Intelligent nurse shift staffing software is something medical practice simply cannot afford to overlook. As the name applies, MyCareforce is the staffing and scheduling solution that keeps everything running smoothly. Pedro and João understand the need to help healthcare professionals manage their schedules from anywhere, and so they have developed a dynamic yet flexible shift staffing system. Demium’s partner fund, Think Bigger Capital, has rightly decided on this singular startup to invest €100K.
Q: Tell us about mycareforce
Pedro: MyCareforce is a health-tech platform that connects nurses with healthcare institutions.
We understand that nurses have very complicated schedules and this is not something that happens only in Portugal, but also all around Europe, that’s why our future plan is to expand internationally. Nurses schedules are divided in three main slots, mornings, evenings and nights. If they start on Monday morning, they’ll do an afternoon shift on Tuesday and a night shift on Wednesday and so on. That causes a problem: difficulties in finding extra shifts that are compatible with their schedule.. If the hospital does last-minute changes to the schedule, nurses cannot commit to the other work they are doing, which complements their salary. We’ve created this platform where they see the availability or shifts that the hospitals have, and apply in line to that. The hospital checks their profile and accepts the petition. As soon as this happens, the shift is booked and the nurse receives all the information he/she needs to do the work.
Q: What was it like raising a round for the first time?
Pedro: It was a great experience. I haven’t had a similar experience before, unlike João. I think it’s the validation of your work. Not just of the idea or the business you’re working on. It’s also a validation of you, of the team and of your capabilities.
João: Raising funds for your idea and vision, means you have managed to communicate both correctly. Once you get the money, it’s time to turn your vision into something real and show investors and people who have trusted you that you’re capable of doing it.
Pedro: Validation comes with big responsibility. We did work hard to get the investment but now the pressure is on. We had the idea and now we have the money to make it happen.
Q: What will you focus your initial funding on?
João: We want to build a strong team. Because of this, we’ve hired two people, one for Marketing & Communication and one for Product and Software Development.
Q: What did you find investors valued most about your startup?
Pedro: That we are very fast; we got that a lot. We pivoted in December 2020 and started working on the idea in January 2021. We contacted the nurses and hospital directors, developed the platform, along with interviewing many people to understand the problem to its core.
João: I think that investors really valued that, apart from having identified the problem, we went beyond and validated everything. I think they see it’s a real problem that happens in other countries too.
Pedro: It’s true we did things fast and learned at the speed of light. We have surrounded ourselves with the right mentors and advisors. Be willing to hear other points of view was a big plus. We don’t have a strict path to achieve our goal. We have a goal and a vision and we understand that the path can take you to other trails. That’s why we think that the willingness and determination to achieve things, against all odds, are two of the most important attributes that investors value.
Q: What advice would you offer other entrepreneurs looking for first round funding?
João: If you are raising funds for the first time, be prepared and do your research. Surround yourself with people who can give you useful information on what fundraising is going to be like, common questions that investors might have, etc…
Pedro: Taking up where Joao left off, I would advise entrepreneurs to prepare questions about yourselves and the project. When you’re facing your first investment round, you have probably pitched many times before, you have been asked the same questions before… so keep a record of everything. We have been doing that for some time now, and by the time we were raising Think Bigger Capital’s round, we went through more or less the same questions about the project. Nobody knows your project better than you, so be assertive when presenting it.
Q: What role did Demium play in this first investment round?
Pedro: A decisive one, actually. The biggest thing is that we met at Demium. Obviously if we hadn’t joined Demium in the first place we wouldn’t have founded MyCareforce. We had a lot of support from Demium’s team since the very beginning. It was my first time raising a round so all the mentorships and help we had from Demium played a very important role when it came to the success of the round. The incubation team was very involved in our project and even stayed out late if it was necessary to help us out in the weeks prior to the investment round. We pitched a lot, once a week or sometimes more, to the Demium team, who gave us very useful feedback.
João: The Demium team and the other entrepreneurs are extraordinary people. The network of mentors is also very valuable, because they are not there only to cheer you up but also to let you know what could be wrong with your project and what you can improve. This also allows you to go faster when developing your project. You’re getting so much feedback from the Demium ecosystem that makes everything a little bit easier.
Q: How has been your experience in Demium so far?
Pedro: Awesome experience, for sure. Even now that the incubation program is over, we continue to talk to them, we keep visiting the office… Demium is more than an incubator, a 6-month relationship or an investment relationship. It’s great because you meet a lot of people and build relationships with them, not only entrepreneurs but the whole ecosystem.
João: We’re friends. At Demium we have built good work relationships, not only with the Heads of Incubation, but also with the other startups incubated there. It’s a networking ecosystem. I started alone, and have evolved into MyCareforce after meeting my founding team; now we are a whole network made up of different people and startups. NetworkMe and Actif are some of the startups founded by people who we consider friends. We help each other out to grow. I see Demium as a “school” in the sense that you go there and learn a lot, even if you already have lots of experience and knowledge, you end up meeting new people and building priceless friendships.