It all started with an operation: Raffi – a Canadian-born web developer who repatriated to Armenia in 2011 – checked in to hospital in Yerevan for treatment on a long-overdue health issue that doctors back in Canada had failed to handle. Not only was he delighted with the result, he was stunned by the price-quality ratio. “It was then that I decided to create an app to help other people around the globe gain accessible medical treatment,” says Raffi.
The result was GetTreated – a digital start-up designed to find the most cost- and time-effective medical treatment opportunities for patients around the world. “Our startup was initially bootstrapped through the revenues we made from our web development studio,” explains Raffi. “As we scale into other countries, we will be looking for other sources of financing.” Which is where EU4Business stepped in to help.
GetTreated was one of 15 Armenian startups recently unveiled to German business circles in Berlin at the Armenian Startup Academy Berlin (ASAB), organised by the EU4Business SMEDA project (Support to SME Development in Armenia).
Network with investors and mentors
“We expect to network with other startups, investors and mentors. More importantly, we are looking for advice on how to properly structure our startup to scale globally,” the company said in its pitch ahead of the academy, which ran from 3-10 September 2017.
The startup academy in Berlin included 4 days of intensive trainings on investor readiness, business modelling, pitching, marketing and sales, individual meetings with potential partners, clients, and investors.
Raffi was born and raised in Canada to an Irish-Canadian father and a Syrian-born Armenian mother. He had visited Yerevan many times before finally repatriating in 2011, and founding a successful web development company, based in Yerevan.
GetTreated ran as a prototype for 2016 and was officially registered in Yerevan in January 2017 by its two co-founders: Raffi Elliott and Shaghig Aguilian. The team currently includes 3 people.
Cost-effective medical treatment opportunities abroad
Raffi runs through his pitch with confidence: “GetTreated is a PaaS [Platform as a Service] which helps patients find cost and time-effective medical treatment opportunities abroad. It automatically books consultations, operations dates, flights, hotels and more, all while offering easier, safer, and better-informed alternatives for patients than medical tourism agencies.”
With “almost 100 tech startups based in Yerevan… and some of the best software engineers in Eastern Europe”, as well as low cost of living and business friendly environment, Raffi sees Armenia as the ideal base from which to grow his company.
GetTreated hopes to tap into the huge global market in medical tourism, worth over $50 billion annually, and growing at up to 10% a year. “We intend to grow this company to be a serious player in the international medical field, while remaining a corely Armenian company,” said Raffi ahead of the Berlin academy.
Thanks to EU4Business and the SMEDA project, GetTreated is now one step closer to meeting its objectives.
The EU4Business SMEDA project supports the improvement of the business and investment climate for SMEs in Armenia. It aims to strengthen the private sector, support SME coordination mechanisms, and foster links between research institutions and the private sector, as well as providing access to finance for SMEs.