Bliss Healthcare, Founded by MIT Sloan Grad, Starts New Web-Savvy Home Care Service
Pankaj Khare says he has devoted the past several years of his life and his 401K savings to a startup that he thinks will improve the way home care is delivered to patients. Now, with some help from Boston-area angel investors, this company, Bliss Healthcare, is finally ready to introduce a Web-supported home care service in parts of Massachusetts next week, Khare says.
Bliss, which operates out of an office in Waltham, MA, is initially rolling out its services in the Boston area and Martha’s Vineyard. The startup—which Khare says he’s been running the past three years—has recently raised $500,000 from local angel backers including Boston Harbor Angels, LaunchPad Venture Group, and Mass Medical Angels, Khare says. He got the company going while he was still a student at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and continued working on it after he graduated in 2009.
Here’s some of what makes Bliss interesting. The company gives customers access to Web software that can be used to schedule nursing and other assistance in the home, pay for services, and coordinate care from physicians and other stakeholders. At the same time, the firm has nurses who help people coordinate care for patients and pre-screened clinicians and aides that provide services at people’s homes. Yet the firm doesn’t charge more than traditional home care agencies for its services, Khare says.
There’s also a compelling story of entrepreneurship at Bliss. Khare came to the States in 2000 from India, where he spent nearly a decade as an engineer in various capacities for the Indian government after graduating from what is now called the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. His wife, who did her training as a physician in India, decided to provide care to people in their homes after she moved to the U.S. She learned there was a need for services that could coordinate the fragmented care that people got from their doctors and home nurses and family members.
From her experience, an idea for a business was born.
Khare, who’s 42, says he initially started working on the technology underlying Bliss’s services about six years ago, while he was still working for Latrobe, PA-based Kennametal (NYSE:KMT), a major metalworking products and services company. He left Kennametal in 2008 and entered the MIT Sloan program, where he found himself working along many other students and faculty members who had startups in the works. In some ways, Bliss embodies Khare’s own development as an entrepreneur.
Khare reflected on what it’s been like to come here from India, where he was set up well in a coveted government job.
“When you’re a top-ranking guy, you’re lucky, you get a good job, you’re happy and you think your life is all set. But you do that for 10 years, you’ve been promoted, and you say ‘Oh, is that … Next Page »