Sherpaa Aims to Streamline Healthcare for Startups
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out of their pockets. And the company’s services “save employers between $1,000 and $4,000 a year,” he says.
Parkinson has devoted his career to improving the healthcare system with technology. In 2008, he co-founded Hello Health, a company that developed an electronic health records platform for physician offices. And 2010 he co-founded The Future Well, which builds health-related games, as well as loyalty and rewards programs for health companies and insurers.
Parkinson says he has always been guided by a need to fill a gaping hole in medical care. “Healthcare is a mess. When people are in a bind, they often go to the emergency room because they don’t know what to do,” he says. “It’s annoying and most importantly, expensive.” Parkinson believes that simply giving people 24/7 access to doctors can solve many of the inefficiencies in healthcare. “Seventy percent of the time, we can solve your problem over e-mail or phone,” he says.
He also believes Sherpaa can save the healthcare system money by helping inexperienced employers make the right choices. “If you’re a company of 100 people, you don’t have the expertise to spend your money wisely,” he says. “So you go to an insurance broker, they fire back a list of 30 plans, and it’s eenie-meeny-miny-moe to pick the best one. Oftentimes employers over-insure their employees.”
Sherpaa derives revenues from charging each client a monthly per-employee fee. Parkinson bootstrapped the startup prior to last week’s funding round, he says. The company currently has two salaried Sherpaa guides but plans to use the funding to expand. Parkinson Sherpaa will also boost its technology staff and embark on a “major sales push.” He says he has developed a target list of 4,000 potential clients just in New York.
Parkinson says Sherpaa will refine its model in New York City and then start planning a geographic expansion in about a year. The cities the company is eyeing include San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, DC, he says. “There are so many companies that are young and creative and get what we’re doing,” Parkinson says. “That’s our target market right now.”