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Discover how health tech companies are reshaping the future of medicine from Bentonville. 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. James kicks off the episode with Grace Gill, Fuel’s Operations Manager, who shares how this accelerator matches scalable health tech startups with key enterprise partners to expedite the adoption of their transformative medical technologies. Different from other programs, during each Fuel accelerator, high-growth startups from around the world benefit from programming and support focused on developing operational value and selling to large customers, rather than just venture capital coaching.

This episode highlights several of Fuel’s current cohort members and innovators, including TapRoot Interventions & Solutions Founder and CEO, Scarlett Spring, and Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Linda Buscemi; Dart Health’s Founder and CEO, Brian Sage; and SOAP Health’s Founder and CEO, Dr. Steven Charlap.

Phoenix, Arizona-based TapRoot Interventions & Solutions is a woman-owned technology company at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), dementia care and behavioral healthcare. With its revolutionary AI-powered digital platform, Ella, TapRoot is helping organizations and caregivers to improve care for those living with dementia through a person-centered approach.

Denver, Colorado-based Dart Heath is reducing the cost of serving group healthcare by fixing the fundamentally broken exchange of data between group benefit providers and self-insured employers. Dart Health compiles disparate data sources from employers, providers, benefits administrators and claims, to portray a real individual with medical needs, effectively creating a single, secure, HIPAA-compliant, 350-degree view of a healthcare customer.

Boca Raton, Florida-based SOAP Health offers the ideal medical AI assistant. SOAP Health enhances and integrates patient intake and note creation to significantly reduce time of documentation and symptom assessment, appreciably increase average revenue and reduce malpractice exposure.

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 Grace Gill

(2:55) What’s Next for Fuel

(5:19) How Fuel Partners with the Community

(6:45) Fuel’s Funders

(7:13) Grace’s #BecauseBentonville Story

(9:24) Introduction to Scarlett Spring and Dr. Linda Buscemi

(10:33) About TapRoot Interventions & Solutions

(10:48) How Fuel and Bentonville Are Helping Scarlett and Dr. Buscemi

(15:59) Scarlett’s #BecauseBentonville Story

(16:49) Dr. Buscemi’s First Impression of Bentonville

(17:42) Introduction to Brian Sage

(19:46) About Dart Health

(22:48) How Fuel and Bentonville Are Helping Brian

(29:11) Brian’s #BecauseBentonville Story

(32:30) Introduction to Dr. Steven Charlap

(35:10) About SOAP Health

(38:38) How Fuel and Bentonville Are Helping Dr. Charlap

(40:23) Closing Thoughts


Grace Gill (

Fuel for Your Health Accelerator

Scarlett Spring, EMBA (

Linda Buscemi, PhD (

TapRoot Interventions & Solutions

Brian Sage, MBA

Dart Health

Steven Charlap, MD, MBA (, 617-319-6434)

SOAP Health

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


Darian Harris

Tom Douglass

Fuel Cybersecurity Accelerator

Sajan Gautam

Fuel Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Accelerator

Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit

Northwest Arkansas Council Healthcare Transformation Division

Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC)

Walton Family Foundation

The HUB Bike Lounge Trivia Night

Ramo Wine Bar & Shop

Sunny’s on Second

Country Outfitter

John James

Carrot Fertility

Tammy Sun

Making High-Quality Fertility Care Accessible to Everyone with Tammy Sun (Bentonville Beacon Podcast)


