MatchMeds, Diamond Challenge 2019 Finalist
Prafull Sharma and Jun Lee wanted to make a difference in their community and help disadvantaged individuals access necessary resources. The goal of their original venture was to target the Opiod epidemic through a drug mailback program, making it easier for individuals to safely dispose of their leftover medication. Using the research they had done on pharmacies and clinics, Prafull and Jun changed their venture idea and ultimately entered Diamond Challenge with a noteworthy concept: MatchMeds. The program is an online platform that connects low-income, uninsured patients with charitable clinics that offer affordable prices for brand-name medications. Ultimately, MatchMeds came in first place in the social innovation track of Diamond Challenge 2019. The team is grateful for the chance to share their ideas and work with entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds.
“Our experience at the Diamond Challenge was humbling,” says Prafull Sharma. “Getting to meet teen entrepreneurs from across the globe and hearing their ideas provided us with a new perspective on entrepreneurship on a global scale.”
At the Summit, MatchMeds pitched their concept to their peers and professional judges. Incorporating feedback in between their presentations helped the team improve their pitch. As Prafull explains, “The Diamond Challenge has taught us how to adapt to criticism effectively on the fly. After pitching to judges in various rounds, we received advice for how we could further improve our pitch for the future. During the time we had in between rounds, we frequently recollected our thoughts and found ways to weave in bits of advice from the judges into our presentation.”
While the team was happy to come in first place, their Diamond Challenge experience was about so much more than winning or losing. For anyone considering applying to Diamond Challenge, Prafull advises, “Don’t think twice. If you have an idea that you truly believe in and plan to actively work on it in the future, you need to apply for the Diamond Challenge. Regardless of whether you win or not, the quality of connections and relationships that you will form is worth it alone. You will receive amazing feedback that you can implement for your future entrepreneurial endeavors. One thing that we especially loved about our time at the Diamond Challenge is that everyone you meet genuinely wants you to succeed, be it the judges or other participants themselves.”
As for their plans, the MatchMeds team is looking forward to a bright future. They hope to incorporate feedback from the Diamond Challenge judges and finish developing a beta version of their web app. The team’s experience at the Summit helped solidify their plans and make their goals more attainable. Prafull says, “The competition gave us all the confidence we need to finally execute on our promises and turn our vision into a reality. Thanks to certain connections we were fortunate enough to make at the Diamond Challenge, we will be able to successfully create a prototype and smoothly transition into initial testing with their help.”
Diamond Challenge may have been an important step for the MatchMeds team, but it’s certainly not the end of their venture. We cannot wait to see where they take their vision and how they continue to positively impact their community.
No matter where our Diamond Challenge alumni go, we are constantly amazed by how they continue to make an impact on the world for the better.
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