Technology has revolutionized the way we learn and operate, impacting aspects of life as vital as the health care we receive. The rate of development in medicine and medical technology is unprecedented today, yet large academic medical centers and health-care systems are under crushing pressure to quickly deliver patient outcomes and reduce readmissions. As a result, the education of postgraduate physicians remains antiquated, ineffective, and inefficient. It could even be said that postgraduate medical education is in crisis.
Knowledge to Practice (K2P), a company in the third cohort of LearnLaunch Accelerator, aims to solve this problem and to heighten clinical excellence by transforming how expertise is shared and learned among clinicians worldwide. K2P founder and CEO, Mary Ellen Beliveau, is passionate about this problem and has devoted her career to transforming patient care by improving the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of physicians. LearnLaunch sat down with Mary Ellen to find out how meeting LearnLaunch Partner Jean Hammond at an MIT course on entrepreneurial development kick-started a chain of events that would irrevocably change K2P.
What stage was your company at when you applied to LearnLaunch Accelerator?
MEB: We were just under 1 year old with over $1M in revenue, so I guess we were just beyond validation and moving into growth.
Why did you come to LearnLaunch Accelerator at that later stage?
MEB: The depth and pace of our success took us by surprise. We realized we had more than we had envisioned on our hands in terms of the value and quality of our product. We needed to step back, reevaluate our go-to-market strategy and business model, and think much bigger. We knew our product was hot, but we looked to LearnLaunch to help us design a pivot that would innovate the business model and help us quickly gain a leadership position in the marketplace.
Did K2P’s maturity give you a unique perspective within the program as compared to the other companies?
MEB: Very much so. In many ways, we benefited more than earlier-stage organizations. We had our product and we had revenue, so a lot of the early-stage product design and delivery stuff was behind us. We needed the big brains of successful entrepreneurs to challenge us and plan a much bigger business model. The people at LearnLaunch Accelerator and their huge mentor system think like this every day. It’s a walk in the park for them and they love a challenge; it stimulates them and they end up as passionate about your business as you are—no kidding! We quickly gained access to experts and an entrepreneurial ecosystem that could help us think big, be bold, and guide our success. We absolutely leapfrogged where we would have been had we selected any other route.
Did LearnLaunch Accelerator play an important role in the development of K2P at that later stage?
MEB: LearnLaunch Accelerator has been critical to our pivot, our brand-new business model, and the increasing potential of our opportunity. LearnLaunch created the pivot; K2P refined it.
What was the single most important piece of feedback that you received?
MEB: Well, there were two pieces, really: 1) that which helped us design our new distribution model, and 2) that which helped us tell our very abstract and complex story in a simple way so funders could quickly wrap their arms around our offering and get excited.
In what ways has K2P developed over the course of the program?
MEB: It would be easier to name what hasn’t developed over the course of the program. We have a road map, a better business model, business plan, and go-market-strategy, we have a clear story, and we are ready to raise funds. It’s like fast-forwarding through adolescence—you have less time to make all those mistakes and you come out like a grown-up with sage advice and the ability to think critically about the crucial things while moving past the small things.
What advice would you give to other later-stage companies considering applying to LearnLaunch Accelerator?
MEB: You know, I hesitated. I worried we were too late-stage to get the maximum value out of the program. I worried we would not be able to run our business while being highly engaged in the program. With the exceptions of marrying my husband and starting this business, committing to LearnLaunch was the best decision I have ever made. My advice: JUST DO IT!