Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sulivan Santiago, Co-Founder of Lincon, located in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Lincon was born as a digital therapy for people with obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Currently, our offering also includes mental health management, wellness, and lifestyle behavior change. In short, our goal is to help anyone achieve a healthier life at a low cost. Behind the scenes, we have a health team (health coaches, nutritionists, nurses, and personal trainers) supported by cutting-edge technology, which helps us to deliver a 5-star service at scale.
We have three tiers of customers. The first tier is employers and health plans. They are constantly looking for cost reduction, talent retention, and better ROI. The second one is B2B2C companies, such as drug stores and pharmacies. Most of them are creating their own health journey ecosystem. Last but not least, B2C customers looking for convenience. That means a team of health experts at any time and anywhere.
Tell us about yourself
Before founding Lincon, I (Sulivan Santiago) and my other two partners (Victor Navarrete and Jose Gutierrez) used to work for the largest startup accelerator and innovation company in Latin America. Part of our daily job was to discover the next big trend which could potentially lead to high results when investing in startups. At some point, we noticed digital transformation was beginning in the health sector. At that moment, we realized health was a big market and was desperately in need of digital transformation and clever solutions. We decided to research more and discovered that 7 out of 10 people in Latin America die from a Non-Communicable disease. That instantly clicked with our internal and mission-life purpose. Then, we started Lincon.
Our service/solution has such an impact on the daily lives of hundreds of customers now. Very often, we receive testimonials of people reducing their weight, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stopping taking medicines, getting a better mood, increasing energy, and so on. That is what motivates each of us at Lincon.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Setting up a team that shares the same vision and passion and that it is at the same time comfortable with the ambiguity and fast-paced environment is what makes me grateful.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There is no one problem; you have multiple problems at once. Choosing which one you are going to take care of and not is very challenging.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be five moves ahead and exercise the second-thinking mental model. The better you are prepared, the better you will respond to the unexpected.
- Have the best people aboard but do your best to hire by soft skill, not only by hard skill. You want people for a long journey, not for a quick walk.
- Have mentors. Business owners' mistakes are costly. It is wise to seek help from those who are way ahead of experience in order to diminish them. Try to have a few mentors. The more you cover your blind spots with the mentor's expertise, the better. That said, you must be open to disagreements and new points of view.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Entrepreneurship is hard, so be kind to yourself, your partners, and others.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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