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In this special three-part series of The Bentonville Beacon, host James Bell meets with cohort members of this year’s Fuel for Your Health Accelerator, a program that matches scalable health tech startups with enterprise partners to expedite the adoption of transformative medical technologies. James kicks off the episode with Tom Douglass, Fuel’s Entrepreneur in Residence, and is then joined by Rand Ragusa, Co-Founder of QuickTake Health; Erin Keyes, Co-Founder and CEO at Telegenixx; Dr. Bechara Saab, CEO and Chief Scientist with Mobio Interactive; and Natalie Shew, Founder and CEO from EmployWell.

New Orleans, Louisiana-based QuickTake Health provides innovative vital sign workflow automation and patient engagement kiosk solutions, revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities manage patient intake documentation and interactions. Dedicated to improving healthcare outcomes and enhancing patient experiences through innovative solutions, QuickTake’s intuitive interface allows patients to easily download their content to their phone and engage with personalized health resources, empowering them to take an active role in their own well-being.

New York-based Telegenixx is a digital health marketplace that unifies regenerative health physicians, laboratories, pharmacies and patients into one central platform focused on accessibility, affordability and easy-to-follow care plans. Through a tiered, all-inclusive subscription model, Telegenixx offers patients affordable access to elite physicians specifically trained in cutting edge peptide- and hormone-based protocols. 

Singapore-based Mobio Interactive addresses the increased demand for mental healthcare globally with its commercialized AI digital diagnostic and psychotherapy platform. The platform serves as a stopgap for patients on waitlists for healthcare services, and contains convenient, scalable and remote monitoring tools that facilitate clinical decisions and the personalization of therapy according to real-time measures. 

Lastly, Fayetteville, Arkansas-based EmployWell helps nurses work smarter not harder with its clinic workflow, Provider Ally, which is an AI-powered assistant that maps clinic workflows and automates nurse admin tasks for better work satisfaction and productivity. By automating administrative tasks and streamlining care team efficiency, nurses are able to voice and solve their top challenges and free up their time to focus on more direct patient care.

Thanks for tuning in!

Show Notes

Timestamps in this blog are for the audio-only version of the podcast; video timing differs.

(0:54) Introduction to Tom Douglass

(2:12) A Fuel Success Story

(6:53) Fuel’s Local Partnerships

(7:38) Tom’s #BecauseBentonville Story

(9:22) Introduction to Rand Ragusa

(10:35) About QuickTake Health

(13:01) How Fuel and Bentonville Are Helping Helped Rand

(14:20) Rand’s #BecauseBentonville Story

(15:36) Introduction to Erin Keyes

(16:56) About Telegenixx

(18:18) How Fuel and Bentonville Are Helping Erin

(21:00) Erin’s #BecauseBentonville Story

(23:05) Introduction to Dr. Bechara Saab

(24:19) About Mobio Interactive

(27:48) How Fuel and Bentonville Are Helping Dr. Saab

(29:15) Dr. Saab’s #BecauseBentonville Story

(30:55) Introduction to Natalie Shew

(31:43) About EmployWell

(33:39) How Fuel and Bentonville Are Helping Helped Natalie

(37:19) Natalie’s #BecauseBentonville Story

(39:29) Closing Thoughts


Tom Douglass

Fuel for Your Health Accelerator

Catapult Consulting

Rand Ragusa, AHIP (

QuickTake Health

Erin Keyes


Bechara Saab, PhD

Mobio Interactive

Natalie Shew, MS


James Bell, MBA

Bentonville Economic Development

Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce

Get Connected!

Thank you for tuning into this episode of The Bentonville Beacon, brought to you by the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce! Join us weekly for more stories and advice from the entrepreneurs, business executives and community leaders who are sparking the rise of the Greater Bentonville Area. If you are interested in starting a business, expanding your current business, or discussing whether your business should have a presence in Greater Bentonville, or would like to discuss this podcast, please contact James Bell at or (479) 273-2841.

Links for Additional Mentions


Startup Junkie

Darian Harris


Andrew Bart

Dexter Caffey

Smart Eye Technology’s ribbon cutting

Fuel Accelerator grad relocates from Atlanta, eyes growth (Talk Business & Politics)

Junction AI


Vance Reavie, MPA

Walton Family Foundation

Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC)

University of Arkansas

The Collaborative | University of Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit

Bentonville City Council

Blake Street

Building Fifty Women-Led Companies in the Heartland with FemHealth Founders (Bentonville Beacon Podcast)

