Posted on February 22, 2016
On February 11, 2016, MEMOTEXT Founder and President Amos Adler was once again invited to speak at the University of Toronto about start-up entrepreneurship. This time it was for the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of
Electrical & Computer Engineering’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Series. Hosted by (Dr. Jonathan Rose?) Amos was part of a diverse group of 10 guest speakers who all followed unique paths from engineer to successful entrepreneur. Amos’s talk focused on what its like to create a m/digital health company from scratch and the long non linear path to success.
First up on the panel was Keith Thomas of CEO of Vector Innovations who despite his engineering degree jumped into finance and never looked back. Despite operating outside his field he stressed how important his engineering background was in starting financial companies. Next was Somen Mondal former Co-Founder & CEO of Field ID. Using his engineering analytical thinking skills he built a software company that sold for tens of millions. Michael Ho founded two start-ups ,Bering Media and Audience Partners. His focus was the ups and downs that the rollercoaster ride of start-up life can be. Bijan Vaez Co-Founded EventMobi while still an engineering student. He explained in-depth his trial by fire experience of overcoming technical problems, learning how to conduct business, and how to build and manage teams of employees. Michael Gray Executive Vice-President at Cast Connex had a more direct path in entrepreneurship. He leveraged his Mechanical Engineering Doctoral research into the Scorpion line of products for the construction industry. Susan Mey, President and CEO of Green Cricket, was originally a corporate layer. Leaving that life behind in 2008, she overcame the recession to grow her company into one of Canada’s all natural personal care brands.
Then our Founder and President Amos Adler took the mic. Amos started with his story of having a successful career at Bell Canada running their special projects before deciding to leave and strike out on his own. Once founding MEMOTEXT as a reminder messaging service he discovered the importance of flexibility and non liner path to success. After releasing that 87% of MEMOTEXT users were using the platform for medication adherence and decided to focus on that niche, transforming MEMOTEXT from texting service to a m/digital health startup. Amos also explained how he used his computer engineering background to “follow the data”. “Auctioning the danm data” became an MEMOTEXT moto and used for everything from patient engagement to making business decisions. An engineering background was also invaluable when building new methodologies to validate personalization algorithms from scratch. Amos still touched on the classics when it came to start-up challenges; success isn’t linear, and you have to enjoy pain, but there are a lot of benefits from the freedom to follow your own path.
The Engineering Entrepreneurship Series was rounded out with talks by Ahmed Badruddin and Bahi Kandavel. Ahmed left a career of at Microsoft to found WatrHub, a start-up that helps cities manage water resources. He stressed how following your passion and a desire to change the world can lead to success. Bahi founded Northstar Trading which trades financial power contracts on the electricity market. He stressed how with his case of electricity deregulation in the 90s new industries can appear overnight and you can be successful if you get in early.
As a whole the Entrepreneurship Series was an engaging and educational event for students and the speakers alike. With such a diverse group of entrepenuers even we at MEMOTEXT learnt some valuable new lessons from their expirianes. While all 10 entrepreneurs came from differenant backgrounds formed different sized companies in different industries one common chrous came through with every talk. Work hard, work smart, follow your dreams, and keep persivering and you will (eventualy) find success.
Amos Adler as the first speaker on the panel, explained that by offering a solution that saves money and has proven results, established players were more likely to partner with MEMOTEXT. Ruslan Dorfman, founder of Geneyouin, explained how his technology factors in genetic testing in medication prescriptions. Newtopia founder Jeff Ruby spoke about how their digital health platform factors in patients genetic history to promote healthy living now, to prevent likely ailments in the future. QoC Health Founder Sarah Sharpe explained how their digital health platform helps engage patients and enables patient-centred care. Lastly, Niall Wallace, founder of Infonaut, explained how his digital health platform helps track disease outbreaks in hospitals, so that patients don’t catch a new disease while being treated.
“There’s difference between running a start-up vs. working for a start-up” said Amos Adler on workplace culture, as the panellists took questions from Rotman MBA students after their talks. Each speaker explained the challenges their start-up faced and offered students career advice. Amos Adler and the other founders agreed with Zayna Khayat that the problem with their innovative technology is that it disrupts the current system which is highly resistant to change. “They never let logic and good ideas get in the way of a politically motivated decision” said another panellist. But all panellists agreed with Mark Kohler that by focusing on the benefits of their technology and its proven results and efficiencies, start-ups can find success in the ridged Canadian healthcare system.
MEMOTEXT improves outcomes for patients and the bottom line for healthcare stakeholders by ensuring patients adhere to their treatment and medications. With a proprietary methodology and machine-learning intelligent systems, MEMOTEXT actions data to personalize and integrate behavior change into the everyday lives of patients. People change over time, MEMOTEXT adapts. Visit stage.memotext.com or call 1877.636.6898
Amos brings speech, mobile and social technologies together to create mobile (mHealth) and telehealth patient adherence programs. Since 2008, Amos has led the design and deployment of dozens of digital patient adherence and behavior change programs globally while advocating for evidence-based approaches to technology-based behavior change. With a background in user oriented design methodologies, user-requirements elicitation, finance and enterprise scale technology deployment, Amos focuses on solutions solving real-world business requirements with patient centered designs while understanding the challenges of change management in clinical settings.
Prior to founding MEMOTEXT, Amos held multiple technology and finance related positions within the Bell Canada Holdings family of companies as well as a background in social and private real estate development. Amos holds a M.Sc. in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems from The London School of Economics in London England, graduating with distinction was highlighted by his work within the launch of the world’s first independent exchange for international wholesale telecom capacity.
Amos speaks regularly at events such as: mHealth, Stanford Mobile Health, Health Datapalooza, Genentech FutureMed2.0 and has guest lectured at the Univ. of Toronto