Henri Valvanne - one year later
The minute the first guy or girl books an appointment through the site I’ve achieved my goal in helping people.
Please tell us a little bit about your project.
The official name of the company is AtCare Ltd. and the service is basically a website that connects psychotherapists and patients. The idea is to gather the therapists under one roof so the patients can find them, see available times right away and then book an appointment, see the therapist and get the treatment they need.
I really wanted to do something to help people and this idea came to my mind when I read about all the different mental health issues. The minute the first guy or girl books an appointment through the site I’ve achieved my goal in helping people.
You won the prize last year. What has happened since then?
Since graduation last year things have moved forward. I developed the idea further and set up the business with help of the money I received from JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge. During the fall 2012 things got started a bit more and I was able to get some extra financing from a governmental institution in Finland, which meant that I could also make a demo version of the service. The prize money from JIBS has been very important to the process.
Has the project changed over time?
When you start out you have a perfect vision of your project, but when you try it out in reality you may have to make adjustments and adapt to whatever is necessary.
The initial idea was to connect the patient and therapist by means of video conferences. Now I have dropped the video conference part, so the service is for actual meetings, in person. The market was not ready for video conferences. People might be scared and reluctant to this kind of service on the Internet because of all the security. I will keep that idea in mind and later on be able to expand the services in my company.
Do you think that there is a need for this kind of service?
Some psychologists have said that they think there is a need for it. They get a lot of phone calls from people who want to get into therapy but feel like no one can point them in the right direction. There is a lack of a system for available times, all gathered in one place.
What happens right now?
The current website is a demo version so it’s still under development and hasn’t been launched yet. I am trying to find more financing to build a complete version. It must be fully functional before I launch it, which I hope to do by the end of this year.
How can your service be developed?
If everything goes well, I can expand it to any profession that needs this type of booking system. We will start with Helsinki and then expand it in Finland and then in the other Nordic countries.
What’s it like being back in Jönköping?
It’s a lot of fun. I still have some friends here doing their second year of a Master's programme. Jönköping is like a second home to me. I love the atmosphere here, and the mixture of being a big city and a small city.
Interview by Maria Arpe
Read an interview with Henri from 2012
Content updated 2013-04-10