Steffany Benton, DNP, MNSc, APRN, FNP-BC, BCMAS


James Bell [00:00:02]: Welcome to the Bentonville Beacon, where we bring you success stories from business leaders and owners about their triumphs and growth in the Bentonville and northwest Arkansas community. You’ll hear about how Bentonville has been the backdrop for incredible growth, not only for businesses and their employees, but in their personal lives as well. Tune in, subscribe, and enjoy hearing about Bentonville, where you get more of what you want and less of what you don’t. Welcome back to the Bentonville Beacon podcast, where we’re sharing stories and advice from the entrepreneurs, business executives, and community leaders, sparking the rise of the greater Bentonville area, which represents one of the fastest growing and most dynamic cities and economies in the United States and has nestled in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas in the heartland of America. Hi, I’m your host, James Bell, and this episode is part of a special three part series highlighting the latest fuel for your health accelerator cohort, which is based here in Bentonville at the ledger. To get started, let me introduce you to Tom Douglas, who is Fuel’s entrepreneur in residence. He’s also the founder of Catapult Consulting. Tom, welcome to the Bentonville Beacon podcast. Tom Douglass [00:01:21]: Thanks, James. It’s great to be back. James Bell [00:01:22]: You bet. Well, we’re having a good laugh here in the studio because it took me a couple of times to do that intro today. But, uh, Tom, let’s jump. Just jump right in. You’ve been on the podcast before for some of these other fuel, uh, episodes. Will you share with the audience what you would like them to know about you? Tom Douglass [00:01:41]: Sure. Um, you know, I worked for Walmart for nearly 20 years. Uh, when I retired, a bunch of people convinced me to start my own business, so I did. I thank them every day. I also talked to them about what they didn’t tell me, but that’s okay. And then partnered with the startup junkie foundation on the fuel accelerator way back when it was actually a supply chain accelerator before we did AIML and health and cybersecurity. So been with them since the beginning and just been having a really great time, lots of energy and meeting a whole lot of companies that have been very successful. James Bell [00:02:12]: Well, perfect. So this is the second segment of that, of this three part series on fuel for your health. Darian Harris was on for the first episode, and he shared about fuel and what fuel is doing. Tom, will you share a success story from fuel? Tom Douglass [00:02:31]: Well, I wish I could say I could share a success story, but I really have many success stories I share recently. I’m sure you know about things going on with Smarteye technology and Dexter Cathy, there’s company Junction AI that’s been very successful from a past cohort and just several success stories in terms of funding and doing well. We have retail aware thats looking at potential business and some other things going on that I probably cant talk about. So I wont. Weve got a plethora of companies that have just, we were talking on the phone with the last years cohort and they were getting upwards of 3 million in funding and signing contracts. Just really exciting to see all the companies take what we give them in terms of a network and a little bit of education on how things work on the enterprise side and really blossom afterwards. So id like to say theres one. Actually, im glad I can say theres more than one. Tom Douglass [00:03:31]: And theres just so many people that have really done well and were really excited about that. Algo face in Arizona is doing very well, looking at opening an office here. All these companies, once they get used to it and understand how the network works here, absolutely are coming to you and saying, hey, there’s a great chunk of business here. What do I got to do to move here? And you’ve done a great job of partnering with us to be able to educate them on what it looks like to run your business in Bentonville, Arkansas. So we appreciate you and the team. James Bell [00:03:59]: Well, thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to help. And I really appreciate you guys bringing all these companies here to experience Bentonville, because really 90% of the work is done once they do that. I called Darian one day, uh, a few weeks ago. I said, hey, Darian, can we tally up a number for me real quick that I need? And, and we tallied up in just a side of a few minutes just in one of your, uh, accelerators, the artificial intelligence machine learning accelerator that just in the last three years, um, there’s 18 companies that have either fully relocated here or a c suite member or two moved here or they hired here. And so you’re making a significant impact in growing the entrepreneurial community here, the startup community. But as these companies grow, it’s going to make for an outsized impact in fairly short order. Tom Douglass [00:04:57]: Yeah, I’m very positive about what you’re saying there because I think growth is going to happen and all of a sudden we’re going to look over our shoulder and go, wow, that was quick. And it’s great work. Right. We have great community here. Our network of mentors and stakeholders are really supportive and they do a great deal to support these companies when they come in. And then once they’re here. It’s funny, I talk about this with two people, Dexter and Andrew from Algoface. I was walking into the ledger building during the cohort and they’re walking in front of me and everybody in the car is waving at those guys. Tom Douglass [00:05:35]: Right? I know the same people, but they’re too busy waving at the two new guys in town. And, you know, hey, how you doing? And it’s just great to see. I mean, it’s one of those things that, you know, obviously, that’s, that’s