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Marc Schipperheyn and Giovana Pieck of Ology (#H20LA)

By 13 de novembro de 2013 Empreendedorismo


Schipperheyn and Pieck combined their talents and passion to create Ology, a social platform designed for physicians. Schipperheyn rode the highs and lows of the early internet. While living in Europe, Schipperheyn joined the initial wave of internet businesses in the early 1990s and focused on building websites and trying to create new products and new web businesses. Traveling through South America and in particular Brazil kindled a new spirit in Schipperheyn.  He realized the vast opportunities for the internet and internet companies in Brazil, but Schipperheyn understood that he must learn about the Brazilian market. Through exploratory meetings in Brazil, Schipperheyn met Giovana Pieck, a pharmaceutical marketer with nearly twenty years of experience in marketing and the Brazilian healthcare field. With the Schipperheyn’s technical ability and Pieck’s healthcare industry experience, the pair felt confident that a social media platform built exclusively for physicians could be the right product to improve the practice of medicine in Brazil.

A social platform for doctors only

Pieck and Schipperheyn believe that the Brazilian market is primed for incorporating more technology with the practice of medicine. After tweaking code and software as well as conducting market research, Pieck and Schipperheyn realized their opportunity to launched Ology in May 2013. They hope Ology—a closed social media platform for physicians—will address the growing convergence of medicine and technology.  According to their research, nearly 70% of the 400,000 Brazilian physicians belong to either Generation X or Generation Y in addition to 80% of smartphone use among doctors in Brazil. Pieck and Schipperheyn remain optimistic that their research confirms that there is a window of opportunity for a social media platform for Brazilian doctors.

Pieck and Schipperheyn emphasized a few of Ology’s features and highlights. First, the creators of Ology stressed the functionality and fluidity of the platform. Schipperheyn designed Ology to present a physician with relevant content based on his/her expertise and specialty. Ology also incorporates groups and video conferencing to encourage collaboration and enhanced communication amongst doctors. Schipperheyn stressed that he and Pieck have worked hard to make the platform user-friendly for physicians. Second, Pieck and Schipperheyn highlighted their commitment to technology and continually investing in new features and maintaining an adaptable platform. For example, Ology features electronic prescription which is relatively recent to the Brazilian market. Third, Pieck and Schipperheyn believe that Ology has potential to create revenue through (1) advertising and sponsorship from pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, (2) job postings, (3) research, (4) premium features offered to physicians, and (5) licensing fees from hospitals. Third, Ology fosters an online community for physicians only, which sets parameters regarding patient privacy.

What’s next?

According to Pieck and Schipperheyn, the growth of Ology has been admittedly below their initial expectations, but the founders emphasized that the Ology platform is still in an early stage and their belief in the superiority and functionality of Ology. In order to expand the number of registered users, Pieck and Schipperheyn are seeking improvement in their public relations and marketing campaigns as well as through relationships. At this point, Ology is still quite new, but Pieck and Schipperheyn are confident in their product and bring a wealth of technical expertise and healthcare knowledge in the hopes of offering a functional tool for doctors.


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Colin J. Glaeser

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