Nurturing healthy relationships with clients and partners is the most sustainable way to build a business, said Dan Prince, reflecting on his time growing a custom software development company in Kansas City.
“You grow a business by your reputation, by doing the best work for people that you can possibly do. I was told a long time ago that as a technology agency, or any kind of agency, your business could be pulled out from underneath you by any change of events. But the one thing that can carry you through those tough times and pivotal changes, is your relationships,” said Prince, the founder and outgoing CEO of illumisoft, which focuses specifically on the healthcare industry.
Click here to check out Illumisoft.
Prince founded illumisoft in 2014 after spending 20 years in Kansas City’s technology industry — working mostly in healthcare through building software solutions. The illumisoft team specializes in web applications, cloud migration, data management and business solutions. It works to merge its technology expertise with the vision of healthcare professionals, Prince said.
Because the team works exclusively with healthcare professionals, its members are trained to have the knowledge of dynamic medical concepts, which allows them to quickly create a solution for the most complex issues, Prince explained.
“We helped an endocrinologist do a diabetes study. They came to us with an entire project plan,” Prince recalled. “From our perspective as developers, we realized that they were getting ready to build a system that we might have built five years earlier. We adjusted their plan, and their 12-month project plan was reduced to two months — saving them time and expenses.”
Illumisoft’s custom healthcare software developers differentiate themselves from the competition through their people-first approach, added Anne Culpepper, now chief operating officer of illumisoft and incoming CEO.
“We call ourselves people-oriented technologists in order to emphasize the fact that at the end of every technical solution, there’s a population served,” Culpepper said. “People are at the forefront of our work. … That approach is one that we think is unique in the world of healthcare, technology. Our impact comes from being deeply invested in our clients’ success.
“To give some examples, our client results executives — those who work directly with our clients and our internal development team — they act as translators,” she continued. “They’re smart, curious and empathetic. And we hire intentionally in this way, and market ourselves in this way in order to partner with people with whom we share similar values.”
One of illumisoft’s most valuable partners: Children’s Mercy Kansas City.
“We really love [Children’s Mercy’s] mission. We started getting involved with them as they were building out their research informatics team,” Culpepper noted. “We’ve been a part of their growth and development, and they’ve been part of ours. … We’ve worked with their Innovation Center, the research informatics team and diabetes physicians directly. So we’ve had a number of varied engagements that have deepened our involvement in the biologics and research world.”
Culpepper is currently assisting Children’s Mercy’s Genome Medicine Center in managing the move of their entire operations into “the cloud” or a virtual storage space on the internet.
“Seeing that project through has had a lot of gains and losses associated with it,” she shared. “[Brian ‘Moose’ Rivera] who had kicked off the project and pulled me in unfortunately died over the course of this project. It just very much brings home the fact that there’s so much effort that has gone into this; the Genome Medicine Center does great work for kids across the state and beyond, in terms of their research, so it has been incredible to be a part of.”
Along with technology services, illumisoft is able to build products, the duo said — noting the company has built a product that measures head impact, as well as written a mobile health solution that they are providing through an SaaS model.
Click here to learn about the other services illumisoft provides.
Continuing its involvement in Kansas City’s informatics research, illumisoft recently joined BioKansas and is in the process of collaborating with the organization to host an expert insights panel, Culpepper teased. The company also partners with local nonprofit, BioNexus.
Internally, illumisoft will continue to evolve as Culpepper transitions into the role of CEO starting in November, Culpepper and Prince said.
“I have decided to step away from illumisoft in an executive role and take more of an architect role and let Anne run the company because she is better at it than I am,” Prince said, smiling.
“When I met Dan and learned that he was looking for someone who was technical but who could work with people and figure out how to problem solve for challenging use cases, I was really intrigued,” Culpepper shared.
As CEO, Culpepper is looking forward to bringing awareness to Kansas City’s biotech and entrepreneurial hub, she said.
“The coasts are often where people’s minds go when it comes to software, development and innovation,” Culpepper said. “I’d like to be part of the change in people’s mindset and show them that the middle West is an area where a great deal of innovation is taking place. But — building that awareness is not without a challenge.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.