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That over to Jenny Derek Dean of the Farmer School.
Well, good evening and welcome to the second the veins in our Executive Speaker Series unto life, that you could join us.
As you know, my name is Jenny Derek and on the Dean at the Farmer School of Business, the title of tonight's talk is from Whoa, Whoa, roommates to unicorn status, the if a moon.
Shouldn't go health until a leading health insurance marketplace.
We're featuring two of our alum, Brandon crews and Jones.
You'll hear this story tonight.
But just to start with, they started [inaudible] 20 years ago in 2001.
[inaudible] more health, the friendship, the partnership that began here at the Farmer School, and how they grew, grow health.
And to an organisation employing 1500 people.
And turning over 800 million in revenue.
Go health was considered one of the eight Miami associated unicorns before it went public and June 2020.
So I'm just gonna ask Clint to pop the slides up so I can properly introduce Clinton, Brandon to you before I turn the floor over to them.
So if you can roll some clients like introduce you.
Very good.
So here you have some bios.
Just summarize them for you.
Brandon cruise graduated from IMA and 1999 with the BAS and management information.
Systems.
Who is currently the Chief Strategy Officer and co-executive chairman of growth health.
Brandon's responsible for strategic direction, execution, and advisory to the executive management team and board of directors.
He was included on crimes 40 Under 40 and was named one with winner of Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
And he's an eight.
Member, board member of Chicago chapter.
Of Young Presidents Organization.
He's also a board member of several early and late stage companies and charities.
And prior to founding go health, Brandon was assistance developer, Atlanta, AND then turn it services company that developed sophisticated technology based solutions for electronic markets.
And to close the Clint.
Graduated from Miami and on 1999 also with OBS, this time in marketing and information systems.
And is currently the CEO and co-executive.
Chairman cleanse, responsible for go health strategic duration and overall growth, as well as the development and operational execution of the company's business strategy.
Of the Midwest in some Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
And has also been named to various annual Chicago leadership, including cranes, 40 Under 40, and take 100 with bringing Clint also serves on a number of boards.
Prior to serving or to go health clinic was the Internet market manager for halt value.
A former Division of Credit Suisse.
So now I'm going to first please join me in welcoming Clinton Brandon and WHO start by giving more background on them at the journey, including the formation of go health.
After which we'll go into dialogue.
So thank you and welcome Clinton, Brandon.
We so he had to pull the slides back up there.
We go [inaudible] would've started the evolution here from the meeting at wilson..
[SPEAKER] Here, as Jenny mentioned, we met in a dorm called Wilson Hall.
And I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist anymore on the on the east squad, but that's what all., we were roommates freshman year, second semester, and then we were both entrepreneurial.
We started some businesses as we were in college to make some extra money on the side.
But we both had a webs business that Washington standing business.
Then collectively, we started a business called cheap shots.com.
That's who I am yourselves too much.
But when digital cameras first came out.
Clint, We're running around, taking pictures, putting them online and then as Jenny said, we graduated, we went on to what we call, I guess, real jobs after college, right when we got out, but shortly thereafter we begin go, click, go into a there.
[SPEAKER] So.
So we can go off about 20 years now.
So I'll kind of give me an evolution of how we got started.
At first, I will talk about what it is today.
It's an online marketplace that connects consumers that need health insurance with different health insurance plans around the country.
So that in its simplest form, [inaudible] about going to an orbits or Travelocity.
To search for an airline ticket.
You can go on, you can plug in.
I want to fly from Chicago to Cincinnati or what have you.
Here's the different flights, the times the airlines you make a decision based on price or whatever, whatever meets your needs.
So that's the platform we have today in its simplest form.
We'll get into it a little more, little more detail here in a second, but you found.
Forward to where we are today, we've got about almost 3 thousand, police.
Now, in growing year over year, we've got over 300 different health insurance carrier partnerships.
We have established.
And we will talk about the market we operate in.
But it's about a $30 billion market.
So how we got started and where we are today, we both quit our jobs, started an internet consulting firm back in 2001 timeframe to help small businesses.
Build websites.
A few months into that journey, we had lost our health insurance coverage from the jobs we'd quit previously.
So we were encouraged to go out and buy health insurance.
When we went out to buy individual policies at the time, was really, really complicated.
