Meet the 2022 Vogt Award Recipients
Updated: October 17, 2022
More than 30 million U.S. adults are uninsured, the majority of whom work for small businesses. Half of small businesses don’t provide health insurance to their employees because they can’t afford it. Arrow Health Founders Waleed Bahouth and Erik Anderson have set out to provide a novel, affordable way for small businesses to provide their teams with the health benefits they deserve.
Arrow Health’s defined contribution (fixed budget) insurance product allows small businesses to provide their employees with health insurance at a fraction of the cost of a traditional group plan. The company uses AI and the founder’s expertise to help employers set a budget, administer their plan, and get their employees covered. Bahouth has 16 years of experience in healthcare leadership, and Anderson brings 15 years in health plan management.
They will use the Vogt Invention and Innovation Award prize of $25,000 from the Community Foundation of Louisville for ongoing product development, sales and marketing, and R&D.
“We’re looking forward to accessing the people and the experience of the Vogt Awards, and also the seasoned entrepreneurs in the Louisville community that we can learn from,” says Anderson.
“The Vogt Awards has a reputation for innovation and impact on the Louisville community, which are core values that we seek in our company,” adds Bahouth.
As a pharmacist, Dr. Roland Achenjang understands the struggles facing independent pharmacies when it comes to effectively tracking controlled substances like narcotics. In fact, a violation of the Controlled Substance Act — and the resulting fine of up to $15,000 — could mean the end of their business. That’s why he and his team are developing C2 Keep, a SaaS solution that simplifies inventory management for controlled substances.
C2 Keep integrates with pharmacy software to streamline the prescription-filling process. It automates inventory tracking, which improves both compliance and security. The company has a first-mover advantage, in that no other comprehensive solution like it exists in the marketplace. Along with Founder and CEO Achenjang, the C2 Keep team includes David Galownia, Dan Murphy, and Sam Pizzo. Together, they have 45-plus years of health care and technology business experience.
The team will use the $25,000 Vogt Invention and Innovation Award prize from the Community Foundation of Louisville to cover the costs of ongoing app development.
“As an entrepreneur, I was inspired to apply to the Vogt Awards because no one does this by themselves,” says Achenjang. “I’m new to Louisville, coming from Montana, and I’m looking forward to the networking, support and being part of the Louisville entrepreneurial scene. People have invested in me, and now we want to make an impact through a positive experience and deliver an ROI.”
Food delivery apps like GrubHub and DoorDash have continued to grow in popularity since the pandemic. Whatever you crave is available at the touch of button. TaMeka Bland, a tech entrepreneur who grew up in the Shawnee neighborhood, says that’s not true for Louisville’s West End — traditional delivery services in the marketplace often don’t provide services there. Not only that, West End residents tend to have lower incomes, limited access to transportation, and inadequate options for food retailers that offer fresh produce and healthy groceries at affordable prices.
That’s why she and her team have developed LimitLess, a tech-based, on-demand delivery app that enables consumers in underserved and overlooked areas to order fresh produce, groceries, meal delivery, and more. She says the app not only brings value to customers in the neighborhoods it serves, but also supports the local economy by providing jobs for drivers and increased revenue for businesses.
LimitLess will use the $25,000 Vogt Invention and Innovation Award grant from the Community Foundation of Louisville for marketing, operations and payroll. This is an incredible example of mobilizing people, networks, and capital to spark meaningful and measurable progress.
“My coach [Kela Ivonye] at RTBI, the Russell Technology Business Incubator, inspired and encouraged me to apply to the Vogt Awards, along with the support of Dave Christopher Sr., founder of AMPED,” says Bland.
Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by lack of access to quality health care and discrimination in today’s healthcare system. These health disparities cost an estimated $93 billion in excess medical care costs. Lecresha Sewell, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, SANE, a nurse practitioner and entrepreneur, understands that marginalized groups are more likely to seek and receive health care when they trust their provider.
Sewell and her team have founded Melanated Healthcare, a multidisciplinary, digital health platform that connects Black people and other people of color to culturally congruent health professionals. The platform is decreasing health disparities and eliminating barriers to care by offering non-discriminatory, high-quality telehealth services to all POC, including behavioral health, primary care, and women’s health.
The interprofessional Melanated Healthcare team, which includes experts in health care, telehealth, minority research, clinical practice, public health, community-engaged interventions, application development, and health care business management, will use the $25,000 Vogt Invention and Innovation Award grant from the Community Foundation of Louisville to further develop its digital health platform and expand its provider network. By mobilizing people, networks, and capital, Melanated Healthcare champions its diverse voices and perspectives to spark meaningful and measurable progress.
“From the Vogt Awards, I hope to gain more knowledge throughout the program and the ability to scale my business,” says Sewell.
Real estate title research remains an industry of handwritten worksheets, or internal systems with geographic limitations. As co-owners of Southern Indiana Abstract Co., Chris Mason and Jennifer Mason have first-hand experience with the challenges facing their industry — handwritten reports lack legibility and clarity, inconsistent formats and reporting styles produce errors, and the researcher’s role is overlooked and underinvested within the industry.
That’s why the Masons have developed TitleWise, a powerful, web-based tool for creating digital reports and databases designed for real estate title abstractors. The subscription-based app enables title researchers to produce work quickly on-the-go, whether researching from a courthouse or remotely online.
Chris and Jennifer plan to use the $25,000 Vogt Invention and Innovation Award grant from the Community Foundation of Louisville to scale the TitleWise application, and for targeted marketing. “We applied for the Vogt Awards in part for the funding but most importantly for the accelerator program. The guidance and support provided will be invaluable,” they said. The Community Foundation’s Vogt Awards supports entrepreneurs by mobilizing people, networks, and capital to spark meaningful change.
Meet TitleWise at Demo Day on October 13 sponsored by Louisville Public Media. We will join forces with Network + Chill to bring the six Vogt Award recipients together with Network + Chill’s fireside chat with author Andy Dunn. Register today for this exciting event designed for entrepreneurs, investors, and anyone inspired by these bold ideas.
Managing an eCommerce sales channel on Amazon.com or Walmart.com can be challenging, expensive, and time-consuming. With algorithms constantly evolving, sellers are often forced to hire expensive consultants to help them grow, or invest heavily in advertising. This diminishes their margins and eats up their profits.
Xena Intelligence aims to solve this problem. Founder and CEO Akhil Suresh Nair developed an AI-powered, growth strategy partner that uses data intelligence to optimize and automate eCommerce businesses, this SaaS platform uses proprietary algorithms to optimize ad campaigns, boost organic ranking, estimate competitor sales performance, forecast customer revenue, automate review process, and other tasks — which, up until now, have been largely done manually.
Xena Intelligence plans to use the $25,000 Vogt Invention and Innovation Award grant from the Community Foundation of Louisville to hire a full-time business development manager, and to further the company’s marketing efforts.
“When I moved from Boston to be part of the Louisville entrepreneurial community, the Vogt Awards seemed like a right of passage,” said Nair. “Most successful startups here seemed to go through this accelerator program and I wanted to be part of this community. The Vogt Awards is not just about the financial aspect, but being among and supported by like-minded individuals.” The Community Foundation’s Vogt Awards supports entrepreneurs by mobilizing people, networks, and capital to spark meaningful change.