Meet Polsky Member of the Month: Kwaku Owusu
Polsky member Kwaku Owusu joined the Polsky Center almost a year ago in the Spring of 2018 while building his startup, Ilerasoft. As he explains, “I was attracted to Polsky because of the resources it provides entrepreneurs. I wanted a place where I could be surrounded by other entrepreneurs building great companies.” He had just moved to Chicago from St. Louis and this sense of entrepreneurial community was extremely important to him.
As the founder and CEO of Ilerasoft, a hospital optimization platform for medical equipment utilization and safety, Kwaku quickly became entrenched in medical device clinical trials. And throughout his research, he found some very concerning patterns.
Kwaku realized that communities of color (Asian, African American, Latinx, Native American) are severely underrepresented in these and other types clinical trials. To try to combat this inequality, Kwaku launched a new startup – Drugviu. He describes it, “Drugviu is an online health social network that connect communities of color to share their experiences of chronic medical conditions. This platform enables people to collaborate on crowd-sourced and demographically tailored medication reviews, experiences, and management of care plans. We also offer prescription discounts to help our users get the cheapest medications available today.”
As the founder of two new startups at various stages of launch, Kwaku has found the Polsky Exchange staff and mentors to be invaluable. He cites Polsky Exchange director E.J. Reedy and Polsky’s senior associate director of strategic planning and partnerships Nima Merchant as being particularly useful to him for both startup endeavors.
His one piece of advice for other members? Plain and simply, he states, “Take advantage of the mentors.”
And of course, we pressed Kwaku for a bit more information just for fun…
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I would be superman
- What is your spirit animal and why?
Eagle – they are majestic.
- What would the title of your autobiography be?
“To Be Written”
- What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
When it comes to starting a company, always do what is effective – not what feels right.