Life is not linear and neither is entrepreneurship. According to Jay Schiff, it’s important that you’re adaptable because as many plans as you make, you’ll rarely follow them from A to Z.
Jay is the co-founder and CEO of Addinex Technologies, Inc., a company aiming to tackle addiction with a prescription medication dispensing system and platform. Jay has plenty more tips for entrepreneurs, both within and without the medical field, read on for more.
What are three things every Entrepreneur should know?
According to Jay Schiff, entrepreneurs need to know basic financials. While this may come from his background in finance - as he openly stated himself - he does believe it is necessary for entrepreneurs to understand the basics of finance. If you don’t have at least a basic idea it will be very difficult to grasp how to actually make money with your business.
The next point Jay brought up was that “nothing is a straight line.” When you’re running a business, of course you’ll have a plan. Maybe your plan goes A, B, C, D, for example. Then you’ll begin acting on the plan and you go from A to D - skipping B and C entirely.
Then you go back to B. Now, suddenly, it’s 1, 2, 3 instead of B. You get the picture. Essentially, Jay was highlighting how important it is for entrepreneurs to be flexible and adaptable in taking your business where opportunities lead you rather than being rigid about plans.
Finally, Jay mentioned that he’s been a part of the working world for quite some time and he finds it extremely exciting to be building something from the ground up rather than being a part of something someone else has built.
This segued into his final point which was that your entrepreneurial journey is a real education. Even if your first attempt to build a business fails, it provides valuable knowledge and experience. Being young offers more opportunities to try again and build a personal portfolio.
Your first attempt might not be the one that succeeds, but you can keep trying until you hit the mark and each attempt provides valuable learning experiences that can be applied in future endeavors.
What problem does your business solve and who are its customers?
Jay and his co-founder recognized the opioid epidemic as a significant issue that needed a solution and developed a dispensing system as a response. The system aims to prevent excess pills from ending up in medicine cabinets and being misused by dispensing medication one dose at a time, following the prescribed schedule.
Their company, Addinex Technologies, Inc., also provides a mailer along with the device, making it easy for patients to safely dispose of unused medication. Additionally, their app tracks patients' pain levels and helps doctors manage opioid prescriptions more effectively, reducing the risk of dependency.
Their main customers are hospitals and larger institutions, where both doctors and patients will benefit. They received a grant from the CDC to adapt their system for addiction treatment, specifically for the drug suboxone. The app even has a video feature which ensures that patients adhere to their treatment plan, and doctors can monitor their progress and intervene if necessary to prevent relapses or diversion.
What inspired you to become an Entrepreneur?
Jay grew up in a family of small business owners, and this environment consistently inspired him to pursue entrepreneurship. However, with family responsibilities and a career on a set path, he followed the conventional route for some time.
Eventually, he was presented with the opportunity to begin his own venture on the finance side of things. Although it didn't go as planned, he adapted and founded his own consulting business, which provided him with the freedom to explore other interests.
Being his own boss through the consulting firm allowed Jay to pursue other ventures simultaneously, offering him the freedom to finally fulfill his long-held desire to start his own business, something he’d been itching to do his entire life.
If someone had given you a million dollars when you first started your business, what would you have spent it on?
Jay and his co-founder were mindful of their spending when they initially raised funds for Addinex Technologies. While spending money wisely was necessary, this cautious approach also meant that progress was slower than they would have liked as the amount of money raised can reflect the speed and flexibility of your business.
Had they had more funding at the start, Jay would have used it to fill gaps and invest in certain areas. He acknowledged that having additional capital would have allowed them to bring in industry experts as partners, especially in the healthcare sector where they lacked specific expertise.
However, in the early stages, it can be challenging to attract such partners due to a heavy reliance on equity over immediate financial compensation, so a million-dollar investment would’ve been very helpful on that front.
What is your proudest accomplishment as an Entrepreneur?
Jay mentioned a couple achievements that he’s proud of, the first of which was obtaining a patent for their product. While Jay credits much of the success to his brilliant partner, both of them contributed to the innovation.
Additionally, they reached another proud milestone by successfully completing their first study and having the results published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal. This demonstrated the credibility and effectiveness of their product, gaining recognition from the scientific community while also affirming to Jay and their partner that they’re on the right path.
Their third and final achievement, that Jay mentioned, was securing a grant from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
What big goals are you looking to achieve?
Despite the tough market conditions, Jay and his company aim to raise more funds for commercialization. They have already conducted successful studies, proving their product's effectiveness. Now, they seek partners for piloting and figuring out reimbursement models.
Jay acknowledges the challenges of navigating the complex healthcare system, especially with the monumental costs of the opioid epidemic. While their product offers cost-effective solutions, translating the potential savings of billions into real-world reimbursements is a task they are actively working on.
Addinex Technologies' long-term goal is to contribute significantly to mitigating the opioid epidemic's massive impact on society.
Jay knows that entering the entrepreneurial world is an education like no other and he’s picked up plenty of tips and knowledge along the way. If you have some of your own entrepreneurial tips to share with the class, please do get in touch!
We’d love to discuss your own unique journey, learnings, achievements, and future goals on another episode of Entrepreneur Stories.
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