Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Veena Somareddy, CEO and co-founder of Neuro Rehab VR, located in Fort Worth, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We develop virtual reality exercises for patients who are going through physical therapy after suffering a stroke, a brain injury, or spinal cord injury. We work with both physical therapists, occupational therapists. With our software, we help patients complete their physical therapy programs by providing fun, engaging, and motivating exercises. Essentially, we gamified physical therapy using VR. Patients have a better experience, are more engaged, and meet their goals faster. We do all of this and provide the data physical therapists need to show patient progress.
Tell us about yourself
I met my co-founder, Bruce, back in 2016. He owns a clinic that sees patients with neurological diagnosis, strokes, and neurodegenerative diseases. Bruce started the clinic to help his son, who had suffered from an anoxic brain injury and wanted to add virtual reality to the clinic. I met him and decided to work with developing VR applications just for the patients at the clinic in Fort Worth, Texas. Then when we saw the massive results this virtual reality therapy created for patients, we decided to spin off the VR portion, and that's how the business started. Today seeing these patients having fun while they're doing physical therapy and seeing them regain function, mobility, and independence that they did not have before using a VR solution keeps us really motivated.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment was getting the product FDA approved and generating revenue as a healthcare product, all while being bootstrapped. We have also won a National Science Foundation Grant and part of the first cohort of the Amazon Healthcare accelerator program.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The ups and downs of working on a startup. You constantly feel like you might shut down soon, or you're going to be a billion-dollar company. There's very little middle ground in between. You need to learn to be resilient, and that is a very tough process. It's also a lot of context switching. As a business owner, you wear a lot of hats. You need to go from product management to sales to marketing to working on the financial modeling to fundraising. You need to make sure you're able to focus and accomplish the task that you want to accomplish within a certain timeframe, or you'll end up doing a lot of tasks but not really going anywhere.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Start with an MVP and get it out there as soon as possible to make sure people want to buy it. Have a bias for taking action instead of getting stuck in analysis paralysis. Learn how to delegate and get comfortable with having people on your team that are smarter than you.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Being a solo entrepreneur is hard, so forming a community around you with like-minded people is crucial to remaining sane. Only other founders truly understand what founders go through. It's easy to feel lonely without a community of people you can fall back on and who are through all the same challenges you are.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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