision was to “enable everyone to maintain their bikes and make small repairs themselves, and to be able to install the parts they buy from us whenever needed.” Subsequently, the firm has sought to address this vision by creating numerous bike products that it believes will garner sustained business from bike enthusiasts around the Minnesota region. Its products are high quality, American manufactured and can be personalized and delivered to consumers within a matter of weeks. Bike Fixtation prides itself on offering unique, personalized bike part and service offerings that are geared toward mobility. It has sought to realize its Positioning goals through its Facebook page and website. However, besides this very little promotional marketing has been identified.  In all, it does not appear Bike Fixtation is successfully communicating its Value Proposition to its target customer due to a lack of social media exposure, an inconsistent marketing and product value-add message, and a website that is lacking in style and substance

Yapta: Corporate Travel Booking Software for Hot Shots

Yapta is an airline and hotel booking technology company, with two popular software products (soon to be bundled) FareIQ and RoomIQ. FareIQ is the corporate travel industry’s only airfare price tracking solution that offers real time price tracking as well as refund alert service. Customers of FareIQ and RoomIQ have access to a vast array of analytics, including customer savings on flights and hotels by time. Yapta’s offer product, RoomIQ provides a series of alerts sent to clients when a room rate drops after a booking. It will also alert clients to similar room types at lower prices, including preferred and non-preferred properties.

Yapta has more than 1 million registered members and has provides its customers with more than $450 million in airfare savings alerts. Yapta’s technology is particularly well suited for companies that have heavy travel volumes, so as to reduce their travel and expenditure spend.

Yapta has positioned itself to provide dynamic hotel and flight savings to corporate customers, specifically travel agents who are either hired by these companies or internal-based office managers who handle travel for executives.

Yapta’s products are innovative in that they are new products for a new market. However, there is some similarity in output to that produced by Bing Travel’s Price Predictor and Google’s ITA software. The notable difference is that Yapta has a SaaS model with corporate clients where companies pay a certain percentage of realized savings to Yapta, in addition to a licensing fee, while Bing Travel and Google ITA are free to users, most of whom are leisure travelers.

Yapta poses the greatest business threat to traditional travel agents or commercial airlines as lower final sale prices can now be realized by corporate clients, reducing the margins of some airlines.