Ep. 11: How to Transition from An Employee to A HealthTech Business | Jaden Risner, Family Proud

Jaden Risner is the CEO and co-founder of Family Proud, a software company that connects patients and
companies with the resources necessary to effectively manage the burden of care. He’s also been in the
US military for over 12 years.

In this episode of the HealthTech Hustle, Jaden shares his journey transitioning from the military to the
healthcare tech industry. He talks about the ups and downs of running a startup and the importance of
having a team that resonates with you.

“If you’re growing an early stage team that is mission-driven, you have to use people that believe in
what you’re doing and are doing it for the right reasons, and ultimately will get you to where you’re
going.” -Jaden Risner [20:02]

Who is Jaden Risner and how did he get into his area of expertise? [1:15]
He’s originally from California and was lucky to join the Naval. Both his parents had terminal illnesses
which led him to the healthcare sector. He saw a need for a better way to support families and so
founded Family Proud. He wanted to give a platform for family members to offer support remotely to
their sick loved ones especially when they cannot be there physically.

Is Family Proud just for military families only? [3:50]
They started with only the military side but realized that what they offered applies to any family in need.
They had started with the pediatric oncology space but have now diversified to any family in need due
to recent events and are offering it for free.

How did he transition from being a military employee to an entrepreneur? [5:03]
He used what he learned in the military and applied it in as an entrepreneur like utilizing scarce
resources, the ability to take on a mission, and the ability to grow a mission-driven team. It was a big
jump for him though passion-driven and took all the energy from the military and focused on a new goal
that was his business. The motivating factor is being able to help families that are in need.

How did he strategize what to focus on vs what not to focus on? [6:56]
His initial plan was to continue learning as much as he could from both the tech and healthcare worlds
before he started to execute. He wanted to have the ability to absorb and understand the space before
setting off and it still applies even though he has more tools in place today. He prioritizes by having a
game plan of identifying what is important, the problem, and how to solve it. He credits his team for all
the success as he had no previous experience in the health tech industry.

How did he find the right team for his startup? [9:43]
He ‘hustled’ himself into getting the right people by networking and reaching out to people through
traditional means. He understood the problem from the patient and family’s perspective and knew he
had to go out and get people with the right skills to help him reach his goals. He recommends for
genuine humility when reaching out and building relationships.

What role does he play more on his company? [14:23]
As a CEO, you have to be willing to wear many hats but as you grow and build your team you can then
start to let others lead with their expertise. He believes that as a CEO you have to ultimately be the
visionary and strategist for a startup as you execute the plan.

How does he go about attracting his target audience to the platform? [16:24]
They are now focused on getting organic support engagement through the families and support
networks like family groups and support organizations. They find it easier for them to go through the
organizations to get the message to the families than any other means.

What are the challenges he has faced in starting a company in the healthcare tech industry?
[19:12]
The immense cost of hiring a team to build a product as he didn’t have the required skill set has been a
challenge. The process of building a foundation for the company pre-product by finding the right people
that believe in what you’re doing. Identifying the customers and partners in the space willing to work
with his company.

What advice does he have for a healthcare entrepreneur who wants to bring their product
into the market? [21:12]

If it’s a passion, just keep showing up and find the right team. Keep the motivation!
Jaden answers the rapid-fire round of questions. [22:53]

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