Jason Fisher, CEO and co-founder of JourneyLabs, has always been motivated by entrepreneurship. He moved with his family from Ohio to Orlando in the early 1980s. His father, a farmer by trade, got involved in managing heavy construction equipment dealers helping to build many of the roads throughout Central Florida. His mother, taught and served as an administrator in the Seminole County School District. Fisher attended the University of Florida and, started his career in IT at the Hyatt Orlando International Airport. He eventually found his way to a Central Florida software company and spent seven years learning the ins and outs of that industry. After three acquisitions, the company became Veritas and was eventually bought out by Symantec. "There was a group of us that went through all the acquisitions together," Fisher said. "For us, it was like a little Silicon Valley in Central Florida."
JourneyLabs was originally founded by Fisher's previous boss, Deepak Mohan, in September 2015 and was called ActoVoice. He had a vision for a private customer engagement platform. After building it out for a year, he took a break to pause and reevaluate where in the market he wanted to take his solution. Around this time is when Fisher entered the leadership picture. "I took the initiative and formulated a pivot strategy," he said. "In January of 2017, we met a private local investor at an event at Canvs in Winter Park. He had Microsoft and McKesson credentials, believed in what we were doing and thought the time was right to take our platform in a new direction. We negotiated a seed deal with him and, in April of 2017, we turned the lights back on as JourneyLabs."
Fisher and his co-founders, Narayana Aroori and Mike Ivanov, were now focused on developing a consumer journey management platform for longitudinal relationships, such as doctor and patient and recruiter and employee. They discovered that these relationships suffered from major gaps in engagement. For example, doctors can't be with patients 24 hours a day, but the need is still important to those patients under the doctor's care. These gaps create lapses in care and opportunities for personalization. JourneyLabs was determined to build a platform to solve these problems and to operationalize these interactions.
After one year, with 9 US employees and a team of 15 in India, JourneyLabs has made significant progress towards building engagement platforms in the areas of healthcare and employer and employee relationships. "Employees and patients will take different on and off ramps based on who they are," Fisher said. "Our journeys are designed to utilize six different interaction points between the participant and the group capturing the data. We've been able to teach tech savvy doctors how to use our platform in 30 minutes. They put their operations on our platforms and are then able to extend and augment the services they provide to their customers. Through these partnerships, we're getting a lot of traction."
The applications for JourneyLabs' consumer journey management platforms are endless. Doctors can be notified when a patient's condition has gone south. A potential suicide can be diverted through the use of automated surveys, chat sessions and/or sensor data technology used to monitor sleep patterns. Fisher explained that the potential for suicide attempts is greatest during the time between when a patient leaves a hospital and checks into a treatment program. JourneyLabs is currently working with researchers at Brown University to help bridge this gap. Other applications include Orthopedic doctors using the platform to better manage the joint replacement process with their patients and non-profit organizations using the platform to help veterans with the process of returning from active duty and re-acclimating into daily life.
We asked Fisher about some of their biggest challenges to date and what the future holds for JourneyLabs. "Our current challenge is making sure we have the right capital at the right time to help us scale," he said. "The technology part hasn't been a problem. We've all done this many times in the past. In terms of capital, Central Florida is no Boston, Austin or Silicon Valley. We're not just looking for someone to write a check and to sit back and watch. We favor working investors that can help us open new markets."
"Looking ahead, we're driven by the idea of being able to help people and even save lives through technology. That cause is near and dear to our hearts. We're confident that the business part of JourneyLabs will work itself out. We're looking to grow sales and marketing and develop R&D capabilities closer to home. We're also open to the possibility of a larger company acquiring JourneyLabs."
Fisher offers up some great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. "First and foremost, put yourself in environments with other like-minded people," he said. "By going to places like Canvs and meeting other people that are in different stages of their journey, it shows you're not alone and that there's an ecosystem to support you. Find that group and start there. It takes a village to be a successful entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur can be a very lonely place. You get up on a Tuesday and you're the tip of the spear. Everything that happens, from that point forward, depends on decisions you make. That can be overwhelming for new entrepreneurs. It's important to have enough belief in yourself that all you need to do is get up every day and believe in those things that are most important to you." Fisher highly recommends The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. He credits this book for getting him to where he's at today. He also recommends Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne, W. Chan Kim, Lean Startup by Eric Ries, What Customers Want by Anthony W. Ulwick and Tuned In by Phil Myers, David Meerman Scott, Craig Stull.
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