Next up in our 3 Questions With... blog series is Amol Deshpande. Amol is a pre-seed investor in bttn. He is building the future of farming, making investments in opportunities for neurodiversity, and helping bttn build the future of medical supply. He recently met with our team to share his thoughts on our opportunities and offer advice. We thoroughly appreciate Amol's guidance and willingness to share his experience with us.
1) How did Divergent Investments become involved with bttn?
Amol: JT (CEO, bttn) had initially reached out cold to me on LinkedIn, and we set up a discussion for the two of us to chat. JT had asked to set up the call because he had studied Farmers Business Network and pointed out the similarities between FBN's goal to help rural, under-served farmers and bttn's goal to help under-served medical practitioners. I realized there was a similar dynamic of BigAg vs. Rural Farmer and Health System vs. SMB Medical practitioner. At FBN, we are improving farming by building an independent farmer network using advanced technology to bring transparency to data-driven decisions. JT and Jack have a similar mission for bttn - to bring transparency to an opaque and antiquated market. The number of businesses and the magnitude of need bttn aims to serve is remarkable. Further the mission of the business is great and the ability to serve small businesses in this sector is something I needed to invest in.
2) What caught your attention about bttn and its approach to medical supply?
Amol: After speaking with JT initially, I looked around my neighborhood. I saw a small medical clinic, a doctor's office, and a veterinarians' office. I realized bttn is building a business to serve multiple market segments in a better way than they are being served today. And I love the idea of enabling the SMBs within the local community. Bttn is building a business to serve doctors and essential workers- some of the most respected and idealistic people in the market. Most of us think of doctors as wealthy and well-off, but we forget about the considerable school debt they tend to carry and the investment it takes to build a medical practice. They are small business owners as well, and bttn is helping them thrive. bttn is bringing transparency, technology, and data to this group. bttn is helping the anchors of the community, which makes a positive contribution to society.
3) What advice do you have for employees at bttn, especially if this is their first startup?
Amol: You must be willing to battle through and persevere in the face of setbacks and challenges. There will be instances of frustration. Nothing can be perfect. Ask yourself if the company's intent and mission make sense. And then realize there is no blueprint for what you are doing, and you won't get everything right the first time. If there was a blueprint, it means someone is already doing what you are building. There will be criticism and skepticism because you are doing things differently, which means you are innovating. Only hard things are worth doing.