Startup Spotlight: recoverHub
Startup Spotlight: recoverHub
Meet Michael Barros – Founder of recoverHub, a web based platform designed to give patients seeking treatment an individualized treatment plan as well as immediate access to appropriate treatment facilities.
GH: What is recoverHub?
recoverHub is a web based platform designed to give patients seeking treatment an individualized treatment plan as well as immediate access to appropriate treatment facilities. The facilities get high quality vetted referrals appropriate for their program.
GH: What was your Eureka moment: how did recoverHub get started?
I was at the MIT Grand Hack in 2017. I had never been to a hackathon I just thought I would work on someone’s idea for a couple of days, but on the first day of the hackathon they instead had an open forum to talk about problems we have come across in our lives. As a person in recovery I remembered the difficulty I had getting appropriate treatment and shared my experience. A team of incredible people including Nathaniel Lee and Oana Pavunev formed around the idea that weekend and we have been working on it ever since.
GH: How did you build / are you thinking about building your team?
So far one member is still on the team from the hackathon and we have recruited two more. At this time, growth has been organic based on interest in the project, but we are working on a product development roadmap and will be building our team according to our needs for the next year. We have a great team right now, and we feel that maintaining a culture of respect and accountability will serve us well.
GH: What is your company philosophy driving your company culture?
Our mission is that those who ask for help should get it immediately.
GH: Startup life is full of failures and ‘make it work’ moments – can you identify how you bounced back from one of yours?
So far I would say the biggest make it work moments have been doing customer interviews. They ended up taking two months more than I had anticipated. While we have gotten a lot of great feedback from companies and clients, it takes a lot of work to schedule and arrange interviews with people. Many are incredibly accommodating, but we are all doing this part-time and it has been very difficult to coordinate.
GH: What did you learn from your first customers?
So far we are still pre-customer, but based on our initial interviews we have found patients looking for help want to get it as soon as possible. We have also learned treatment centers have a great deal of issues with potential clients who “no-show” them.
GH: What has the Boston ecosystem provided you?
The Boston Ecosystem has been great. We were started at the MIT Grand Hack, we have collaborated with other start ups in this space such as Hey Charlie, and as a full time MBA candidate at BU I have gotten great feedback from mentors at BU. Moreover, we are currently competing in the BU new venture competition this spring which could provide us with some seed money to get going.
GH: What is the Boston ecosystem lacking from your perspective?
We are looking for more help from a social enterprise perspective. Because of the nature of the industry we are in, we want to be careful to be very mission focused. While this does not mean we are a non profit, it does mean there are some ways to generate profit that we are not comfortable with. Some mentorship from people who have faced this type of issue would be great.
GH: What’s the best/worst piece of advice you were given along the way?
The best was definitely to reach out to everyone possible who works in this space. The patients, providers, and researchers we have spoken to have provided so much valuable feedback, we would not be where we are now without them.
GH: What was the best thing that happened to you last year?
I would say getting started as finalists at the MIT Grand Hack, then being accepted to the next round of the BU New Venture Competition. Honestly though, we have a great team of people working on this, every minute I have spent working with them has been great.
GH: What does the future hold for recoverHub?
We will be looking for some funding to build our initial product this Spring, and we hope to be a critical resource for those seeking treatment for substance abuse.