Names: Dr Oskar Wendowski and Dr Thuria Abduljhbar
Tell us more about e-Surgery
e-Surgery.com is a novel online GP and Pharmacy started by a UEA Doctor and Pharmacist. We provide medical treatments to our patients online by our experienced UK GPs. We also offer an absolutely free “Ask a Pharmacist” service which gives our patients access to professional advice from a registered pharmacist anytime.
How did UEA Student Enterprise help you?
UEA Student Enterprise has been absolutely amazing in helping us start up. We have won the “Do It” and “Grow It” grants, whilst also being offered the next stage “Scale It” grant. In addition to the financial help, UEA helped to set us up with a number of mentors in different areas of business. These guys really know their stuff and helped us in areas where we lacked expertise. The staff at UEA Student Enterprise are amazing and go the extra mile to help in any way they can. Finbarr especially has been beyond helpful and has all the connections you could ever need!
What made you start a business?
Working on the front lines in NHS primary care we saw how detrimental budget cuts were to the patient experience and we are not happy about it. We knew there was a better way to offer our own expertise to help. With the use of emerging technology healthcare is becoming more patient centred than ever before and we wanted to be part of this exciting revolution.
What was the difficulty in setting up a new business?
The most difficult part is the implementation. As Richard Branson says ideas are only 10% of the equation. Actually doing the hard work of putting the systems in place and getting a measurable product into the market is the real test. In our field, regulation is a big part of the barrier to entry. Making sure that everything was safe, legal and efficient before launch took more time than anticipated.
What was the defining moment in your startup journey?
Getting the Do It and Grow It grants from UEA were the two moments that really stand out. It was the first bit of cash that we got back from investing our efforts and savings into the business. But even more importantly it was validation that we were doing the right thing. Having 12 business experts in a room all agree that we had a good business, is something we’ll never forget!
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs just starting out?
Read and consume as much information as you can! Instead of listening to the top 50 tracks listen to an audiobook. Instead of watching Netflix watch a Ted talk or a YouTube video on marketing (or anything you’ve not mastered yet). All the information you need to be successful is out there. It’s just a matter of digesting it.
Business is a science. Once you have an idea, get an MVP (minimum viable product) out as soon as you can. Then test it. Test it on anyone and everyone you can and collect the data. Then test again. Assumptions and feelings will lead you astray, but quality data never lies. Let your target market dictate to you what they want, not the other way around.