Founder Fridays: An Interview with Chaim Indig, CEO of Phreesia

As part of our Founder Friday series, we are bringing you interviews with successful founders, entrepreneurs and investors.

Chaim Indig is CEO of Phreesia, the nationally recognized leader in patient check-in. By automating patient intake, the PhreesiaPad allows medical practices to effortlessly collect patient information, verify insurance and collect payments at the point of care. The company delivers fully interactive content direct to patients, and its products are designed to interface with clinicians' existing and future technology. Phreesia is committed to enhancing the patient experience and enabling clinicians to stay at the forefront of patient care. For more information visit www.phreesia.com.

Name, Age, Current Occupation: Chaim Indig, 32, CEO of Phreesia, Inc.

My start-up path: I was an early employee at a start-up, and then worked at a failed dot-com company and a successful venture-backed company before co-founding Phreesia.

I start my day at: 7:30 am and end my day at: 11:00 pm

I decided to start my own company because: My co-founder Evan and I realized that there was a growing need in the healthcare industry to simplify and improve front-end office workflow. I knew Evan and I would work well together, and having been part of a start-up before, I had always wanted to build my own company.

Which came first – the idea for a product or the decision to start a company: The idea.

My initial idea for the company has (or has not) changed over time: It’s still the same idea but the business model has evolved. As a founder, it’s key to be very focused on your goals, but at the same time remain open and fluid when it comes to the application of your product.

The first thing we did after deciding to start our own company was: To call everyone we knew and trusted and talk to them about the idea. Then we asked them to put us in touch with anyone they knew and thought we should be talking to.

My role at the company (CEO) and my co-founder’s (CTO) role at the company was determined by: The fact that I’m the good looking one and he’s the smart one. (Laughs.)  Evan and I have always been a team. He has a background in software engineering and product development. My background is on the business side. It’s been a very successful partnership because of what we both bring to the table.

The biggest challenge of being in a leadership role is: Realizing that not everyone works just like I do. To be successful, you have to surround yourself with different types of talent. Everyone accomplishes things differently, and you need that kind of diversity. You need people who can play different positions on the team.

Right now, the books I’m reading are: (Checks Kindle) The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell and Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t by Jeffery Pfeffer.

The blogs I’m reading are: Fred Wilson’s blog A VC, The Healthcare Blog and HisTalk, a healthcare IT news and opinion blog.

The best piece of legal advice I ever received was: Your law firm should be your partner, not your adversary.

The one legal concept I didn’t understand at the outset was: Picking the right corporate structure for the company when forming it, and 409A.

The greatest lesson I’ve learned over the course of my experience as a founder is: It’s a marathon. You need to build a good business. Develop strong relationships with as many customers as you can; create champions for your product and success will follow.

For an entrepreneur looking for funding, my advice is: Choose investors that will add a ton of value in good times and in bad times. And choose investors that you want to work with regularly. Phreesia’s early investors set a really strong stage for the company.

Also, remember that valuation is less important than the terms, the people and the VC firm.

If I had to do it all over again, would I: Yeah! 

This post was authored by Nithya Das.

 
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