We can talk about technology, quality products and all the things that go into making a startup successful (and we should), but I have found that by and large, the conduit for growth and innovation often lies in the relationships we cultivate and nurture along our journey.
Here is how a group of marketing students, an influential business leader, a rural doctor and a woman-owned tech startup all converged to create a mobile app with far-reaching aspirations.
I met Andrew Salazar during the early days of founding my startup. I’d chatted at length with several of the movers and shakers at Technology Ventures Corporation, including Andres and Sherman McCorkle, about the vision I had for my mobile tech company. Both were willing sounding boards and generous with advice, giving me a boost of encouragement and positivity.
So it wasn’t a surprise when I recently received an email from Andres connecting me with another of his acquaintances, Dr. Daniel Marez, an Accupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine practicing in the rural outreaches of Northern New Mexico. Marez, in search for a straightforward approach to help individuals conquer pain, had published a book with simple drawings depicting the application of basic accupressure techniques. His vision was to share his techniques on a larger platform in hopes of reaching groups like soldiers suffering from PTSD and rural Native American communities with limited access to acupuncture or pain relief care.
Around the same time he met me, Marez was also introduced to a group of marketing students studying at the University of New Mexico who agreed to take on his project, providing research and advice to the rural doctor.
Through a series of long distance chats with Marez, we devised a general idea for a mobile app that would integrate the concept of his book with the interactive possibilities of a mobile app. And while we developed the app, he worked with his team of students to formulate a plan to reach out to the communities he wanted to help.
When I recently met with Dr. Marez to demonstrate the app we’d created for him, he was moved. “This is an important day,” Marez said. “For a doctor like me, practicing out where I do … the opportunity to create something like this that can help so many people … I just couldn’t imagine that it was possible.” He’s right – mobile has in many ways equalized the rural with the urban, allowing innovators anywhere to reach out beyond the borders of their local communities.
We’re excited about the upcoming launch of the PainRelief mobile app, but we’re just as excited to have cultivated yet another relationship in the process.