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Dr. André Tapia, when he was an aspiring ophthalmologist , looked for Carlos Roca, owner of Mellow Consulting; and said, ‘I did very well on the National Exam for Medical Residency Applicants (Enarm)! It is one of the most demanding tests for doctors who want to enter a specialty. I was the eighth nationally. I prepared myself in different ways and I think there is a very great opportunity to develop an application to study and pass this exam ”.
Of the 45,000 doctors who perform the Enarm each year in Mexico, only 18% are approved; and most are left without the opportunity to be specialists. This is how the startup Reto Education was born, which created the Reto Enarm app to study and pass the National Exam for Aspirants to Medical Residencies (Enarm ) through clinical cases, questionnaires, challenges and simulators.
André Tapia asked Mellow Consulting for a quote; and after a while, Carlos Roca told him: “We have already done a lot of research and we believe that this project has a good future. Why don’t we do the business together? We operate it and you take care of all the medical part?
André trusted Carlos and that’s how Reto Educación began in August 2015. Then they invited two more partners: Uri Torruco, infectologist with a master’s degree in Health Sciences Education; and Alma Jurado, a surgeon with a master’s degree in eHealth, who merges technology with health.
In August of this year, they launched the University Challenge to study for the admission exams of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) and the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN). Of 560,000 students, less than 10% enter these universities.
They are also working on the content of MIR Challenge, a tool to prepare and pass the MIR (Internal Resident Physician), an exam in Spain to be a specialist in some branch of medicine. And although these entrepreneurs want to specialize in the medical market, in April 2020 they presented the Stock Market Challenge for professionals in the banking and financial sector that require certifications from the Mexican Association of Banking Institutions (AMIB).
“Our main tool is Reto Enarm. We have more than 100,000 registered physicians. 40% of doctors in Mexico use this application. Because it is better to pay 800 pesos for the app than to buy a book of 1,000 pesos or more, “explains Carlos Roca, founder of Reto Education in an interview for Entrepreneur in Spanish .
The content of Reto Enarm is made according to the structure of the National Examination for Aspiring Medical Residences (Enarm); which is 30% pediatrics, 30% gynecology, 30% internal medicine and 10% all other specialties. It is also based on the experience of students with the best scores over the years.
“We sell Reto Enarm directly to doctors and medical schools for them to provide to their students. In the case of Reto Bursatil our clients are banks and financial institutions ”, he says.
Actions to combat COVID-19
Reto Education entrepreneurs have been selected by five accelerators from the following places: University of Southern California, New York University, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Facebook and xEDU, located in Finland where the government gave them a certification called Education Finland that validates the Reto Education software for meeting the technological and pedagogical guidelines to be used as a study tool.
“Due to the COVID-19 situation, we launched the viive.com.mx platform to help the health system detect cases and stop distressed patients from going to hospitals,” says the co-founder of Reto Education.
If a person feels symptoms of the coronavirus, the first step is to write on Viive’s Facebook or WhatsApp messenger; and some chatbots guide you asking questions to diagnose. If there are signs of the disease, a free video consultation is made with the Reto Education medical team; And if necessary, a doctor will come to your home at no cost in Mexico City.
Image: Courtesy Reto Education
Your strongest asset? Quality content
For them, the greatest lesson of success is definitely the excellent content with which users study. This is the strongest asset. Another thing that has worked for them is being very active looking for clients, opportunities, accelerators, new contacts, etc.
The Reto Education partners allocated around 300,000 pesos to their initial project. In January 2018 they received specialized advice and an investment from Orion Startups for $ 30,000 in exchange for 3% of the company.
Challenge Education is in the sector of online education, specifically, self-study. The co-founders estimate that the market for their four applications: Reto Enarm, Reto MIR, Reto Bursátil and Reto Universidad is worth 250 million pesos a year. His goal this year is to reach 10 or 15% of that market.
“We want to be the largest medical education platform in Latin America. Our goal for 2020 is to close with 30 clients between medical schools and banks, ”says Carlos.
The Reto Education team is made up of 12 people. They are all fervent believers that education is the best tool for future generations. “The founders are very clear about this and we have been able to communicate it very well to all collaborators. We are never going to sacrifice educational quality to want to sell more ”.
His best advice is to pay close attention to the partners, employees or suppliers that you are going to invite to participate in the company. “Sometimes we believe that if someone gives us a million pesos, we will solve things. But receiving money without caring so much about the person is the worst mistake we can make ”.
In the face of adversity these entrepreneurs are optimistic. They always hope for the best being realistic. “It is good for the team that we are positive and transmit calm in any complicated situation,” concludes Carlos Roca, co-founder of Reto Education.