BrainHi gets accepted in YCombinator, the most prestigious startup accelerator in the world
San Juan, Puerto Rico (August 1st, 2018) — Puerto Rican artificial intelligence (AI) startup BrainHi is the first company founded and based in the island to be chosen for the prestigious YCombinator program, a startup accelerator in San Francisco, California.
Founded in 2017, BrainHi rescues the missed calls of doctor’s offices with an automated receptionist (like Siri for iPhone) that answers non-medical questions and schedules appointments. The company uses AI to help private practices provide assistance to their patients 24/7, increasing the number of new patients while reducing the amount of repetitive clerical work from their administrative staff.
BrainHi’s participation in YCombinator represents a huge opportunity to take the company to global markets and grow their customer base, whilst giving Puerto Rico visibility in the world-known San Francisco tech ecosystem. The accelerator has given capital to more than 1,900 companies including Airbnb, Dropbox, Twitch, Weebly and Quora, amongst others.
“Our participation in YCombinator represents an opportunity to raise awareness of the company at an international level and to keep helping Puerto Rico’s economic growth. We are beyond proud and excited to have participated in such a prestigious accelerator,” said Emmanuel Oquendo, BrainHi’s co-founder.
The program comprises a series of workshops and talks with specialized mentors in topics that will nourish the development of the selected startups. After a rigorous selection process they establish an action plan for each company, that includes mentorship and the search for capital and investment. Through YCombinator, BrainHi has direct access to the entrepreneurs, advisors and investors that have been part of the fastest-growing companies in Silicon Valley.
“During YCombinator, we acquired customers like Dr. Pedro Martinez-Clark, an interventional cardiologist in Miami, and Dr. Roy Kim, a plastic surgeon in San Francisco, who have validated that BrainHi is going after a global opportunity. These doctors are committed to providing assistance to their patients 24/7 and we are proud to support them.”
Oquendo and his partner, Israel Figueroa, started BrainHi in 2017 while they were studying at the Mayaguez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR); a few months after, they validated the value of their product in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, when the communication between patients and doctor offices became almost impossible. Currently, private practices are seeking for new patients and income, but miss 25% of the incoming calls and 80% of the patients don’t leave a voice note they can follow up.
“Our mission is to continue growing BrainHi globally from Puerto Rico to support the Engineering field on the Island and to help make it a world-known technological hub. We want to impact the healthcare industry and continue developing tools that uplevel the office’s staff,” added Oquendo.
Amongst the main reasons for missed calls from patients are: technology limitations with the phone system; call wait while the personnel answers another line; and off-hour calls. BrainHi’s customers have been able to add up to six additional appointments in a weekly basis increasing their billing by $5,000 a month on average.
“With BrainHi we want to be a relief for the administrative team in each doctor’s office and offer a tool that will allow healthcare providers maximize their investment,” Oquendo pointed out.
Following their participation in YCombinator, BrainHi is preparing to raise capital from private investors to accelerate their business expansion in international markets. The company has eight full-time employees, all of them engineering students or recent graduates from universities in Puerto Rico; and part of their fundraising goal is to be able to grow the team in areas like sales and engineering with professionals from Puerto Rico currently on the island or that want to come back home.
BrainHi was part of the accelerator Parallel 18’s fourth generation, and has been supported by other organizations in the entrepreneurial ecosystem like Grupo Guayacán, INprende, Idea Platform, amongst others.