Divya Dhar, Wharton MBA '14 and Lane Rettig , Wharton MBA '14, Arts & Sciences MA '14

HEALING HEALTHCARE COMMUNICATIONS

“90% of hospital communications still flows through pagers.”

That was the motivation to found Seratis, a secure mobile messaging app that facilitates communication between teams of doctors and caregivers, improving patient care and providing powerful metrics to hospitals. Divya was a practicing physician before she came to Wharton, and she saw firsthand the results of poor communications. It’s estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 patients die in U.S. hospitals each year due to preventable medical errors—many of them due to miscommunication among staff.

Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship fostered both Lane and Divya’s entrepreneurial ambitions.

Lane came to Wharton with a background in finance and computer science, then dove into entrepreneurship when he arrived, becoming Co-Chair of the 2012-2013 Wharton Business Plan Competition (now the Startup Challenge), joining the Venture Initiation Program, and winning a 2013 Summer Venture Award.

Wharton gave Divya the confidence and the community that she needed to become an entrepreneur—as well as introducing her to a driven Co-founder, Lane, who was looking for the right project, and provided a complement to her medical background. They both spent Fall Semester 2013 as part of the inaugural class of the Semester in San Francisco program.

The Wharton alumni network provided a resource for information—and connections.

While doing research for Seratis, Divya spoke to over 100 alumni to get feedback on the market and their product’s position within it. Seratis’ first pilot customer, then the chief surgical officer of Penn Medicine, was a Wharton alumnus, and Divya says, “He got involved because he saw us as a Wharton venture.” That small pilot led to a larger one in the psychiatric unit of Penn Medicine in 2014.

Their first sale was to another Wharton alumnus.

Seratis won many supporters, and awards.

From DreamIt Health (the inaugural class of the Philadelphia accelerator) to the Harvard Innovation Lab to further pilots in Boston, Cleveland and Texas, Lane and Divya have found many celebrated partners since graduation—and they’ve won a few prizes, too. Seratis placed second in the Healthcare category in the first-ever Verizon Powerful Answers Award, winning $850,000, and they won the 2014 HATCH Pitch at South by Southwest.

In 2016, Seratis was acquired by Philadelphia-based HudlHealth.

Follow Lane Rettig, or Divya Dhar on Twitter.