If crowdfunding has democratized the way of raising funds, then medical startups are also leveraging the same. Capital is no more a constraint for those who want to become the next gen changemakers and change our planet for good. A new player rising up to reach out to budding doctors and make way for them so that they can reach out to patients who need them is a Philippines based startup Medifund. It has taken up a step to improve the medical situation on this planet. StartupsFM got in touch with founder of Medifund Jossy Onwude and we got to know more on this wonderful concept. Jossy Onwude is a MD student at Mham college of medicine. Other founders are Nanaho Nishiyama, Dan Allen Pantinople, Faye (Lead Developer) and Michael Millan (as mentioned on AngelList).
SFM: What made you come up with an idea of starting up with a crowdfunding platform for medical students? Is there a special story behind it?
J.Onwude: Medifund was started because I had a friend who is a medical student and had issues to pay her fees. So I wanted to find away out for her and knowing about crowdfunding, i tried to look for a solution but couldn’t find any. So I thought to myself, why not I start one myself. Thus the birth of Medifund happened. But since then, we have also decided to do this because of the shortage of doctors around the globe.
SFM: What kind of rewards are you providing for the backers who come up on Medifund? Also, do you take back any percentage of the projects or are do you have a free plan completely?
J.Onwude: Students can choose any form of reward to give back to their backers. We also have a loaning system that allows backers to give loan and get their money back with 1 percent interest. When we have a network of Medifunded-doctors, backers can get added benefits like free medical consultations, treatments etc from them. And yeah, we hope to take 5 percent from each campaign but might one day move to the free plan!
SFM: In TechCrunch, it was mentioned- “To make sure students signing up for donations on Medifund are serious about their goals, the site uses a gaming system that encourages students to add more details about their background, education and achievements.” What made you think of coming up with this system? Could you please share some of your other special features as well?
J.Onwude: We needed a system to increase students’ trust level to make sure they really needed the funds and not just using our platform for their personal agenda. Thus we came up with that. And other features we would like to have include are- a loaning system that lets people loan students rather than fund, a point system that can be redeemable in terms of medical services, and there are many more we are working on!
SFM: What is the maximum time limit for every campaign that goes up on Medifund?
J.Onwude: Students set the time limit for their campaign… from days till no limit
SFM: Right now, you are on private Beta. When are you planning to public launch this wonderful platform?
J.Onwude: We hope to launch soonest. We are looking at launching in two months’ time if things move as planned. We have lots of students already lined up to use our platform and we are doing everything possible to make sure they do.
SFM: Finally, which locations is Medifund going to be available in initially?
J.Onwude: Medifund is a global platform and will be available to anyone who wants to use it to raise medical fees. Though we would focus our initial marketing towards Asian and African students.