A Q&A with BoardVitals co-founder and CEO Daniel Lambert. The New York City-based healthtech startup announced earlier this month that it has raised $1.1 million in Series A funding from Salt Lake City-based Rock Creek Capital. Previous investors in an initial Seed round include Blueprint Health and Rothenberg Ventures. The company was founded in 2013 by Lambert and Andrea Paul.
Please describe BoardVitals and your primary innovation.
BoardVitals brings together content from major publishers, universities, and top healthcare professionals, creating the largest training ecosystem in medicine. BoardVitals helps physicians prepare for medical board exams, re-certification exams, and in-service exams, offering high-yield content in over 30 specialities.
Contributors are experts from top-tier academic and practicing institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Duke, and Mt. Sinai, helping us create the best content on the market.
Who are your target markets and users?
We sell on a subscription basis to individuals as well as to institutions. Health Science libraries, medical schools and hospital systems purchase Board Vitals on a recurring annual basis.
Who do you consider to be your competition, and what differentiates BoardVitals from the competition?
While there are many providers for the MCAT and early medical exams, such as Kaplan and Princeton Review, there are very few offerings for the medical specialties. Our competitors primarily offer in-person courses, and paper based exams.
We provide a dynamic, continuously updating, ecosystem. Many are involved in making sure that we have most recent and relevant material, meaning it’s peer reviewed and vetted by hundreds of physicians every day. Our software and questions are several years ahead of anyone else in healthcare education.
You’ve just revealed that you’ve raised $1.1 million in Series A funding. How do you plan to use the funds?
We plan to use the funds to reach more physicians internationally. The funds will also be used to certify BoardVitals as a CME (continuing medical education) provider.
What was the inspiration behind the idea for BoardVitals? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
The inspiration was watching my father prepare for his recertification exam. He was having to use many different books, notes, journals and pdfs. I knew that there had to be a better way.
What were the first steps you took in establishing the company?
The first step was finding a handful of committed physicians who were willing to help organize and write content. We gave them equity in exchange for helping us build out our first training material.
How did you come up with the name? What is the story or meaning behind it?
We wanted a name that told the world that we cover the most important aspects of medicine. That was how we came up with the word ‘Vitals,’ and ‘boards’ are the certification exams that new physicians have to take every year.
What have the most significant challenges been so far to building the company?
BoardVitals operates in a fairly niche area as there are only so many specialists of each type. The hardest part was finding the twenty-plus experts or faculty needed to write really high grade content for each medical specialty.
How do you generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
We generate revenue by selling subscriptions to individuals as well as to institutions—Health Science libraries, medical schools, and hospital systems.
What are your goals for BoardVitals over the next year or so?
Our goal is to reach a $3 million ARR and be in 300 institutions by mid-2016.