not going to be my hashtag because Bentonville story, but it is really a hashtag because Bentonville, because nowhere else in the world do you have people, decision makers and entrepreneurs waving each other on the street as you drive by or bike by, depending on what you’re doing. James Bell [00:06:00]: That’s true. I want to encourage the audience to go back and check out an episode with Junction AI and Swiftgo together where Vance Ravey from Junction AI talks about this thing, about how the reason, one of the main reasons that he relocated here is the same thing. He would be on his way home or to his Airbnb every day and folks would be sitting on their porch and waving at him. And they all knew him. And finally he got his own chair, moved out in his own porch and got his own spot here in vintage. Tom Douglass [00:06:36]: I know. It’s just really amazing. And it’s just such a diverse but, well, intertwined community that it makes it really, really easy to have conversations with people here that you can’t have anyplace else in the world and feel comfortable about it. James Bell [00:06:53]: You betcha. You mentioned how you partner with us at the chamber. Would you like to talk about any other partnerships, any other ways that you partner here in the community? Tom Douglass [00:07:01]: Yeah, I mean, we partner with a lot of people and we’re very grateful for that. Between the Walton family Foundation, Arkansas Economic development, we even partner with the University of Arkansas up here in their facilities. It’s just great because everybody is here to raise the tide so that all the ships get a chance to float. So those partnerships are really, really meaningful. I mean, you know, the northwest Arkansas Tech summit and some of the other things that we’ve done in that area, it’s just great to have those as additional add ons to an already great community experience for these folks. James Bell [00:07:35]: You bet. One last question. Tom Douglass [00:07:37]: Yeah, sure. James Bell [00:07:38]: Tom, will you share a hashtag? Because Bentonville story, you already know what this is, but for the audience sake, if they haven’t seen an episode until now, this is something that happened where you look back at it and you think that could only happen in Bentonville or it describes the essence of this place. Tom Douglass [00:07:52]: Well, you know, I think what’s really fascinating about this place is when you have success, you have so much support. And I’ll speak again about Dexter just because I was in the office when he closed his first deal and got his first check, and we just had a great time with that. But then he had his ribbon cutting because he moved his office here and you were there. It was just one of those events where it was just so many people that you wouldn’t even get close to actually in other communities were there to support him, to be part of the moment and to congratulate him. And that’s really a Bentonville story, right? That’s the story where someone comes in, has a great experience in the community, begins to run their business differently because of that experience, and then has a grand opening where you got council people showing up, you got heads of companies showing up, you’ve got heads of banks showing up. I mean, all these people are showing up to this event and shaking hands, and we’re all just having a good time to celebrate a success story and because we all feel like we just added just a little bit to help. And that’s really what it’s all about and that’s what this community does, and that’s what makes this job that I have right now so enjoyable, because I know those are the things that are going to happen. James Bell [00:09:08]: You bet. I think that’s a good way to close out our conversation. And hey, to the audience. Get ready to hear from some of these companies from the fuel for your health cohort. Okay, let me introduce you to Rand Ragusa, who is the co founder of Quick Take Health. Rand, welcome to the show. Rand Ragusa [00:09:29]: Oh, glad to be here. Thanks for having me. James Bell [00:09:31]: Yeah, you bet. Will you share with the audience what it is that you’d like them to know about you? Tom Douglass [00:09:37]: Sure. Rand Ragusa [00:09:37]: I’m a New Orleans resident. Currently. I’ve been in technology since boom, so moved out to San Francisco in 1997 and have been in technology ever since. For the last 14 years, I’ve been in health tech. So ten years I worked for a cloud based certified electronic health record company, and then during COVID I sold thermal imaging temperature check kiosk, of course, that automated the temp checks at the screening stations during the pandemic. James Bell [00:10:09]: You know, everybody, you’re smart to pick something that you can sell during the pandemic. Rand Ragusa [00:10:15]: Well, but, you know, the funny thing is, I knew that day was going to end where one day I went into one of the clinics that sold or had my kiosk, and the kiosk wasn’t there anymore. James Bell [00:10:25]: Oh, wow. Rand Ragusa [00:10:25]: And so I went to the front desk and said, hey, I noticed the temperature check kiosk isn’t at the entrance. And she said, we’re not checking temperatures anymore. And that’s when I knew I needed to pivot. James Bell [00:10:35]: Smart man. Well, let’s talk about Quicktake health, then. Um, what is it that quick? Uh, what problem is quick? Take health solving, and then, uh, who’s your customer, and how are you solving the problems for them? Rand Ragusa [00:10:50]: So, today, when you go to the clinic or the hospital, the intake process is a manual process, especially around vital signs documentation. So today, the frontline medical worker is writing your vital signs down using pen and paper. Oftentimes, it’s a sticky note. And then they usually walk down to the hall, into the exam room, log into the computer, and then type that information in using keyboard and mouse. Data