How This Latino-led TeleHealth Company Is Growing At An Exponential Rate During COVID
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve created an interview series to feature inspiring Latinx entrepreneurs whose stories of determination represent our community’s unwavering drive to seguir adelante.
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Published: September 11, 2020
I met Rey Colon during his time in the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Education (SLEI-Ed) Scaling Program in 2018. With over 250 applications to review, Rey stood out because of his persistence. I recall Rey reaching out to us on every platform (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and email) inquiring about the SLEI-Ed program and I thought, “This guy is serious — we have to review his application!” I am so glad that we did.
Rey is a serial entrepreneur with an extensive background in online brand marketing, market development and management. His leadership has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Entrepreneur 360 List” for 2016 and 2017, among many others over the past 5 years.
His current venture, MyTelemedicine, is a Healthcare Technology company that focuses on developing solutions in the virtual healthcare space. MyTelemedicine has recently been recognized in the 2020 Inc. 5000 list and in both the Texas Series list and the National Inc. 5000 list, a prestigious recognition for some of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
When I reached out to Rey in June, he was also adjusting to the inevitable changes COVID had presented for many companies. I was eager to learn how he was surviving.
Melody: “Tell us a little about your business.”
Rey: “Well, there are two sides to the business. First, there is the service model business, Access a Doctor, where we provide 24/7 access to Doctors nationwide by video to over 2.1 Million patients nationwide. Then, we have the SaaS(software as a solution) called Zeal.ly, where we license our technology to healthcare providers, practices and hospitals, allowing them to service their own patient population.
Our application has many features, such as accessing a doctor, searching for a provider, your provider list, a benefits hub, RX saver, and some referrals for those services that are beyond what we can treat.
Melody: “How is business? How have you had to pivot?”
Rey: “As most businesses, we felt the effect of COVID, but in a good way. Most of our clients were calling to add more members and employees to provide them with additional coverage. At that point, we had to ask ourselves, ‘How can we keep more people safe? And how can we flatten the curve?’ This was our time to really scale our business. We had to grab the bull by the horns, and we accelerated production. Since all our developers are in house, within 1 week we rolled out a COVID-19 self-assessment tool and immediately promoted it to our clients and members. We framed out our sales strategy and immediately deployed a sales and marketing campaign that over the past 90 days has added an additional 300k members.”
Melody: “Did you see the market going in this direction? Do you think you could’ve predicted this?”
Rey: “Pre-COVID, we were predicting the telehealth industry to pivot in the next two years or so. COVID just accelerated the change and the adoption.”
Melody: “That’s a good point. So how have doctors been hearing about your business?”
Rey: “We have been doing several things. Our strategies have been leveraging LinkedIn, publishing press releases, digital marketing, hiring roles for sales and campaigns for lead generation.”
Melody: “What has been the hardest thing as a business owner during COVID?”
Rey: “The hardest thing was realizing this was our time to shine and needing to execute a strategy to scale, considering everyone in the U.S. needed access to telehealth due to COVID. We asked ourselves, ‘What are some areas we know we can scale immediately? How do we execute a plan? Do we stay in our current space or do we pivot?’
We had to be really strategic and methodical. I also needed to ensure my team felt secure and that their jobs were not at risk. Now, we need to be forward thinking as we prepare for how things will be when COVID gets a vaccine.”
Melody: “Speaking of employees — how are you managing employee morale and what actions are you taking to be flexible, if possible?”
Rey: “We like to think our culture is ‘Silicon Valley meets country Texas!’
My thing has always been to lead with passion and conviction, and my team knows who I am as an individual. We did a couple of things:
Letting them work from home, which posed some challenges but we had been prepared for this.
Gave out bonuses to the team. For example, if you went an extra shift, we gave out bonus pay.
Ultimately, the goal was to keep the team happy and always provide transparency to keep the trust.”
Melody: “That’s amazing. So how have sales been affected? It seems like you are in the right industry at the moment.”
Rey: “We are growing fast. In the last three months, we grew over 45% bringing our total membership to over 2 million members nationwide. We are confident we will hit our 2020 goals by August.”
Melody: “Wow! That is amazing! Have there been any resources that you have relied on?”
Rey: “We have leveraged our legal team, our board members, and our management team. Since we are preparing to raise, we need to leverage everyone in our network.”
Melody: “It sounds like you been playing all your cards right. What help, if any, do you need?”
Rey: “We are preparing to raise capital, so any leads in the space would be helpful.”
Clearly, Rey’s story turned out to be a story of leveraging the changing market and adapting quickly. By leading his team with trust, passion and conviction, they have been able to thrive as a business and help millions of Americans along the way.
Edited by: Jessica Salinas
Learn more about Rey Colon and his Telehealth business by visiting his website and social channels (Facebook and LinkedIn). If you are able to offer support or would like to contribute to the success of their business, feel free to ping me, and I can make an intro.
If you’d like to support MyTelemedicine and more exceptional entrepreneurs like them during the pandemic, spread the word about this series and share this article with family and friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Email.
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