Medifund: Can We Crowdfund New Doctors?
A startup in the Philippines called Medifund has come up with an answer to an unsolved issue in the medical field: understaffed hospitals.
The shortage of doctors and nurses in Asia has largely to do with the high cost of medical education. To tackle this problem, Medifund’s founder Jossy Onwude has established a crowdsourcing platform that aims to help medical students get financial support from peers, neighbors, schools, hospitals and other organizations. Onwude is a medical student, so he understands the financial burdens of medical school. He explains that there are not many crowdfunding sites to aid medical students at the moment, making now a perfect time to start one.
Born out of a Startup Weekend
Onwude introduced Medifund at the recent Startup Weekend Cebu. The site is expected to be launch in about three months’ time. Right now, Medifund is already planning how it can reinforce its presence in the Philippines. Onwude says:
As soon as our platform is ready, we plan to start our presence in the Philippines by going to medical schools around the country, and letting medical students (especially those with financial issues) know of what we have created for them. We also plan to get some schools to adopt our platform as part of their scholarship system.
Apart from that, it also wants to partner with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), hospitals, and doctors who have been through the same issues as students and are ready to give a helping hand. Onwude points out that students could also get funding from family, friends, and the public by promoting their own campaign. Plus, organizations can use the platform to start a campaign for students.
Once the site is launched, Medifund will look into monetizing by charging a 5% fee from funded campaigns, which is also how Kickstarter and other such sites earn revenue. It will also work on a reward system for funders, and a loan system for students.