entry. And then they throw the patient’s sticky note in the garbage with all the other patient sticky notes. So in 2022, when I discovered the light bulb moment, I knew that that was not part of the digital age, that this was a paper based process that was ripe for disruption. In today’s digital world, there’s technology that exists that essentially would allow you to automate that, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. James Bell [00:11:44]: Excellent. And there must be a significant time savings for, for customers and, frankly, an opportunity to turn their attention to something more meaningful, like, I don’t know, taking care of the patient. Yep, there you go. Rand Ragusa [00:11:57]: I mean, it’s about three to four minutes of patient that’s wasted being distracted managing multiple devices, facing the computer, entering in the data manually, but more importantly than the workflow automation piece, is really the accuracy of the data. So it’s a big problem in healthcare. Data gets incorrectly written down, it gets incorrectly entered into the computer, and there’s all these steps along the process where a number could be wrong. The trickle down for that is significant because the doctor does their documentation after the patient leaves. And so when the weight’s 150 and it was supposed to be 100, they’re basing their medication on that weight. And so it’s super critical to have accurate data. And then, of course, just throughout the entire system, if the numbers are wrong, then the claims are wrong. And so it’s about creating efficiencies and making better care through more accurate data. James Bell [00:13:00]: Yeah, you bet. Rand Ragusa [00:13:01]: Yeah. James Bell [00:13:01]: Well, so here you are in northwest Arkansas, in Bentonville, in the fuel for your health accelerator. How has fuel for your health in Bentonville, northwest Arkansas, been helpful to you the last few weeks? Rand Ragusa [00:13:13]: It’s been incredible. Yeah, we’ve been here about four weeks now, and, you know, just the mentors that they have brought together, there’s about 40 of them, and they all have a real passion for entrepreneurship. And some of the networking events and the breakout workout workshop sessions that we have are really phenomenal. The insight that we’re gaining and then just, of course, the connections that we’re making, that’s a big reason that I’m here, is because Bentonville offers startups like QuickTake the opportunity to not only learn how to sell into large organizations, but then they actually make that connection. So building those relationships and the networking has been phenomenal. James Bell [00:14:01]: Excellent. How can our audience reach you or get to know more about QuickTake health? Tom Douglass [00:14:06]: Sure. Rand Ragusa [00:14:08]: Visit, or you can reach out to Dot perfect. James Bell [00:14:17]: Well, Rand, I have one last question for you. Rand Ragusa [00:14:19]: Okay. James Bell [00:14:20]: And this is the, the trademark question of this show, the hashtag, because Bentonville question. Will you tell me a story? Share with our audience a story, something that happened where you look back at it and you think, that could only happen in Bentonville, or maybe it describes the essence of our city. Rand Ragusa [00:14:35]: Yeah, I would say the first night that I was here, we walked from, we’re in the Ledger, which is this world class office building right next to the center. And so we walked from there across the center to Blake street. And just that experience, you know, was the first time I’d ever walked through the center of downtown Bentonville. And it just reminded me of being in a ski village. Like, I felt like I was literally in Aspen or Breckenridge because of so quaint. And there’s all these amazing restaurants, and it’s just a vibrant community. You know, you can, you can feel it when you walk into a restaurant. You know, our bar, I mean, it’s just a lot of excitement. Rand Ragusa [00:15:19]: Some of the brightest minds in the world are coming here to start their businesses, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it. James Bell [00:15:25]: Excellent. Well, welcome to Bentonville. Rand Ragusa [00:15:27]: Thank you very much. Excited to be here. James Bell [00:15:29]: Thanks, Rand. This has been great. Thanks. Let me introduce you to Aaron Keys, co founder and CEO of Telegenics. Aaron, welcome to the show. Erin Keyes [00:15:43]: Thank you for having me. James Bell [00:15:44]: What would you like the Bentonville Beacon audience to know about you? Erin Keyes [00:15:47]: This is the hardest question to lead with. I’ve agonized over this personal professional. The story of my homelessness currently, you know, we’re not sure which direction to go. I think what I want the people of Bentonville to know is that I am so excited and honored to be here. I think I have inadvertently prepared my entire life to come to this space and time and really work to see what we can do for this part of the country in terms of bringing health and transformation forward personally, professionally, and beyond. My background is really in public health, particularly focused on global impact. And I think that what I admire most about Bentonville is this really unique intersection of so many walks of life, so many passions, so many opportunities, and we have this chance to help people really capture the best out of life. And I’m excited to see what the next few weeks bring in terms of that. James Bell [00:16:46]: That is neat. I love it. Well, I tell people, if you want to do global impact, you have to come to Bentonville to do it. Of course, there’s so much that happens here that does affect the globe, and it’s kind of pretty cool. Yeah. Will you talk about, talk about your company, talk about telegenics? What is it that you do? In other words, let’s start here. What’s the problem that you’re solving? Who do you solve