On the Promoting Enterprise portal we are talking to the entrepreneurs on the 33 Under 33 list. This Secrets of Success initiative aims to shine the spotlight on a selection of successful young entrepreneurs, documenting their stories in an effort to inspire others to consider entrepreneurship as a career path. Today it is the turn of young Slovak Martin Pekarčík.
Martin is from Slovakia and is a Doctor of Medicine. As a rock climber and passionate traveller he has always admired the mountaineers Reinhold Messner, Peter Hamor and the ethnologist, traveller and author Miloslav Stingl as people who were able to get out of their comfort zone and calmly solve problems in acute situations and deal with objective danger. Since childhood, he has learned from and looked up to his father, who runs a company in the wood processing industry. He remembers his very first paid business when, as a 6-year-old, he picked blueberries and sold them in a parking lot.
Tell us about your business
Our company is a manufacturer and distributor of an innovative medical solution scase Vital® used for streamlining the workflow and reducing the administrative tasks of medical staff in hospitals, clinics or social services homes. Scase Vital® also represents a comprehensive tool for remote monitoring of patients by their doctors.
Our solution consists of two parts, a device and a software platform. The device, which is the size of a tablet, combines a thermometer, glucometer, blood pressure monitor and pulse oximeter. All measured data are transferred in real-time to a web platform accessible by a doctor or head nurse.
Currently, we focus on the digitalisation of medical records, which represents an enormous administrative burden for medical personnel who therefore cannot devote their time to patients. Scase Vital® is now undergoing the certification process and we will launch our product on the B2B market under a software-as-a-service model within 2023.
Where did you get the idea from?
It came during my travels across Kenya and Rwanda. There I had the opportunity to see absolute differences in the approach of ordinary people to healthcare who often travel to hospitals for several hours, even in acute conditions.
And so, the impulse to develop scase Vital® arose in response to three important shortcomings found in healthcare in economically less developed countries: a noticeable lack of trained medical staff, a shortage of quality medical devices, and an impractically managed patient database system. After many discussions with doctors and medical staff we shaped the idea and thus the development of scase Vital® began.
How old were you when you first decided you would start your own business?
I was 22 years old.
How did you get it off the ground?
Naturally, there were many challenges and obstacles we faced from the beginning. Since the solution combines both hardware and software and we operate in the most regulated area, I had to find equally passionate people in the medical and technical fields. As a student, I had access to various lectures or events where students come together. I contacted many of them or asked if they knew anyone who would be interested in becoming a member of the S-Case team. Step by step, we assembled an experienced team of experts.
Also, financing was a huge issue, I remember preparing a short, 1-minute presentation that I pitched to my father´s acquaintances, also entrepreneurs. I raised EUR 11 000, which was used to purchase materials and components and so the very first prototypes were created. Afterward, we were able to apply for various grants and raised larger financial support from investors.
Who did you turn to for help?
In the first place, my parents. My father helped me with business connections and my mom, who is the director of the Health Department of Žilina region, introduced me to people from the industry. Generally, there are many ways of support for start-ups, such organisations can give you space for promoting your idea, an office for free, or provide you with professional consultation.
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