It has been eight months since the first round of grant recipients of Lehigh Valley LaunchBox became part of this University and community sponsored business accelerator program for early stage entrepreneurs. We wanted to check in with each recipient to ask how their business or product development is coming along, hear the advice they have for other entrepreneurs and see how they benefited from the micro grants, support and mentorship from Lehigh Valley Launch Box.
Vinod Jeyaretnam and Nabeel Zaghtiti are founding partners and co-CEOs of Auxilium Medical Services. They received a micro grant for their business during Lehigh Valley LaunchBox’s first round.
Auxilium Medical Services provides recruiting, hiring, training, compliance and payroll for medical scribes to meet physicians’ needs.
Jeyaretnam answered some questions for us.
What inspired you to start your business?
“Auxilium Medical Services was born from a desire to be entrepreneurial and altruistic. Both Nabeel and I had been talking about starting a business together since we were juniors at Penn State. When Nabeel approached me about starting a medical scribe staffing business, I saw a clear need for this type of business, and more importantly it was relatable to me. Being biology students at Penn State, many of my friends struggled to gain meaningful experience in the health care field. I saw this company as a way to help other students achieve this experience through scribing.”
What was your biggest challenge before receiving a Lehigh Valley LaunchBox portfolio grant, and how did you overcome it with the help of your grant?
“There are so many challenges with being an entrepreneur. For us, the biggest challenge was networking and the associated sales process needed to find and complete deals. With the help of LaunchBox, we were able to meet several prominent individuals in the Lehigh Valley health care scene.”
What Lehigh Valley LaunchBox services have you taken advantage of since receiving your grant?
“Since joining Lehigh Valley LaunchBox, we have utilized the networking and PR services the most. At the beginning of the program, we met with John Hart from Lehigh Valley Health Nework and participated in a PBS39 segment about the program. We also met with Penn State alumnus and cardiologist Dr. Prasant Pandey.”
How do you define success?
“For us, success is defined in two parts. First, we strive to stay as close to our mission statement as possible: to help current and future health care professionals create a better, healthier tomorrow. Our mission statement provides an avenue for us to pursue our goals with a focused approach. Second, we aim to be adaptable to changing industry conditions so that we can best serve our clients.”
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs who are requesting a Lehigh Valley LaunchBox portfolio grant? Or, more generally, as they start their businesses?
“The main advice I can give towards starting a business is to make sure you are passionate about what you are doing, and that you have the time to properly execute your plan. Entrepreneurship can be a long, lonely road so having a business partner is very helpful. Before you start a business, have a clear understanding that some days will be great and some days will be terrible. It’s important to stay level headed and focused.”
Lehigh Valley LaunchBox is a signature program of the Invent Penn State initiative.