it for, and how do you do it? Erin Keyes [00:17:09]: Yeah, that’s a great question. So telegenics is a digital health platform. So think a telehealth platform that really focuses on optimizing and improving glp one receptor agonist medication outcomes. So glp one receptor agonists are medications like Ozempic, Manjaro, zep bound, semaglutide, and terzepatide being the active ingredient in those medications. These have swept the nation and the world, likely to be the most prescribed drug ever by 2030. And I think that this is a huge opportunity for us to really invest in the how that we implement such a radical shift in the trajectory of the nation’s health. So telegenics is really focused on adding support on the patient and provider side to enhance health outcomes and sustainability, holistic health and true enjoyment and zest of life as part of a GLP one receptor agonist plan. James Bell [00:18:14]: Perfect. Man, that’s amazing. Erin Keyes [00:18:17]: It’s pretty cool stuff. James Bell [00:18:18]: Yeah, absolutely. So you’re here in Bentonville as a part of the fuel for your health, uh, cohort. Um, how has fuel for your health in Bentonville and northwest Arkansas been helping you the last few weeks? Erin Keyes [00:18:29]: Uh, namely, I think the network here is phenomenal. I went to business school and we talk a lot about ecosystem development. There’s this myth of a solo entrepreneur. And when you think about building this somewhat abstract but very intentional network of people that can really advocate for an idea and find consensus and unity and bringing something forward, I think that’s a super unique value proposition. I come from New York. I spend a good amount of time in Atlanta. I see many ecosystems popping up in Miami, Chicago, La, the expected places. But there’s something really unique and beautiful about Bentonville. Erin Keyes [00:19:12]: The relationship to employers, to health systems, to payers, and frankly, just this really unique population here that is focused on not just avoidance of disease, but really optimizing a life towards enjoyment. And mountain biking, obviously good food. Kind of this zest for being and wrapping all of that up into a cohort with unique perspectives, unique opportunities and access to people that we otherwise wouldn’t run into has been paramount, I think, for shaping the vision of what well be. James Bell [00:19:50]: That’s neat. I had not thought about describing that, describing this place that way. Optimizing for a life of enjoyment. Yeah, I love that. Erin Keyes [00:19:59]: I mean, a lot of what we’re here to do is endure, but a lot of it is to seek pleasure, too. James Bell [00:20:03]: Absolutely. That’s really cool. I like it. Aaron, how can our audience reach you if they want to get to know you more or learn more about telegenics? Erin Keyes [00:20:14]: Yeah, well, I’ll be here till at least the end of May, so hit me up for a cup of coffee. Tom Douglass [00:20:18]: There you go. Erin Keyes [00:20:19]: I love that. LinkedIn is fantastic. Aaron keys. I have an Instagram which I vow to post on erin. E r I n keys. K e y e s. Very creative. James Bell [00:20:33]: Very. Erin Keyes [00:20:34]: Or through our website, www. Dot telegenics. Telegeni And there’s actually a space to book a consultation on the website. And currently that goes to my calendar. So sign up for some time with me and I’ll grab a cup of coffee and we can have it virtually. James Bell [00:20:54]: Awesome. That’s perfect. Well, Aaron, I have one last question for you. Erin Keyes [00:20:59]: Shoot. James Bell [00:21:00]: And that is if you will share a story, and this is going to be a hashtag because Bittenville story in your few weeks here, what’s a moment that stands out where you look back at it and you think maybe that could only happen in Bentonville or it describes the essence of the place. Erin Keyes [00:21:15]: Oh, I mean, what a city of surprises. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I had expectations coming in about what Arkansas would be. I lived for ten years in Atlanta, so I adore the American south, but I didn’t think Arkansas really fit into that. I’ve been delighted by the kindness, the welcoming people, the built environment has been impressive, actually. The walkability, bikeability, town center, the community aspect. I have to shout out one of my business school friends who I ran into trailing along my three year old who was probably screaming in a Mirabel costume or something like that, running into my business school colleague from a decade ago in Walmart here, who works for Walmart, getting to see him meet his kids, it’s, that’s not something that I get in New York. So that’s been wonderful. It feels like home a little bit. James Bell [00:22:20]: That’s cool. You would not be the first person who came here on this show and said, I ran into somebody and there was somebody, I don’t remember who it was that came on, who said they were walking through the neighborhood and somebody’s sitting out in their front yard with their kids and the kids are playing. They’re like, hey, is that you? And they hadn’t seen him in like 20 years or something crazy like that. Erin Keyes [00:22:43]: We like Triple chug each other like there’s a ghost. Yeah, it’s been fun. James Bell [00:22:49]: This is where you come to make reconnections. Erin Keyes [00:22:51]: I love it. That should be like a tagline somewhere. James Bell [00:22:53]: Totally. You know, Erin, thank you so much. It’s really been a pleasure talking with you. Thanks for coming on the show. Erin Keyes [00:22:58]: Yeah, my pleasure. James Bell [00:23:05]: Okay, let me introduce you to doctor Bashara Saab with Mobio Interactive. Besh, welcome to the show. Bechara Saab [00:23:12]: Thanks a lot, James. Good to be here. James Bell [00:23:14]: Glad to have you. What would you like the Bentonville Beacon audience to know about you? Bechara Saab [00:23:19]: