Frustrated at the lack of pathologists in Africa’s hospitals and the slow turnaround of test results, Kenyan doctor Joshua Kibera believed he had the answer. Kibera envisaged a business that was a cross between a ride-hailing company and a utility, which would connect African hospitals and medical facilities to pathologists and laboratories both locally and internationally.
The problem was that Kibera lacked the funding to get his idea off the ground. But, when he attracted $50,000 in seed funding from Villgro Africa, a start-up incubator based in Kenya focused on healthcare, his vision became a reality: in 2017 The Pathology Network was born.
Besides the cash, Villgro Africa’s advice was vital to The Pathology Network’s launch, says Kibera, and encouraged other international investors to put an additional $175,000 into the business.
“I was clear what problem I was solving, but our business model wasn’t well defined,” says Kibera. “The Villgro Africa portfolio manager had frequent meetings to help us think through the modelling, the cash flow and so on.”
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