eLumni Interview with Tatiana Chavarriaga, Co-founder of HealthPhy

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eLab Contributor

eLab Contributor

Tatiana finished the eLab Advance program, in Berlin this past Summer. During her time on the program, she and her husband worked together to launch their physiotherapy app HealthPhy.

Why did you choose eLab?

eLab was the best match for me because the program was only six weeks long and you can really focus on your company’s specific issues as well as improve your business plan. I liked that both the Emerge and Advance programs are offered because it’s for people who are just starting out and also already have a lot of experience, which helped us to understand what stage our business was in.

What did you initially expect?

I was expecting there would be a lot of people and that it would be more formal like a university, where you just come to class and then go home, but it wasn’t like that at all! I had a really good connection with the mentors and they had enough time to give me the personal attention I needed. Working in a small group meant that we could focus directly on each issue that a person was going through. They really take you by the hand and go on the journey with you, which was super valuable.

Did this course help you prepare for your career? (Confidence, ideas, etc.)

Before eLab, we had some ideas and a pitch built, but we were not ready to launch. However, after the program, we felt that we were finally ready to launch our app and we did! eLab even hosted our launch party. 

We were also able to find our target market, which helped us to focus on creating a customer persona and journey. It doesn’t matter if you’re in an advanced stage or not, the most important thing was still getting feedback and validation from the customers and creating simple prototypes, which helped us massively.

What did you enjoy about this program?

Creating the pitch deck and presenting at the final event. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to your fears. It was also an opportunity to share your idea with more people, see what they think and get feedback from the experts on the panel. That feeling of adrenaline, when your nervous is because something good is going to happen. 

Networking was also one of the more difficult parts at the beginning because I was awkward and shy, but being forced to do it helped me learn how to share my ideas confidently and passionately.

How did eLab help you with your business goals and needs?

At first, we had some issues with our business model. We wanted to create a sustainable business with an impact on healthcare as well as to change the mindsets and culture of self-care. eLab really gave us a vision of how to be a stable business while on the market. 

We got advice on how important it is to have business goals set up for 1, 5, and even 10 years down the road. People tend to overestimate how well they are going to do and are not prepared for setbacks. If you come across some issues during the process of building your business it can be discouraging, but having the goals set up means you still know where you’re going.

What was your biggest takeaway from the program?

How to be a good leader and entrepreneur in the ecosystem, but also how to remain human and not just focus on money, but positively impacting the lives of other people.

I learned a lot of values on how to work with people and how to create HealthPhy in a way that it focuses on helping people to relieve their physical pain. We are working directly with real people, not just robots or faceless characters, so learning how to be more connected with our customers was amazing. 

Also, figuring out how to share my experiences and vision. My team will follow the vision I create, so you have to know how to share this vision with them because they are not just someone working with you, they are your team member.

Would you recommend eLab to aspiring entrepreneurs? If so, why?

Yes of course! I loved the program because it’s short but full of substance and great content. Even if you start with nothing it helps you create the basis for your business, so you’ll come out on the other end with an actionable plan. 

I highly recommend CIEE’s eLab program because it is the way you can take the first steps in your entrepreneurial journey and build the roots of your business before you grow too much. Before eLab, we were doing some work on the app, but it wasn’t super concrete or focused, however now we really believe that we can do something real because we have a stable base, contacts, and connections to share our ideas with. 

HealthPhy was a 3-year-old dream of ours. We had been building it step-by-step super slowly because we didn’t want it to be a full-time commitment. However, 3 months before we came on the program we thought if not now then when? So we quit our jobs and decided to focus solely on the app and all of our energy started flowing there. It’s about decisions and priorities.

When HealthPhy became our first priority, everything started to happen. It all fell into place and when eLab came into our lives they made everything available to us, whatever we needed. Now we’ve launched our app and are working hard to find funding and grow our business.

Want to learn more about the journeys of our eLumni? Then check out our Featured Alumni page to see their stories!

Need that extra push and guidance to get your business off the ground? Then eLab is here to help! Check out our Programs page to find the best solution for your business needs.

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