About me personally? James Bell [00:23:20]: Sure. Bechara Saab [00:23:21]: Well, certainly my favorite hobby is skiing. Also been a big part of my life since I was very young, particularly backcountry skiing, getting really high up into the alpine, finding terrain that maybe nobody has skied before. That’s a huge passion of mine. James Bell [00:23:35]: That’s cool. How does one get involved in backcountry skiing? I’ve always wondered about that. Is it just a friend says, let’s go do something crazy today? Yeah. Bechara Saab [00:23:45]: I mean, it’s a friend who brought me into the game. I remember the first time I went. It was the first time in my life where I felt comfortable dying and, like, skiing down and enjoying something so much. I’d be like, this would be worth giving up my life for. James Bell [00:23:59]: Wow. Bechara Saab [00:24:00]: And then I started to get into it more and more. And I’ve probably introduced about six or eight of my friends to backcountry skiing for the first time. So that’s how it happens. Yeah. James Bell [00:24:11]: Well, that’s amazing. And you are the. What’s your right title at Mobio Interactive? Bechara Saab [00:24:17]: CEO and the chief scientist. James Bell [00:24:19]: Okay. CEO and chief science officer. Well, let’s talk about mobile interactive, then. What is the problem that you’re solving, and who are you solving it for, and how do you do it? Bechara Saab [00:24:30]: There’s really two problems that we’re solving. One is just the fact that mental illness has a very high prevalence rate, and it’s almost on par with imperfect vision. So we really need something that is able to address mental health issues in the same way that we have glasses and laser surgery, et cetera. I mean, we need something which is that effective and that easy to scale if we really want to address the problem. And so we’re developing tools that are highly, highly scalable on the order of glasses, let’s say. The second problem, which I think is intellectually more interesting, is the fact that psychiatry and mental health care in general is alone in medicine. By not using objective data as standard practice, everything else really incorporates objective data. And it would be ludicrous not to have objective information on a broken leg or on a tumor or on the number of viruses that are infecting your system. Bechara Saab [00:25:39]: This is a problem which has been accepted because it’s maybe difficult. The brain is complex. People think about how you feel as being subjective. But as a neuroscientist, as I am, the brain is an organ. I see it as an organ. And what matters, medically speaking, is what that organ is doing, not necessarily what somebody feels or how they say they feel. And so we are doing our best to develop tools that allow us to objectively understand a patient’s mental well being, measuring the efficacy of treatment in real time, using that tool, and then making predictions on a patient by patient basis, what is the right therapy for that patient. James Bell [00:26:18]: That is wonderful. Ive actually had, thats been the topic of a conversation ive had with a couple of people in the last few days, that theres really lack of objective evidence in psychiatry, and its ill explain some other time how the conversation even came up. But its remarkable that you brought that up, and now I get to say, hey, go listen to this episode, because it came up. I had not thought about mental health being on par. Did you say the prevalence is almost the same as folks with vision problems? Almost, yeah. Bechara Saab [00:26:56]: Over 50% of people will have the need to seek out mental health care at some point in their lives. So that’s a lot of people. And at any one time, you’re looking at maybe one in eight people. So a billion people on the planet today. These are huge numbers. You obviously cannot address this with psychiatrists alone and psychologists and counselors and therapists. I mean, the math doesn’t add up. So we need scalable solutions, particularly in places in the world where the infrastructure to deal with mental health is close to non existent. Bechara Saab [00:27:30]: Across Africa, many parts of Southeast Asia, these people have mental health issues as well, and there’s not a lot out there. What we develop has the added advantage of not discriminating. It’s accessible to people regardless of socioeconomic status and geographical location. James Bell [00:27:48]: That’s great. Well, thank you for your work. How has being part of the fuel for your health cohort these last few weeks and Bentonville and northwest Arkansas being here, how has that helped you and mobile interactive? Bechara Saab [00:28:03]: It’s been really good. Very positive. We went live with a telehealth provider in Louisiana in February. And so this program’s timing is also very good for us. You know, our company headquarters are in Singapore. I grew up in Canada. We’ve a very international team. But the US is one of our three primary markets right now. Bechara Saab [00:28:23]: And so the timing worked out well for us to expand the business in the United States. In addition, it’s always good to join programs that help you refine your messaging, your brand, the numbers around your price points, etcetera. And that’s something that this program allows us to take a second look at and do a better job at as we continue to grow. James Bell [00:28:45]: Perfect. How can the audience reach you if they want to get to know you or mobile interactive better? How can they do that? Bechara Saab [00:28:52]: LinkedIn is the best way for certain. Just LinkedIn. Bashar Saab, I think is, I think I own the name there. And you can also follow the company mobile Interactive, which is also on LinkedIn. The company has a YouTube page as well. We put out videos every once in a while. And other than that, I’m not really active online. James Bell [00:29:15]: Okay, that’s perfect. I’ve