OEN NewsMeet Travis Rush | Reperio Health

We’re pleased to introduce Reperio Health as this week’s Sponsor Spotlight. 

Reperio provides the only comprehensive at-home health screening solution with instant results. Reperio was co-founded in 2020 by former OEN board member Travis Rush and is headquartered in SE Portland. 

How did Reperio Health get its start?

It’s no secret that the healthcare system in the U.S. is a reactive service, usually only stepping in to facilitate and pay for health problems after we become ill. However, we also know that preventive healthcare and screenings in particular can help keep people out of the hospital. So, why are 25% of people in the U.S. not getting annual health screenings? Well, mostly because the hassles and unknown costs associated with doing so create challenges and friction points that cause people to procrastinate and, ultimately, wait years to go to the doctor until they have an urgent health need.

The goal of Reperio is to remove barriers to health screenings so that people can more readily and cost effectively take a proactive role in their own health. The first step in accomplishing this has been to develop our patent-pending screening kit that uses Bluetooth-connected medical devices to measure key health indicators like blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, and more from the comfort of home. In under 30 minutes, you can get a snapshot of your health and then follow up with your doctor if you’re concerned or need to determine a care plan. 

Our longer term goal is to develop various at-home screening kits using the same patent-pending technology for a variety of other potential health conditions. But for now, we’re starting with these basic metrics, which are recommended by the American Heart Association to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

What are your most common recommendations to first-time entrepreneurs?

No one does this alone, although it may feel like it at times. Surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurial personalities is key and how you want to go about building out your team. But first and even more important is to connect with other founders. There are two types of founders, those who have done it before and those who are as fresh and new to the game as you. Both are equally important. 

The veteran founders will be great sounding boards for what to do and not to do based on wins and losses that they’ve already experienced. So don’t be afraid to solicit advice from these people. With that said, if they ask for stock in your company in order to have a cup of coffee, run. That’s not how this works. Well intentioned veterans of the start-up ecosystem will typically be happy to give some free advice just to help you not make the same mistakes they may have made. It’s a kind of “paying it forward” process. Don’t abuse them, but asking for 30 minutes every 6 months is not over-asking in my opinion. 

The newbies like yourself also provide a similar, and I would say, even more important role. Starting a company is hard. It can be lonely, tough on your family, and financially scary. It’s important to have at least a small group of people who can relate to what you’re trying to do and the struggles that come with it. Get together with them regularly to share stories and bounce ideas off one another. Not only will you be helping each other figure things out along the way, but you’ll also find some comfort knowing that you’re not the only crazy, overly optimistic person you know. Investors will tell you your idea won’t work. Friends will tell you what you’re doing is super cool, but they really won’t have any idea what you’re dealing with as they complain about their bosses and the PTO they’ve racked up for that vacation that you can’t even afford to think about right now, let alone take time off for.

When I decided to launch my first start-up, which was eventually acquired by Johnson & Johnson, I was lucky enough to have a friend and mentor who had done it before. He had started a previous startup and eventually benefited from a successful acquisition. Having the ability to make that phone call periodically saved me a ton of time and frustration. He helped me morph the idea into a slide deck and strategy that eventually resonated with investors. Not right away, of course. The first twenty or so investors all turned me down and said they didn’t see the value in what I was building. And, man, is it hard to ignore those voices as you keep pushing forward. Having him there to remind me that this reaction was normal and just part of the process saved me a lot of sleepless nights.

Why do you think OEN has an important role to play in this entrepreneurial community?

One of the best ways to gain access to these mentors in your community is to join OEN and take advantage of all the connections and support that they provide. You will meet other fellow start-up founders trying to figure things out, and you’ll also be able to lean on OEN for introductions to mentors that may have some experience in your area of interest. These resources will be invaluable, not to mention the friendships you’ll develop along the way. I believed so much in what OEN has to offer to our community that I accepted an invitation to be on the board for two years after my first company was acquired. I resigned from the board at that time, only because I had decided to start my new company and head off on this crazy journey again. 

What would people be surprised to know about you?

If you Google my name, you’ll probably find more about my short lived country music career than you will about my start-up experiences. And yes, the guy you’ll find sporting the dark goatee along with a head of hair is me before I decided to launch my first start-up.

Learn more at www.reperiohealth.com 

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