Mountain Biking Capital of the World

Terry Turpin

Weekend Warmup

Slaughter Pen Trails

Skylight Cinema


James Bell [00:00:03]: 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 is nestled in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas in the heartland of America. Hey, I’m your host, James Bell, and this episode is part of a special three part series about the fuel for your health accelerator cohort that operates out of the ledger in Bentonville. And it’s my pleasure to get this one started with Grace Gill, who is the operations manager for fuel. Grace, welcome to the Bentonville Beacon podcast. Grace Gill [00:01:18]: Thank you. Hi, James. How are you? James Bell [00:01:21]: Wonderful. Thank you very much. Grace Gill [00:01:22]: Good, good. James Bell [00:01:23]: Well, let’s get started by sharing with the world what you would like them to know about Grace Gill. Grace Gill [00:01:28]: Well, this is, I think, my second, if not my third possible time being on the Bentonville Beacon. James Bell [00:01:34]: That’s right. You’ll get a t shirt soon. Grace Gill [00:01:36]: Oh, really? Is there a club? James Bell [00:01:38]: Okay, I’m gonna have to figure that one out. Grace Gill [00:01:41]: Okay, well, I’ll keep you. I want to be posted on that. James Bell [00:01:43]: You bet. Grace Gill [00:01:44]: But I am Grace Gill. I’m the operations manager for fuel. Um, I’ve been, um, on the fuel team now for, uh, almost a full year. Um, I started after graduating, well, actually, a little bit before graduating. Um, I started full time working on the launch of our first health tech program. So now we’re currently in our second health tech program. So it’s exciting to come full circle, um, see how far, you know, fuel has grown, see how much I’ve grown. And it’s been. Grace Gill [00:02:12]: It’s been really fun. So awesome. James Bell [00:02:14]: Well, that was professional, but I’m going to have to ask you to throw a personal one in here because we can’t let you get by without mentioning that you’re not a one time world record holder. You’re a multiple time world record holder. You want to tell us about that real quick? Grace Gill [00:02:26]: Yeah, absolutely. It definitely, if you know me, you definitely know that I am also a competitive powerlifter. So I’ve been. Obviously, I’ve been competing for five years now, officially. Um, I set a couple world records back in 2022. Um, and then my big, uh, prize for 2023 was competing in the american pro. So I did that back in, um, October of 2023, which kind of marks me officially as a pro powerlifter, um, at least in title. James Bell [00:02:55]: So that is cool. Okay, so, uh, grace, uh, this is the third episode in this series about fuel for your health. Uh, had Darian Harris, uh, help introduce the first episode. Tom Douglas did the second. And, uh, so Darian talked about fuel. Tom talked about some of the success stories. What I’d like to ask you about is, what’s next for fuel? Grace Gill [00:03:20]: Yeah, absolutely. We have a lot of super exciting things going on. When I started, um, we had one program just in, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Um, and now, uh, almost a year and a half later, um, we are officially launching three programs. So we have a really busy year upcoming. Our health tech program will wrap up with our big showcase demo day. That’ll be May 15. So we’re really excited to really highlight all of the amazing companies that have come and put in the work through the ten weeks. Grace Gill [00:03:54]: And then we are excited to announce that we’ll be hosting our first cybersecurity program. So that will start at, in the beginning of June. Applications have already closed for that program, but for mentors and supporters, you can definitely expect more communications and information coming out about that summer program. We’re really excited. We are joined by another Eir Sajon gutam, who’s going to help lead that program, along with the rest of the fuel team. And over the summer, of course, we’re still hosting our artificial intelligence and machine learning program in the fall. So applications for that program will open up over the summer. So if you’re interested in applying for the last program of the year, um, keep an eye on our LinkedIn and we’ll make that announcement shortly. James Bell [00:04:43]: Excellent. Let me ask you, uh, how do you, how do people find fuel for your health or, sorry, any of these accelerators? Any of the fuel accelerators. Grace Gill [00:04:51]: Absolutely. You can find all the information on our website, Um, but we also are very active on LinkedIn. James Bell [00:04:58]: Excellent. As are you. So if folks want to connect with you, how do they do that? Grace Gill [00:05:02]: Um, my, you can do my LinkedIn. Um, or you can reach out to either me or the director, Darian Harris, Or darian. Dot perfect. James Bell [00:05:15]: How many r’s are in Darien’s name. Grace Gill [00:05:17]: One r spelled with an a. James Bell [00:05:19]: Perfect. Okay. And tell me also, Grace, how does fuel partner with others in the community? Grace Gill [00:05:27]: Yeah, I mean, obviously, with all this growth, it’s really been made possible with the partnership and the support that we have with other organizations in the community. So that’s what makes feel really impactful and makes it long lasting because we have that partnership and support, obviously, with the chamber, for example. James Bell [00:05:46]: Thank you. Grace Gill [00:05:47]: You do a great job through mentoring, through hosting us on the Bentonville Beacon, also through the techsoup, the NWA Tech summit. We’ve partnered with that side of things as well. And that’s been a really great collaboration, something unique for our health