got one last question for you, Bash, and that is tell me a story, if you will. This will be a hashtag because Bentonville story, thats something that happened where you look back at it and you think, you know what, my short time here, maybe that could only happen in Bentonville or it describes the essence of this place, your experience here? Bechara Saab [00:29:35]: Well, I mean, something very obvious, I suppose, is the fact that this program happened to occur during the total solar eclipse. So I wouldnt have been able to see that yesterday from Singapore, but something a little more relevant to community. I would say is the fact that Bentonville is very thirsty for innovation, getting business done. And there’s some big companies in the area, and so it punches way above its weight if you measure the weight on the population. But because of the small population, because the town is so small, it doesn’t take long to start to feel like you’re at home, you know, like, I’ve only been here for a few weeks and already I go out and I’m constantly running into people that I know and saying hi. And so that feeling of community is very accessible to newcomers, which I think is a huge bonus. But that also means that you’re not six degrees away from the important person that you can nail a deal with. You’re probably only two handshakes away. Bechara Saab [00:30:32]: And so that’s something which is really exciting. And I grew up in a very small town, much smaller than Bentonville, much more isolated. But I appreciate having some of that essence around here. So I really like that. James Bell [00:30:45]: Nice. Thank you so much, Besh. Thanks for coming on the Bentonville Beacon. Bechara Saab [00:30:49]: Thanks a lot, James. James Bell [00:30:55]: All right, let me introduce you to Natalie Hsu, who’s the founder and CEO of Employwell. Natalie, welcome back to the Bentonville Beacon. Natalie Shew [00:31:05]: Thank you. James Bell [00:31:06]: You’ve been here before. Natalie Shew [00:31:06]: I have. James Bell [00:31:07]: Excellent. So you’ve been here before with Femhealth founders. I encourage you all to go back and check out that episode. Natalie, what would you like the Bentonville Beacon audience to know about you? Natalie Shew [00:31:17]: Well, I’m a native memphian who has transplanted to northwest Arkansas, and now Fayetteville is home, so is the whole northwest Arkansas region. And I’m the found co founder and CEO of Employ. Well, so that’s me. Tom Douglass [00:31:34]: Awesome. James Bell [00:31:35]: Well, I’m not a native memphian, but as you know, I spent 19 years there, so that’s about as close to being native as I can get, I guess, about employee. Well, what’s, what’s the problem that you’re solving? Who do you solve it for? And then how do you do that? Sure. Natalie Shew [00:31:53]: So the US healthcare system spends about $250 billion a year on administrative burden, and it is a primary reason for nurse burnout and turnover, which you probably know is pretty much an epidemic across the US right now. Nurses are leaving and burning out, and it’s a huge problem. And one of the big areas of opportunity is actually automating some of these manual administrative tasks and work that our licensed healthcare professionals are spending time on. So employwell has created a solution called Provider Ally. And what this does and is, it’s an AI powered assistant that maps clinic workflows and then seeks to automate some of the nurse administrative work and tasks like hunting and gathering insurance records and patient treatment information all and then consolidating all that information into one place for the nurse. So, big picture, we’re really trying to reduce the amount of administrative work that our licensed professionals, like nurses and other care team members, are doing so that they can have time freed up to do the more important things, like direct patient care. James Bell [00:33:08]: Yeah, that’s awesome. If you ever decide that you’re going to rebrand the name, just call it hero. Okay. Natalie Shew [00:33:14]: Yeah, I mean, actually, that was our first name. James Bell [00:33:17]: Was it really? Yeah. Natalie Shew [00:33:18]: Healthcare heroes was going to be. And then throughout the pandemic, you know, there was a lot of issues around, like, you know, Theresa’s feeling like you’re calling me a hero, but you’re not really giving me the pay and what I deserve, even though we know they’re all heroes and we want to be their hero, too. So we kind of went with a neutral ground of ally. James Bell [00:33:37]: That’s really good. Okay, that’s. That’s fair enough. That works. Um, can you talk about fuel for your health and how has that been for you and employ well, and how fuel for your health and Bentonville and northwest Arkansas help you, besides the obvious, that you’re the only northwest Arkansas based company in the cohort? Natalie Shew [00:33:56]: Yeah. Well, we were really excited, you know, first of all, when fuel for your health popped up. And, uh, we were too early when the first cohort came around. But by the time, you know, we were ready to be a part of an accelerator, it was very exciting to see that there was something here for a health tech company like ours. And I’d like to mention my co founder, Stephanie Benton, who’s in central Arkansas. She’s a nurse practitioner, and she actually travels up here almost every week to be a part of the fuel cohort and the activities we’re doing. But I guess the best thing for us has been the local connections to, you know, healthcare leaders, experts, ecosystem folks, even, like, you know, we’ve been talking to a guy who’s an ex product guy at Google. You know, you’ve got the enterprise, you know, folks from, you know, Walmart experience, Tyson. Natalie Shew [00:34:48]: So that help and support around being enterprise ready, which we’re actually working with smaller to mid sized clinics right now. But