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Name: Braden Pan
What are you building, and who benefits most from it?
We’re building the turbo tax for lowering medical bills. We believe that an everyday medical bill shouldn’t bankrupt a regular American, and we are fighting to make that dream a reality. People come to us, upload their medical bills, answer a few questions, and let our software get to work finding them an average of 60% savings.
What is one of your startup’s most impressive accomplishments?
To date, we’ve helped patients save over $30 million on their medical bills. More importantly, we’ve changed lives by helping thousands of people pull out of a debt spiral, avoid bankruptcy, preserve college funds, or get on a path to buying a home.
What has been the biggest challenge so far, and how did you overcome it?
Getting the word out! People aren’t even aware that medical billing advocacy is an option when they’re overwhelmed and drowning in medical debt.
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We’ve done this in three ways: a) driving significant word-of-mouth referrals by providing an amazing and valuable service, b) partnering with other organizations that people turn to for help when they can’t pay their medical debts, and c) being very targeted in our marketing to connect with people at inflection points, that is, when they’re actively searching for a way to solve their medical debt problem.
What tool or app could you not live without and why?
Notion. We run company OKRs, projects, tasks, and bi-weekly sprints in it. This platform has been invaluable in getting everyone on the same page, from product and operations to marketing.
What marketing strategies have worked for you?
As mentioned, the three marketing strategies that have worked for us are:
- Word-of-mouth referrals—we have thousands of delighted customers who are more than happy to tell others about us.
- B2B2C channel partnerships—partnering with companies and organizations where people who have this problem may initially turn to for help.
- Inflection point targeting—targeting consumers when they’re at an inflection point (actively looking for help to resolve their medical debt problems).
Can you share any financial data about your startup?
We’ve helped thousands of people save over $30 million on their medical bills. We’re at an over $2 million revenue run-rate and have so far raised about $5 million. (Reported on June 21, 2023.)
What has been your biggest business failure to date? What did you learn from it?
Spending too much money and time on iterating on marketing strategies. We went a bit too big on marketing plans and spent more money than we would have liked on strategies that didn’t pan out. A better path would have been to iteratively grow what does work and expand from there.
We’ve recovered from that and have a path forward—staying lean and mean until you’ve built a repeatable marketing motion is extremely important.
What’s the best specific piece of advice you have for other entrepreneurs?
Find financial backers who are invested in your success. While investors are shielded from the ups and downs of startup life, great ones have an understanding of what it can be like. Having investors whom you can turn to for advice and who are motivated to help you rather than see you as a number in their portfolio is invaluable.
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