tech specifically. We’ve been very involved with the NWA Council Healthcare Transformation division. So we’ve been very, very grateful for their time. And it really is important because we started in health tech because we knew that there was opportunity to help push the needle in healthcare innovation, and we wanted to be involved in that. We wanted to support that mission. And so to also join in and the other organizations, the other people, everybody in the space that’s working towards the same goal, to agree to collaboration, that’s what makes the difference, because now we’re all working in the same, in the same direction and actually making waves. Grace Gill [00:06:45]: So. James Bell [00:06:45]: Absolutely. And I want to make sure that we acknowledge who’s funding these programs. Will you do that real quick? Grace Gill [00:06:51]: Yeah, absolutely. We’re lucky to have funding by both the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Walton Family foundation. They are a huge support. Obviously, we wouldn’t be able to do anything, any of the amazing work we do without their support. James Bell [00:07:06]: Excellent. Okay, Grace, I have one last question for you. This is the hashtag because Bentonville story. Grace Gill [00:07:12]: Yes. James Bell [00:07:13]: Will you share a story that perhaps could only happen here or represents the essence of Bentonville? Grace Gill [00:07:18]: Yeah, I’ve been going back and forth because I’m trying to, you know, now I work out in Bentonville a lot more than I used to. I was not familiar. I was in Fayetteville. Now I get to come up here all the time, be a part of this community. I previously shared a more heartfelt story, but I think my story today is around the hub trivia, because I’ve been going with some friends, with my boyfriend, and we go just for fun. And yet every time I go, I run into people that are, I may be connected to professionally. And the connections I’ve made just through something so casual, just through being out and about, per se, has made all the difference. And I now have relationships that support me in professional growth, that support me in personal growth, and that are just friendships for fun. Grace Gill [00:08:10]: And it all comes together just because I run into people and we join up in a trivia group and we lose. But, you know, it’s fun to try. It’s fun to be a good sport at trivia. And it’s really important that I feel like such a part of the community, even as a transplant, which is something I know I’ve talked on the podcast about before. I am new to the community. I came from Wichita, Kansas, which was a, it’s not a small city, but the community is really tight. And I, my dad was very involved in the community, so I grew up very knowing a ton of people. And so to move from that, from my hometown, from where I grew up, and feel the same level of closeness, of comfort, of home in Bentonville, um, and all through professional connections to maybe start with is, I think, really unique. James Bell [00:08:57]: Absolutely. Well, I think that’s a good way to wrap up this part. Grace Gill [00:09:00]: Yeah. James Bell [00:09:00]: So, Grace, thank you so much for helping me introduce this third segment. And, audience, get ready to hear some great conversations with the, uh, with some of the companies of the latest fuel for your health cohort. Okay, let me introduce you to Scarlett Spring, founder and CEO of Taproot Ella, and Linda Buscemi, chief clinical officer of Taproot Ella. Welcome to the show. Linda Buscemi [00:09:36]: Thank you. Scarlett Spring [00:09:36]: Thanks for having us. James Bell [00:09:37]: You bet. Well, will you share with the Bentonville, will each of you share with the Bentonville Beacon audience about yourself? What would you like them to know about you? Grace Gill [00:09:45]: Sure, I’ll start. Linda Buscemi [00:09:47]: I’m a psychologist by background and live in Phoenix right now. That’s where our company has been founded and really excited to be, be here in Bentonville for the first time. James Bell [00:09:56]: Awesome. Scarlett Spring [00:09:57]: As Linda said, we live in Phoenix. However, I grew up in Texas, and it’s really been interesting to be in my hometown, really only had about 200, 5300 people. So while everyone thinks that, you know, Bentonville’s a smaller area, it has such a great feel for me, and it’s actually much, much larger than the town that I grew up in. So it’s been really awesome being here from the standpoint. I love sports, I love dogs, and I think we love trying to find solutions to complex problems. Linda Buscemi [00:10:33]: Very true. James Bell [00:10:33]: You’re speaking my language on all three. I love it. Well, let’s talk about Taproot Ella. What’s the problem that you’re solving? Who do you solve that problem for, and then how do you do it? Linda Buscemi [00:10:45]: Yeah, we’re solving for providing a digital assistant tool for care partners. And when I say care partners, caregivers. So whether it’s right now we’re starting with Alzheimer’s dementia. So if you’re caring for someone who has a dementia related disease, that’s where we’re beginning. And it’s really providing that tool of how do you approach that person to prevent any dementia related symptoms, such as agitation, trying to change someone’s clothes, and they’re hitting you. My mother in law, she actually retired early to take care of her mother, who had dementia. And unfortunately, back then, you didn’t know really how to manage it, and so she would come back with bruises on her. And 90% of people that have dementia are going to have some kind of behavior we call reactions. Linda Buscemi [00:11:32]: And so Ella’s going to be able to say, hey, this is what you should do. How do you