Founder Profile: Jennifer Meller
Tell us a bit about your company
Navimize features a virtual waiting room platform that helps physicians and health systems manage workflow efficiently. Leveraging our proprietary schedule delay prediction and customizable message automation software, our customers thrive in the pandemic era and beyond by optimizing scheduling, increasing visit volumes, managing new hybrid schedules of virtual and office visits, and providing meaningful patient engagement, yielding lower costs and higher returns. Through seamless integration with existing EMR systems, Navimize’s innovative technology is highly scalable.
What inspired you to start your business / what opportunity in the market are you seeking to address?
I’m a Primary Care Physician, and I’ve always struggled with running behind schedule in my practice. Long wait times frustrated my patients, incurred more work for my staff who had to manage an overcrowded waiting room, and led to patient attrition. When online reviews became the norm, and minute clinics popped up as competition, my colleagues and I saw our practice revenues significantly affected as patients opted for no wait alternatives. But we had no solution to fix this problem. While at Wharton, I learned about lean management principles and began thinking about wait times as waste in that context. I co-founded Navimize with my Wharton classmate Kavita Mangal, to address this problem.
What are one or two of the biggest wins or most encouraging experiences you’ve had so far?
In the last year, we re-platformed to an enterprise solution, grew our team from 2 to 4 FT employees, and signed a contract with a major health system valued at $750K.
What about your personal background, experience, or perspective fuels your passion for this venture?
Having experienced this problem first hand, I’m excited to be able to solve it! Many people think that doctors don’t care about keeping patients waiting. Most doctors care very much, but are overworked and overscheduled. They feel defeated when patients get upset with them due to long wait times, which are often out of their control. This adds to physician burnout. It’s exciting to be able to bring a tool to market that helps all stakeholders, enhances the patient / physician interaction, and makes the experience of receiving and providing healthcare a positive one.
What has been one or two of the biggest learnings so far?
How difficult it really is to take an idea in your mind and create a product and a company around that idea. Entrepreneurship seems very sexy from the outside, but it takes an inordinate amount of grit and patience to bring an idea to market.
What is an obstacle you anticipate grappling with as you continue to build this venture?
Delivering seamlessly on partnership deals with bigger companies. The bigger the partnership deal, the harder we work behind the scenes to make it happen seamlessly. I think as long as we are growing by forming strategic partnerships with key market players, this will be a challenge.
What are a surprise or two that you’ve encountered as an entrepreneur?
How much I’ve learned in the process. Being an entrepreneur is a humbling experience. No matter your background, schooling, or industry experience, there are many hurdles to be overcome, and you constantly have to learn new things and be ready to quickly apply that knowledge.
Anything else you want to mention?
We are actively fundraising! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to support female founders!