Students are notorious for never having enough time and always being in a hurry. Therefore, it is unsurprising that student entrepreneurs constantly focus their heightened sense for innovation on shortening daily tasks. Of these many avoidable annoyances is the long wait to pick up prescriptions at the drug store. Earlier this month, a team of students from UofT launched their startup, SwiftPad, a pharmacy e-prescribing app. The app allows its users to send a photo of their prescription to the most conveniently located pharmacy, they will later be notified when it is ready for pickup.
“Healthcare and pharmacies have been really lacking in technological advancement and we want to be at the forefront of this movement,” said Amir Motahari, undergraduate Health and Disease student and CEO and co-founder of SwiftPad. Motahari said that he is excited for the launch of the app and that SwiftPad has already signed with multiple independent pharmacies. They have also been accepted into the IBM Global Entrepreneur program, which entitles SwiftPad to several important external resources.
Although they are working in a competitive market, the team are confident in their startup. Motahari points out that their unique approach “streamlines the process,” putting them at an advantage. He went on to say that “their [competitors’] focuses are is on patients who have chronic diseases and who are constantly receiving medication rather than on-time prescriptions” for the wider public.
The development of SwiftPad began back in September when Motahari, along other co-founders Victor Chen Li, and Maxim Antipin first collaborated. Motahari had a wealth of experience with user design and production management from his academic career at U of T. He currently oversees all operations, including user design and company growth. Motahari comes from a family of pharmacists, and the inspiration for the startup came from his first hand experience in the pharmacy industry.
Antipin, a product marketing engineer at AMD and an electrical engineering student, operates the production management and the new features of SwiftPad. As the chief technological officer, Chen focuses on the “development and scalability of the SwiftPad on all platforms.” Chen has completed a Masters of Information at UofT, and is currently an Android developer at PointClickCare.
Entrepreneurship at U of T is on the rise with more and more students participating in the startup culture. For all the students who aspire to become entrepreneurs, Motahari suggests that “[…]people who want to build a startup [should] go work for one.”
This is not the team’s first startup. In 2014, the trio worked together on a startup in the U of T Hatchery Entrepreneurship program. They were chosen as one of the top teams. They developed an interactive image annotation tool, Dabble, used for marketing campaigns and ad agencies. The Hatchery is an “experiential learning opportunity [that] will provide the resources, mentorship and community to turn ideas into successful start-ups.” Motahari says that the Hatchery “is a great place to know if you are fit to be an entrepreneur.”
“The overall goal of SwiftPad is to bring the pharmacy to your fingertips,” Motahari explained.
Presently, Swiftpad is piloting with four pharmacies. The app is scheduled to be available to the public in the first week of December.