approach someone to be able to prevent that from even from you getting hit, as an example? James Bell [00:11:39]: Yeah, you bet. So the tool is for the clinician. Steven Charlap [00:11:42]: Then. James Bell [00:11:45]: For the caregiver. Steven Charlap [00:11:46]: Okay. James Bell [00:11:46]: Whether they’re a clinician or somebody at home. Linda Buscemi [00:11:49]: Correct. Steven Charlap [00:11:49]: Okay. Scarlett Spring [00:11:49]: And I think that’s a great point because we really started the company in senior living communities. While that’s not where the highest number of individuals who have symptoms of dementia reside, most of them are still at home. It was really an opportunity for us to learn about what that caregiver was experiencing and how best to support them. But as the company has now matured, we are now ready to move into more of that home consumer setting, because there’s so many people that are at home, not unlike the situation that Linda just was speaking about, where someone is home trying to care for a loved one, doing the very best they can, and inadvertently upsetting their loved one and not even knowing it, that inexplicable behavior that’s happening is just a big puzzle. And what Ella does is not only help fill that puzzle with information, but also give you real actions of what you can do to mitigate and also to reduce any sort of escalation of that behavior. James Bell [00:12:50]: That makes sense. I mean, not everybody wakes up every day, and they’re a psychologist. Not everybody’s doing psychotherapy, right? So they don’t know what they don’t know. Steven Charlap [00:13:03]: Right. James Bell [00:13:04]: And whether you’re. And that’s true, I don’t think a lot of people realize that just because you’re a clinician doesn’t mean you know everything about healthcare and clinical practice and mental health, and so in dementia and so on, all these things, so it’s very complex. It’s a very powerful tool. Scarlett Spring [00:13:21]: It’s very complex. And truly, when I said most people don’t know, even in professional settings, we’re talking greater than 80% of the time that even paid caregiver is doing something that is actually causing that person to have a reaction or a behavior. And so, you know, that’s happening at home even more and more. And it’s just so puzzling. And, yeah, we’re positioned to help solve that problem. James Bell [00:13:48]: Perfect. Well, you’re here in Bentonville. You’re going through the fuel for your health accelerator. How has fuel for your health in Bentonville and northwest Arkansas helped you so far? Scarlett Spring [00:13:59]: It’s been amazing. I mean, from the moment of the very first evening that we arrived and that very first opportunity to have, like, a happy hour with the leaders in the community, a, we couldn’t have felt just a warmer welcome that transferred to the way that the fuel team is introduced to, strategically to team members. Sometimes it’s felt like, you know, you’re drinking out of fire height and hired dirt. But at the other times, it was really a methodical way of introducing us. I now walk the halls in the ledger and know people, and I bumped into someone who was downtown, and the. The Remo wine bar is actually now my go to place. The rainbow wine bar is my go to place. So shout out there for advertising, right there for rainbow. Scarlett Spring [00:14:49]: But it’s been really amazing that people are willing to, like, hear your company, hear your. I’ll call it a solution, but kind of hear your product offering and then think about how it may be beneficial. Because when Linda and I talked with Darian and Tom, one of the things we said is we feel like we’ve got something, but we really need your help in helping us to figure out where is that ideal customer for us to be able to make our greatest impact. Linda and I bootstrapped this company, and we now are in a place of where we are ready to really scale, and we need that help. And fuel has done that. Steven Charlap [00:15:33]: Excellent. James Bell [00:15:34]: I’m glad fuel’s helping out. So if our audience wants to get to know either one of you more or get to know more about taproot, Ella, how do they do that? Linda Buscemi [00:15:45]: Well, they can go to our website, which is dot. We’re on LinkedIn as well. You can type in Taprootella and you’ll find us in LinkedIn. Or they can email us as well. or Dot. James Bell [00:15:59]: Perfect. Well, I have one last question for you. Will you share a story? This is a hashtag because Bentonville 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 the place. Scarlett Spring [00:16:14]: Well, I think I shared it a little bit, the fact that I have already found, like, my office away from home as a wine bar that around the block and James the bartender there, because Monday nights, everyone locally knows that’s the only night that you can get the meatballs and the italian dish. But tonight James is actually saving those meatballs so that we can have them tonight for one of our happy hours. So thank you so much. And that could only happen in Bentonville. James Bell [00:16:49]: That’s fantastic. Linda, we were talking before the show. You don’t have a lot of experience in Bentonville. You’ve been here a short time. How long have you been here? Linda Buscemi [00:16:58]: Less than 24 hours. James Bell [00:17:00]: Excellent. So first impressions? Linda Buscemi [00:17:02]: It’s quaint. It’s lovely. Everybody’s been so, just gracious and it’s just really nice to be in a town and meet people that are just very sweet and very smiling when you’re walking past them. And I’ve been to Sunny’s for lunch, and so that’s been delicious. And it’s been great so far. Can’t wait to be here a little bit longer. James Bell [00:17:22]: Perfect. Wonderful. And then maybe you’ll have a hashtag because Bentonville story to use later. Linda Buscemi [00:17:28]: I will. I have a feeling I will. Brian Sage [00:17:29]: Excellent. James Bell [00:17:30]: Well, thank you both for coming on this show. Scarlett Spring [00:17:32]: Thank you for having us. We really enjoyed it. James Bell [00:17:42]: Okay. Let me introduce you to Brian Sage, founder and CEO of Dart Health. Brian, welcome to the show. Brian Sage [00:17:48]: James, thanks for having me here. It’s great that you guys are putting this together to introduce us and the rest of the folks in the accelerator. James Bell [00:17:54]: Yeah, glad to do it. What would you, let’s just jump right in then. What would you like, Bill Beacon, audience, to know about you? Brian Sage [00:18:00]: Fun fact, I grew up here, so this is not the town of my birth, but it’s the town of Brian from three years old to 40. So there’s a lot of years where northwest Arkansas was my home. And I still think of bentonville and Rogers, where I’m from as my home. Matter of fact, some people who are listening to this, if they remember or they remember acumen brands. James Bell [00:18:27]: John? James. Brian Sage [00:18:28]: Yeah, John. So I was one of the, I was one of the original five in the room guys. James Bell [00:18:33]: Oh, that was cool. Brian Sage [00:18:34]: Yeah. Well, people who were kind of ideating and coming up with what would become country outfitter. Yeah, we got, I mean, it was an amazing experience. We got to ride the startup rocket ship from, you know, people coming up with some ideas to $100 million in ARR. So that kind of experience, you know, that’s a northwest Arkansas story that not a lot of people get to be a part of. That’s a startup story not a lot of people get to be a part of. Yeah. Writing that, that taught me a lot, taught me a lot about what you could do with data, what you could do with sort of the higher speed versions of how to acquire and analyze it. Brian Sage [00:19:14]: So I guess, yeah, if you’re looking for the Brian story, then I moved away to Denver because the opportunities for my kids were there for us. So moved away there, and then now I’m back for this startup journey of all places. Here we are back in Bentonville doing something where we seem to be, I don’t know, we seem to be, there’s some real opportunity here that I didn’t have exposure to the first time around. James Bell [00:19:42]: Very cool. Welcome home. Brian Sage [00:19:43]: Yeah, thanks. Nice to be here. James Bell [00:19:46]: Yeah, absolutely. Well, will you talk then about dark health? What is it that you’re doing? In other words, what problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for and how are you doing it? Brian Sage [00:19:56]: Yeah, so if so, little story first. Health tech can be really complex. It’s a very broad industry. So where the rubber kind of meets the road with the individual is, let’s say you’re employed. Let’s say you got a job, James, and the employer that you work for gives you a benefit that January 1 comes around and you think, oh, hey, I’m going to take advantage of this personal trainer, or maybe it’s something that’s pretty intimate, like fertility benefits. But you use the app or you stop into the place and they say, hey, welcome, James, welcome to your health journey here. They already know who you are. They already know they can start telling you how you’ve done on this journey. Brian Sage [00:20:40]: Well, all that, that connection between them and the employer that’s issuing those benefits, that connection started at least six months, maybe a year ago for them to onboard that and make that connection. You just signed up January 1. They’ve been working on that for forever. That’s an industry problem to do that six month onboarding. So what dart health does, we have a data appliance that can onboard that in two weeks. Our customer is the benefits provider. So it’s the carrot fertility, the collective health, the third party administrator who’s working with employers. What we do is we shorten and we make predictable that data connection, especially eligibility data. Brian Sage [00:21:21]: And I know there’s a lot of industry jargon there, but that’s what we create a software as a service for. And it makes it predictable, it makes it scalable, and it reduces your costs at least 18%. And then it gets even lower costs than that as you go on. James Bell [00:21:37]: That’s neat. I love that. I also love that you’ve really done your homework here in northwest Arkansas that you would call out a carrot fertility, whose CEO, Tammy sun, of course, is here in Bentonville, even if it is a. Yeah, I hope so too, Tammy. I hope you’re out there listening. She has been on the podcast. Oh, awesome. But it’s truly a Bay Area based company. James Bell [00:22:00]: But she’s here. She runs the company out here. That’s a pretty sizable company at this point. It’s pretty impressive what she’s done. Brian Sage [00:22:07]: Well, I mean, okay, so that kind of segues into what Bentonville is becoming. Growing up here, we knew that Walmart was, it’s fortune one. It’s not 100, it’s one, sometimes two, three, one city. Well, there you go. Yeah, so those kinds of, I guess that kind of pull. And now with mountain biking, too, like we were talking about before the show, there’s just so much gravity that’s pulling people to this area now that, of course, it would attract companies that you think of, Bay area startups. But where’s the next opportunity? The United States is filled with opportunity all over the place. James Bell [00:22:48]: That’s exactly right. You’d be astounded by the number of people who are leaders. Those Bay Area companies are just coming here and setting