eventually, we’re going to work with larger healthcare enterprises. And so a lot of the information and, you know, kind of connections we’re getting to leaders in the healthcare space here are invaluable. Cause, you know, we wanna work with local healthcare entities and organizations, and that’s where we’re getting exposure through fuel. So it’s. It’s been fantastic for us. James Bell [00:35:19]: Yeah. And that’s great. Cause becoming enterprise ready, of course, is fuels. I’ll say that’s fuels differentiator versus a lot of accelerators is instead of teaching you how to get from point a to point b and, you know, develop your company, a year worth of development for the company in 100 days, they’re saying, let’s take you where you are and help make you enterprise ready, create operational value in your company and help you learn to sell to large organizations or to sell it all for many companies, which is a really big deal because, you know, I’ve heard. I’ve heard that there’s this other cash that’s not. That doesn’t start with an f. You know, friends, families, fools, financiers. There’s this other form of cash called revenue, the one that starts with r that probably matters more and actually validates that your company is something. James Bell [00:36:13]: So. Natalie Shew [00:36:13]: That’s so true. James Bell [00:36:14]: They help you get toward that. And I love that about fuel. Natalie Shew [00:36:16]: I love that, too. And that’s been huge for us. I mean, I’ve had my own consulting business and service based businesses, and revenue from, you know, in my opinion, is what makes a good business. So it’s a little different, you know, when you’re talking about needing more upfront capital to, you know, develop your product and things like that. But they, you know, fuel has really helped us kind of account for that and then work on some very tactical things like pricing strategy, how to set up a pilot, things like that. James Bell [00:36:44]: The magic word, pricing and setting up pilots. I mean, again, two things that you don’t get out of most accelerators. How can the audience reach you, Natalie, or get to know more about employee? Natalie Shew [00:36:58]: Well, yeah, so you can always follow me on LinkedIn. Natalie shoe. S h e w. Go to our website. It’s get So maybe we’ll have the full by the end of the year. But, yeah, right now, go to our website. You can contact us there or message me on LinkedIn. Natalie Shew [00:37:17]: It’s a great way to get in touch. James Bell [00:37:19]: Perfect. All right. And I have one last question for you, and this is the hashtag because Bentonville story. Tell me a story. Something that happened here where you look back at it and you think maybe that could only happen in Bentonville or describes the essence of the place. Natalie Shew [00:37:33]: Yeah. So I, you know, I think for me more, it’s, there are so many anecdotes I can point to. Um, and it’s usually like, you know, somebody coming alongside me and saying, hey, how can I help you? Can I put you in touch with somebody or I know somebody that can help you with that. Direct leads to potential clients, and it’s literally like one degree away. Like, hey, I’ll set up a coffee meetup for us next week. And there’s just that warmth and that willingness to help others. And really wanting to see this whole region succeed, I feel like is just huge here, and it’s made a big difference in our ability to scale and increase our footprint and get, you know, potential clients and pilot opportunities right here in Bentonville and northwest Arkansas. James Bell [00:38:30]: That’s perfect. You said something in there I thought was interesting. You said, and a coffee next week. And, uh, yeah, one of your, uh, one of the other cohort members, uh, said to me was talking about the speed at which people help startups here and that they proactively do it instead of waiting, which is, I think is really interesting because I see in a lot of places, people don’t understand the speed at which you move and that you need to meet with them right away and you need help right away. Not four weeks from now, the cohort’s half over if they do that right. And I think that is very much part of just the way this place operates. Natalie Shew [00:39:06]: I know we’re in the south, but we don’t like, business does not move slow here, like other things move slowly here. I’m a southerner, and I feel like this is a place where that innovation is happening very quickly, and the willingness to make connections and make deals happens very quickly. James Bell [00:39:23]: Absolutely. Natalie Shew [00:39:23]: Yeah. James Bell [00:39:24]: Well, Natalie, thank you so much for coming on the show. Natalie Shew [00:39:25]: Sure. Thank you. James Bell [00:39:29]: Thank you for joining us and being part of these inspiring conversations. I hope you’re as thrilled as I am about how the greater Bentonville area is helping these founders, how the people and organizations here are guiding and supporting them, and about the opportunity they have for a long term relationship with and in our community. The Bentonville Beacon podcast is brought to you by the greater Bentonville area Chamber of Commerce, where I serve as vice president for economic development. If you enjoyed hearing from these founders from the 2024 Fuel for your Health accelerator, make certain to check out the other two episodes in this special series. Remember to share this episode with those who appreciate the intersection of entrepreneurship, community, and growth. And whether you’re watching on or YouTube or listening on your favorite podcast player. Hit that subscribe button and stay updated with our latest conversations celebrating the people and ideas, fueling the rise of the greater Bentonville area and making our community a bigger beacon of progress and inspiration. See you on the next episode.

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