Fintech Founder Q&A: MedPut

Financial Solutions Lab

MedPut is an employee benefit program that provides 0% financing and bill negotiation services for out-of-pocket medical bills, with no impact to an employee’s credit score. Founders Stefan Sharma and Harsha Puvvada share their story.

Q. What was the problem in the world that inspired you to start your company?

We launched MedPut after observing that insufficient savings liquidity cuts across most income segments, and is not an issue unique to one socio-economic bracket. This highlighted the systemic issue of rising group health insurance deductibles is broadly unsustainable.

Q. What’s been the biggest business challenge you faced while starting up?

The biggest challenge we’ve faced has been having the track record and market presence and hearing ‘you’re too new’ when our solution is a great fit for many of those cases. We understand that employers and partners want a vendor that can prove to have lasting market presence and have been really lucky to have some very enthusiastic early adopters. Over time, we’ve heard ‘credibility rebuttal’ less and less frequently.

Q. What was an early win or success that made you think you could be a successful startup?

Very early in product development, we did a demo at Finovate Conference that was very well received by attendees and judges. The event gave us a lot of great visibility and the feedback reinforced that we were onto something really cool.

Q. What in fintech are you most excited about now?

It’s gradually becoming unacceptable to do things manually and full operational integration with the stakeholders that make your business run is not best practice, it’s industry standard. It’s a great time to be a consumer because of all the new and developing technology that improves the consumer experience, but it really ups the ante on what’s expected for a product.

Q. Is there a piece of advice that you wish you would have known that other founders might be helpful? Why?

Go out and seek the most critical, credible feedback possible–even if it’s not what you want to hear. All entrepreneurs have a problem-solution combination that promises to effect positive change. We found it so important to get negative feedback as it helped shape some of the critical components of our product.

Q. What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received, and how has it impacted your company or career?

Ask for help. Part of the entrepreneur job description is having the willingness to do many things, but it’s a far better use of time to source the right solution to most problems outside of your business’s core competency. There are so many vendor solutions out there; I wonder how entrepreneurs made due in the past!

Q. Would you recommend an accelerator program to others, and if so why (anything in particular about FinLab)?

I would definitely recommend FinLab to other early-stage fintech financial services companies. The resource partners have been fantastic in offering advice around short-circuiting answer times to massive regulatory questions we had to provide candid feedback on our pitch from inside one of the largest financial institutions in the world. It’s also been awesome getting to know the other entrepreneurs in our cohort, and previous cohorts, too.

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