up shop. Talk more about fuel for your health and Bentonville and northwest Arkansas and how it’s been helpful to you and dart health at this point. Brian Sage [00:23:03]: Yeah. So like I said, we moved away to Denver. This has been eight years ago, because I have a lot of really great connections here in the area with acumen brands, John and Terry Turpin and the family of acumen brands. But education was something that took me for my kids. We saw opportunities somewhere else. James Bell [00:23:29]: We wanted to be a part of that. Brian Sage [00:23:31]: Now, through the grapevine, I hear of fuel as an accelerator. So, okay, let’s submit. And it turns out we were really lucky that we got in. Apparently we’re one of ten companies out of, I think there were 250 some odd applicants. So first, I feel really lucky to be in that group. The people that I’ve met here. One thing that fuel does is they try to bring this cross section of health tech to come together. So we get a pretty wide cut of the industry whenever you see them here. Brian Sage [00:24:06]: First of all, that’s been amazing. To get exposure to what other people are doing, to innovate in health tech and lower costs, increase benefits and increase outcomes, that’s something that you always think, man, we need to change healthcare. But the fact that there’s so many companies with so many smart people that are doing it is theoretically, of course there would be, but now I get to meet those people. So that’s one thing. The other thing is I’ve never felt like the distance between point a and point b, us being point a where we offer the solution, and point b where there’s a customer of ours that is right there ready to use us. I’ve never felt like it’s so short as it is right here with everyone we’re talking to, especially in the mentor, the mentor gallery. We’ve got a lot of mentors that come in and talk to us throughout the week. They’re all curious, or at least maybe 80% of them are curious about what are we doing and not in a. Brian Sage [00:25:06]: Oh, huh. That’d be neat. But in a, wow, I could use this. And I’m going to connect you to someone else who is dealing with this problem right now. So that’s been an incredible connection. James Bell [00:25:17]: Yeah, you’ve hit on something that I was talking to somebody not too long ago about, that I think is unique to this area, somewhat unique to this area that is in a lot of places you can go and get some help and go through an accelerator, for example. So it’s both unique to fuel and this area is a lot of places you can go and do an accelerator. And it’s going to take you from point a to point b in your company and 100 days a year’s worth of work, that sort of thing, the traditional model. But what they typically don’t do is teach you to sell and teach you to sell to enterprises, create operational value in your company. And that gives me the point of what Bentonville offers, is that if you’re a startup, if you’re an early stage company, the two things you need most. Well, the thing you need most that some don’t realize yet they need most is customers. Yes, hear that out there? Customers. The dollars that start with the r, not the f, friends, family, financiers and fools. James Bell [00:26:19]: Revenue is the one you need. Right. But as you’re starting to grow, you also need access to people to talent. Oh, wow. Those two things we offer here in droves, and you don’t see that combination in a lot of places and see it at a short distance to you. Brian Sage [00:26:41]: Yeah, you make a really good point. That’s something having come from, I guess, having done this a couple of times in northwest Arkansas, where we’ve hired it overnight, seemingly to expand our technology teams, our hands on development teams, and I say we, that’s acumen brands, and it was engine commerce. After that, I was part of that team. Oh, cool. Yeah. And then we employ a couple of developers in this area. The amount of talent, that’s honestly untapped, you see, I mean, I don’t want to, I don’t want to assume too much, but the Silicon Valley startup idea, it’s unfortunate that that’s also gotten the reputation of being a grind that you submit yourself to and you eat nothing but ramen and you suffer while you’re a part of those companies. There is kind of a, there’s a more healthy mentality called the Northwest Arkansas mentality of let’s balance that with family. Brian Sage [00:27:42]: Let’s balance that with the ability to go hit some mountain biking trails. One thing I love about the ledger is they have trail mix Tuesday, and then they have this big bike meetup out front. I haven’t taken advantage of the bike meetup, but I’ve definitely taken too much advantage of the trail mix. That kind of balance where it’s, let’s not only work, but also play. And neither one of those has to be hard. You don’t have to work hard to earn playing hard. And that mentality is. I appreciate that here. James Bell [00:28:12]: Yeah, there are people who think those are separate things, and frankly, it’s just harder to do in a place like Silicon Valley. Just is. And so you’re absolutely right. I mean, here, even the chamber, and of course, I work at the greater Bentonville area chamber of commerce. If you want to tap into another ride, we have our weekend warm up. It’s at 03:00. 