Fabian Kreiseder, Dominik Molnar and Markus Themeßl came across a gap in the market during the "Application Project" course of the Business Administration Online bachelor's program. Initial rough ideas gradually turned into something very concrete: The startup famado GmbH with the product PriorizR was founded. In this experience report, the three students talk about their idea development and how studying at MCI helped them in the process.
Psychotherapy patients often have to wait months for their treatment to begin. The length of time they are waiting does usually not correlate with their level of need for treatment. Patients with a greater need or urgency for treatment wait alongside those less affected by the time factor. Particularly for those in need, the time spent on the waiting list puts a strain on themselves as well as their families, social and work environment. Moreover, growing waiting lists with people of varying needs create more pressure for therapists. This status quo is unsatisfactory, harmful and has resulted in a situation that everyone wants to change but lacked either the know-how or the opportunity.
We submitted this problem as a project proposal in preparation for the module "Applied Project” that was part of our Business Administration Online Bachelor Program. It was the first time the three of us were working together. Our ideas and expertise, however, complemented each other and we grew together as a team, dedicating ourselves intensively to this topic.
In order to be able to develop a market-oriented product, we worked closely with the Institute for Social Services (ifs) in Vorarlberg. The ifs is the largest psychotherapy provider in Vorarlberg; about 3,000 patients are receiving treatment every year.
In the course of the "applied project" we developed three module-prototypes that complement each other: (1) an evidence-based guideline for the systematic and standardized assessment of individual patient’s psychotherapeutic treatment needs, (2) an algorithm to manage the advancement of patients on the waiting list based on needs; and (3) the matching of patients with the best fitting and available psychotherapists.
The experts at the ifs were impressed about the prototypes and their potential. Their reaction and a subsequent market research convinced us, that there is a market for our product and a demand for the services we are able to offer. Therefore, we decided to develop these prototypes into a marketable (augmented) software product (PriorizR) and founded a start-up.
Since June 2020, we are operating as famado GmbH. We started our sales process with a focus on one market segment - institutional psychotherapy providers- but are expanding now into other health care areas. We do not want to stop there either, our vision is the revolution of waiting list management and demand-oriented resource allocation in all areas.
Without the Business Administration Online degree program, neither famado GmbH nor PriorizR would exist. The study program has helped and supported us in various ways. First of all, it made it possible for us to study business administration while working. The course, which is based on concepts of blended and distance learning, has shown us the possibilities of virtual collaboration, which proved particularly valuable during the COVID 19 pandemic. As it turned out, we handled our entire project from the development of the prototype to the establishment of the company (digital notary's office) entirely using internet-based software tools.
The MCI describes itself as an entrepreneurial school, and that really proved true for us. Looking back, we can see that over the course of the development of our product and founding our start-up we applied business management skills from almost all the courses we had. These included general planning, organizing and implementing business ideas as well as more specific entrepreneurial skills and ideas. Among them were marketing, sales and the legal basics, without which it would have been much more difficult to found a start-up. In addition, for the implementation of our ideas, we have also relied heavily on the knowledge and insights we had gained in study subjects that are sometimes considered "boring" or less important, such as process and project management, production management, logistics, accounting or quality management.
Finally, we wrote our bachelor theses on different aspects of our product. This allowed us to query and test our ideas again and at the same time create empirical evidence for the effectiveness of our product.
With PriorizR, we shorten the waiting time of hopefully many people and contribute our share to alleviate suffering, pressure and frustration. Furthermore, it is our goal to live Corporate Social Responsibility, just as promoted by the MCI.
The Business Administration Online program did not just add strings to each of our bows. It helped us carve the bow that had turned our various strings into a formidable tool.
Fabian Kreiseder, Dominik Molnar & Markus Themeßl
Markus Themeßl - co-founder of PriorizR. Photo: famado GmbH
Fabian Kreiseder - co-founder of PriorizR. Photo: famado GmbH
Dominik Molnar - co-founder of PriorizR. Photo: famado GmbH