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saludABLE: Financial Crisis during a Health Crisis

Updated: Jun 6

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The following is an excerpt from a January 2022 FutureFounder Innovator Simon Urbina's blog post on his and his team's experience prototyping saludABLE as part of the FutureFounder StartupReadiness training. FutureFounder Innovators create a Digital Portfolio to secure work experience at a startup. To see more of Simon's work or learn more about his experience working at a startup, check out his Digital Portfolio.

-FutureFounder Team

saludABLE: Financial Crisis during a Health Crisis

What Keeps You Awake at Night?

Sleeping in the heights

During the FutureFounder StartupReadiness Simulation Experience, we had the opportunity to participate in a hackathon, which is a social coding event where participants receive a problem (like a Financial Crisis), and they have to solve in a certain amount of time. In this case, coding was not required, but we could choose a problem that “keeps us awake at night” and have a few weeks to dive into it and pitch a viable solution.

We implemented a few methodologies to make this project happen, and design thinking was the most important one. Design thinking is about empathizing and getting to know the people we will impact with our project: Their needs, capabilities, and limitations. It's very important to let go of your ego and biased ideas during this process to empathize with your users and follow the data you have gathered.

Define Your Solution

Graph with percentages

When we started, our team decided that a very important problem in Mexico is the lack of access to money and healthcare options, because 75% of the people in Mexico will have chronic sickness at some point in their life. Besides, up to 50% of Mexicans do not have private health insurance and are unhappy with the public health system. That way, we decided to create a smart platform where people can compare medicine and medical treatments and get access to financial support during an emergency.

Learning about the actual problem we were trying to solve was not easy. We had a few

hypotheses that went from training medics to offering insurance, but thanks to empathizing with our users we managed to understand what they needed: To save as much on each medicine and have access to quick money in case of an emergency. Our desk research showed us the macro of this problem and we found out it is something that affects most Mexicans.

Medical study

To understand how to solve it, we had to know the people in that situation, so we interviewed people who had undergone some kind of medical treatment recently, and understood their experience and what we could do to help them. After some teamwork to pivot and find possible users, we managed to make our prototype by designing a webpage with the features and a first look at the user experience we were going to provide. This was saludABLE.

Demo Day


After identifying our problem and solution, we had to present our outcome to a panel of judges. I

have to be honest: This can be a bit stressful since you have a few minutes to explain what has taken weeks to create. Besides, you want to make your idea clear to someone who has never heard of it.

Our main challenge was to create proper slides, which is just as important as having good pitching skills. You need to keep in mind that this is not a school project: You are pitching a solution you love to a problem you care about, and the judges must notice and get excited about what you are doing.

Our judges were startup founders from Harvard Business School. Their insights were very

useful, and we heard good comments about our work. In case you get bad comments, do not let this push you down, and use it as feedback to improve your project.

Find What You Love

When we finished pitching and finally got some time to relax, we had the opportunity to recap

what we had done: We became experts in a problem, created a solution, and pitched it in just a few weeks. We found some of our weaknesses and strengths not only as Future Founder innovators but as people.

There is so much involved in creating a project that I can only recommend you to start as many projects as you like until you find the one you love. In the meantime, you will be learning a lot about time management, teamwork, empathy, and leadership.


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