03:00 p.m. On Fridays. James Bell [00:28:33]: Bunch folks get together and hit some trails. Brian Sage [00:28:35]: Awesome. James Bell [00:28:36]: Maybe do a little business along the way. Um, share with, uh, the audience how they can reach you or get to know more about dart health. Brian Sage [00:28:44]: Yeah, best way. Uh, the website is dart health, so dash arthealth, and that is a real domain name. There’s after it. Um, you can also find us on LinkedIn by searching dart Health. Uh, you can, you can find our, our LinkedIn page. Uh, and then you’ll see links to me might. I was lucky enough to be, I’m old enough that, uh, my handle is Brian sage. So it’s awesome. Brian Sage [00:29:07]: Yeah. Just as it’s, as it’s spelled with an I on LinkedIn. James Bell [00:29:11]: Perfect. Well, brian, I have one last question for you. All right. Will you share a story with me? And this is going to be, you’re going to tell the audience about a hashtag because Bentonville moment, something where you look back at it and you think, that could only happen in Bentonville or it describes essence of the place. Brian Sage [00:29:25]: Yeah. So I’ve got a small story because I have a lot of friends in the area. There’s a really good friend of mine, he was the coach, and maybe he still is the coach of his kids mountain biking team for the school. And one day I was going to, I was coming just in town and I said, hey, I want to hit some of the trails. I’ve heard they’ve become awesome while they’ve been moved away. So he says, oh, yeah, come on over to the house. I borrow a mountain bike coming over to his house, and when I get there, he says, oh, sorry, I won’t be able to go with you. I’m watching the younger kids, but my two boys are going to go show you around. Brian Sage [00:30:05]: And so, oh, no, I’m sweating bullets. But they take me. We ride down to the slaughter pen, which great name you think immediately, oh, no, what am I in for? But when we get there, the trails are rated green, blue and black. And, yeah, like we were talking about before, this segues nicely into, first of all, I’m not an experienced mountain biker. I’m not even an experienced biker. But I start on the green trails and I feel like, oh, this isn’t so bad. And I take on a couple of blues and, okay, so now I know. James Bell [00:30:38]: What my level is. Brian Sage [00:30:39]: Maybe I’ll scope out the blues, but at least I’m not going to end up in that situation you kind of end up with in the hills of Colorado where it’s not rated. Good luck. So, okay, the segue is the fuel accelerator. They’ve taken our really lousy slide deck. Let’s be honest. We showed up with a slide deck that was, it was from geek. That’s me to geek, where we were talking straight to software developers and ctos, and they’ve really helped us. They’ve put us on the right track to adjust it kind of like we just, we were showing up writing greens to talk to the enterprise or talk to someone that is looking for a real solution. Brian Sage [00:31:22]: We’re offering the solution, but we don’t know how to talk to them, so they’re offering us those things. So, yeah, hash Bentonville moment trail rating system is awesome. And then the business, I guess, skill up features of the area have also been really awesome for us. James Bell [00:31:39]: That’s perfect. I’ll be the first to admit that the first night I saw you pitch, I thought, I think I know what they do. And then we had the first mentor sort of mixer. And the speed, the speed mentoring, so to speak. And I thought, I have no idea what they do. And today understood what you do. So maybe I’m just a slow learner or I think it’s more so exactly what you just said. You got a great story now. Brian Sage [00:32:01]: Awesome. So this is great. Yeah. I’ll tell you what, I’ll throw it out to the audience. If anybody else wants to chime in and just say, hey, I don’t know what you do, I would love to try to answer the question and use that feedback also. I would love to. Anyone else who knows what we do and needs it, don’t be afraid to reach out. James Bell [00:32:18]: Perfect. Brian, thank you so much for coming on the show. Brian Sage [00:32:20]: Yeah, thanks, James. James Bell [00:32:30]: Okay, let me introduce you to doctor Steven Charlap, who is the founder and CEO of Soap Health. Stephen, welcome to the show. Steven Charlap [00:32:38]: Thanks for having me. James Bell [00:32:39]: What would you like the Bentonville Beacon audience to know about you? Steven Charlap [00:32:42]: I’m on a mission. James Bell [00:32:43]: Tell me about that. Steven Charlap [00:32:45]: Well, unfortunately, the mission born out of tragedy, I lost an older brother who was a cardiologist to a misdiagnosis. And despite an extensive family history of early cancers and deaths, my brother’s colleagues failed to detect his cancer. And as a result, I went back to school and studied all about genetics to understand what was behind my brother’s two cancers. Being diagnosed a week apart and eventually realized the problem wasn’t with my brother. The problem was with the medical system that doesn’t spend enough time with patients and isn’t incentivized to detect things like early cancers and early heart disease, et cetera, early. So my mission is to wipe out misdiagnosis, which is one of the biggest problems affecting healthcare today. In fact, according to our National Academy of Medicine, everyone will experience a misdiagnosis. And according to Johns Hopkins, over 800,000 people a year die or permanently disabled by misdiagnosis. James Bell [00:33:53]: Wow. Well, I myself have experienced one, in my case, being somebody who, my industry background is medical devices, LTAC healthcare. And I recognized it at the time because it came from a wrong lab result, and I recognized it as a pretty severe anomaly. And somehow my physician was okay with the number, and so. And I had not seen this physician for more than about a year. And so I had to go back to past medical records and pull forward all the data and present it to her and say, this data is wrong. And my challenge to her was at the. At the time was, let’s redo the test, and if you’re wrong, you pay for it. James Bell [00:34:38]: If I’m