Ryan Vet is an innovative leader, entrepreneur and author. He has presented to audiences around the globe on four different continents on leadership, marketing and reaching your maximum potential.
Ryan’s experiences range from start-ups to well-established multi-national, Fortune 500s. From starting his first business at age 14 to launching and successfully exiting start-ups, Ryan is a serial entrepreneur. Currently, Ryan serves as the CEO of Boon—an on-demand, temporary healthcare staffing platform (imagine Uber meets eHarmony meets healthcare staffing). He has been featured in countless publications for his entrepreneurial endeavors and has been inducted as an official member into the exclusive Forbes Communication Council. In addition, Ryan hosts The Dental Experience Podcast.
As an experiential marketing and branding consultant Ryan has worked companies from start-ups to iconic household brands. And in his spare time, he co-owns a series of craft beverage lounges called The Oak House. Ryan also sits as an advisory board member for a number of organizations including Elon University’s Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership
- Who is Ryan Vet?
Ryan has always loved creating and it’s been at the core of his career. His first real business was a lemonade stand where he learned how to diversify his products and captivate his audience with marketing. Somewhere in between his petting zoo and his lemonade stand, Ryan also developed a trading card business at the age of 11. It was a long journey from the lemonade stand to Boon.
When Ryan was younger, some local businesses realized that he had some talent with websites and basic graphic design and this actually lead to his first real business. He built a marketing company that served 200 clients in 25 different countries, and eventually this led to his first startup software company. Every startup yielded additional skills and connections that allowed Ryan to build his next business.
One such startup was in the medical and dental space. Ryan began building his platform and started speaking at dental conferences about patient experience. It was there that he saw a common need for staffing. About a year and a half ago he started researching how to provide temporary team members for the medical industry. During the research he found that the industry size of medical staffers was 16 times the size of Uber and Lyft combined. Boon is the system that Ryan came up with, it provides innovation in healthcare that allows hospitals and health care providers to connect directly with practitioners that are open and available.
- Not Taking No For An Answer
Ryan’s always had a driving passion to get things done. If Ryan wanted something, his parents rarely told him no but they also didn’t get him things very often as well. Ryan had to earn the money to get the things he wanted and his parents would help him out.
If more people interpreted “no” as “not yet” or do it yourself, more products would come to market.
- Why did you get into software?
At the advent of web based software, Ryan found his passion for enabling people to solve their problems using technology. He wanted to be able to use platforms and apps to solve people’s problems.
- Digitizing vs. Innovating
Ryan’s first start up was straddling the line between digitization and innovation. He learned it’s relatively easy to create a process or app that streamlines something, but now Ryan is trying to stay on the side of innovation. Digitization is relatively easy and valuable but innovation is transformative. The iPhone changed the cell phone industry completely.
Ebay is an example of digitization, it’s basically an online garage sale. Amazon is an example of innovation in that they enable everyone to be a retail owner. Boon is striving to be more like Amazon and bring innovation in healthcare that the industry desperately needs.
One in ten healthcare providers are temporary workers, and there are plenty of issues with the traditional model. It takes a long time, it costs a lot of money, people are not getting paid fairly or access to benefits, patient care with temporary workers is not always at the forefront, and the people are not always matched well. Boon addresses all those issues.
- Where does someone get the capital to develop software and what was different about this idea that gave you the confidence to start looking?
Ryan has funded a business nearly every way it’s possible to do so and it’s probably the hardest part about building the business. The rejection rate is high and it’s hard to push through, but anyone is capable of raising money if they are willing to get rejected 99 times before they hear that yes.
Practicing good is part of Boon’s cultural DNA and equity crowdfunding aligns with that goal. Prior to the Jobs Act the average person had no opportunity to invest in startups, but now there are opportunities for people to invest in startups for as little as $100. Boon went with a company called Wefunder to bring people into an equal opportunity investment.
There is a lot of value of having potentially hundreds of investors in your company. They offer a number of different perspectives and connections that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. In Ryan’s experience, the majority of investors aren’t interested in reaching out and it’s more passive for them.
- Innovation in Healthcare
Boon is constantly working on new products and services to offer, and that includes looking at different industries and verticals. It’s not limiting itself to innovation in healthcare. A new chapter of Boon is taking what they’ve already accomplished and expand that to any industry that is willing to have it.
There have been a lot of conversations around the nature of the employment. Boon is predicated on fair pay and access to benefits, they are one of the few gig economy platforms that is.
- Ryan’s Takeaway
Being a leader and an entrepreneur in the business space is extremely lonely. You have to make decisions the best you can, and not everybody is going to be a fan. You need to surround yourself with three people. A forerunner, someone who has been where you want to go and can help you avoid the same mistakes. A running mate, the person you can run with that will help you make leaps at the same time by holding your hand and jumping with you. And finally, people who are a few steps behind you. When you starting mentoring and sharing what you’re doing with people who are just behind you, you synthesize your knowledge in a different way and make your advice actionable. When you mentor someone you become more insightful into your own journey.