wrong, I’ll pay you twice as much. She took me up on the challenge. I didn’t pay for the test, but it’s astounding how often people are misdiagnosed. So this is a huge thing that you’re tackling. Yeah. Steven Charlap [00:34:53]: And misdiagnosis is part of a larger problem affecting primary care. Over 100 million Americans don’t have access to a primary care physician. Another 60 million have high deductible insurance plans. That’s basically half the US population can’t access affordable primary care. James Bell [00:35:10]: Wow. Again, a place I’ve been with a high deductible insurance at one point. So talk about then more about your company. Who specifically, I guess, who’s your target customer, then, that you’re. Sorry. Who do you make money from? Steven Charlap [00:35:31]: Well, primary care requires a physician or nurse practitioner or physician assistant in the loop. So our primary customer right now are those individuals. And our goal is to give them superpowers to make sure that every patient who walks in the door, every patient who’s seen over telemedicine, is absolutely being given an opportunity to share their comprehensive medical history and to ensure that a proper risk and symptom assessment is performed and that the right diagnosis, if possible, is achieved, or the right testing is performed to get to the right diagnosis and ultimately, the right treatment is provided. How we do that is extremely unique. We have built the world’s first perfect medical interviewer. It’s an animated character who conducts 100% voice based interview and has been proven to collect more accurate, more truthful, and more complete information than most doctors have the time or inclination to spend with the patient asking all those questions. And then we built the world’s most comprehensive risk assessment. About 500 algorithms. Steven Charlap [00:36:38]: They look at hereditary lifestyle, social determinants, preventive measure utilization risks. We’re now diagnosing better than the reported rate for the Mayo Clinic by using a combination of both our proprietary models, as well as some large language models, and creating a medical note. So before the patient even walks in the door, up to 90% of the encounter is already complete and we are. We’ve announced that by September, we expect to build the world’s first AI powered primary care provider. James Bell [00:37:12]: That’s amazing. I can’t wait to see that. That’s pretty amazing, because I was already thinking, if you’re getting that medical record or the, for that encounter, 90% there, that you’re already giving the actual physician who’s there an opportunity to do something that sounds kind of crazy, you know, actually care for the patient, focus on the patient. But to hear that you could have the first virtual provider is astounding. Steven Charlap [00:37:40]: Well, you know, it’s pretty funny, because I developed a lecture that I was asked to give a few times called the rise and fall of american medicine. What comes next? And at the beginning of that lecture, I asked people, given the choice between an AI doctor and a human doctor, what would you choose? And inevitably, before the lecture, overwhelmingly, people choose the human doctor because of the advantages that humans have over AI. But the reality is, once I finish that lecture and I point out all the challenges that primary care physicians are facing today, from time constraints to knowledge gaps to decision fatigue, to cognitive and confirmation bias to distractions, people realize that AI is the future. Now, our goal is not to replace physicians. As I said, we’ll give them superpowers, but we’ll give them an opportunity to earn the living they deserve to earn for the education and effort they put into their professions. But at the same time, let patients walk away knowing that they got the best possible care. James Bell [00:38:38]: That’s perfect. Well, let’s talk about your time in fuel for your health. How is fuel for your health helping you, and how is Bentonville and northwest Arkansas helping you? Steven Charlap [00:38:47]: So I love the fuel people. They’re very friendly. I find that to be true of most of the Arkansorans that I’ve met. I’ve also frequented the local movie theaters at night when I’m all by myself. My wife for 39 years is back home, and so I unwind by taking in late night movies. James Bell [00:39:10]: Very nice. Have you made it to skylight yet? Steven Charlap [00:39:12]: I’ve not made it to skylight, but I made it to the two Marco theaters. James Bell [00:39:16]: Okay, excellent. Well, you should definitely check out the skylight experience in downtown Bentonville as well. You’ll love that. So how can somebody, if somebody wants to reach you or get to know more about soap health, how can they do that? Steven Charlap [00:39:30]: Well, my email is my first initial, last name, so. S c h A R l a p. S o a p. By the way, soap stands for subjective objective assessment plan, which is a type of medical documentation, which is what every doctor should be doing in a patient encounter. And the email is soap health h e a L T H my phone number 617-319-6434 please don’t call me to sell me something, but if you can help me achieve my mission, then I’d love to hear from you. This is a memory of my brother, and I am determined to solve this major problem that not only affects Americans but affects people across the globe. James Bell [00:40:15]: Absolutely. Well, Stephen, thank you so much for coming on the Bendville beacon. Steven Charlap [00:40:20]: Thank you. Appreciate it. James Bell [00:40:23]: 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 beacon of progress and inspiration. See you on the next episode.

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