And we didn't know how to compare the plan that was being shown to us verse BlueCross or UnitedHealthcare OR something.
We heard of in the past.
So we thought, you know why can't we do something like the airline industries were doing.
So that was the original business shift to looking at health insurance and trying to solve a problem there.
So that's what we focused on for the next several years.
And each year we have scaled up and done a little, different thing.
We pivoted the business a few times.
But that core kind of what I'll call consumer transparency, leveraging technology, leveraging people still remains.
Today.
As you fast forward to where we are now with the largest and roller of Medicare plans in the country.
We help seniors.
When they turn 65, fully understand all the different options that are available to them.
It's a very complicated products still, so it's something that you really, it's hard to do completely online talking to somebody.
So we've got licensing..
We employee across the country that you as a senior or a consumer can connect with, will leverage technology to make the process very transparent.
So we can see there may be 20 available options in your zip code.
And then based on the drugs you take, the providers you go to where the doctors that you need to see.
We can help you narrow down to the best plan that maximizes your maximizes your benefits and awfully saves you costs in the long run as well.
So that same concept we came up with 20 years ago still holds true today.
[SPEAKER] I would say there have been a lot of opportunities and challenges along the way.
As a result of being in a regulated industry and just change with the internet and everything else.
And we've changed the.
Pivoted the business multiple times, probably five or six core times, where we utilizers, isn't technology and people and processes and relationships.
We alter what we're selling and how we're selling it ultimately got us to where we are today.
And this is that if you look at where we are today, where essentially a giant funnel on the left, we do marketing.
We go out, would reach people on TV, the Internet, direct mail, whatever it may be.
And then we put them through our process where the user technology it will connect to experts that can help them the technology is helping experts be more fit.
Efficient ended affective and a full and an online yards data underlies everything that we do so constantly in real-time decisions being made by the software that is being fed back to the agents where the consumer to help them make a better decision.
And then at the end of the day, once you bring them on board and we get them a health plan, we do something after that to ensure that they maintain their health care.
Throughout the remainder of their life, we connect them with pharmacies, prescriptions, doctors tell medicine, health risk assessments, and everything else to make sure they have a great experience with their health care.
[SPEAKER] Yeah.
I think the average person has 48 different plan options available in the market.
So you can just think the complexity there.
And people turning 65, the average person has been on an employer sponsored health plan for the past 1520 years.
Once a year, they choose, hey, do I want the PPO option of?
Hmo option that's really it, right?
So when he turned 65, 65 and you retire and there's so many options available to you.
Picking the right plan is a key decision in your life.
From a health standpoint.
So we pride ourselves on matching consumers with the absolute perfect plan, where they can maximize their benefits and save, save money along the way.
We really have two sets of clients.
We have a carrier which is the inventory that manufacturers the plan on our platform.
So you think about the United Health Care [inaudible] blue cross blue shield that Humana is the ethno signals what have you.
So we have all that.
That's the kind of the inventory on the, on the platform.
And then the value to the carriers is high volume of distribution.
Very targeted insights, deep, deep data integrations, really understanding and helping educate consumers on their plans.
And then the other, the other part of our chain as the actual consumer.
So you think about the choice the transparency, the ease of enrollment.
This past year with covid kind of a work from home and a purchasing out of your home for seniors who are ultimately more susceptible to the pandemic, This is a perfect fit.
They can do it out of the comfort of their home.
We saw a huge uptick in digital traffic where more and more seniors leveraging a tablet or a smartphone technology to make them.
Buying decisions.
So we think there is a huge shift in how people will enroll in these plans over time.
So we are investing a lot behind the technology to make sure the experience is very, very efficient.
And the information right at their fingertips.
[SPEAKER] Yeah, this just, just like the travel industry that clip mentioned is one where people.
Used to sit across the kitchen table or go into an office and sign stacks of paper to get this done.
And it's been it's been moved entirely online.
The industry that is still transitioning like industry, but because of regulation, this one took longer and kind of the point of this slide here is that the bigger we get, the better we get, the more people we have, the more carriers want to work with us.
The more the carriers want to work with us.
Put plans and options on the platform.
The more value you provide to consumers.
So we're in a really nice position now where it's hard to catch up, where like a snowball rolling downhill and getting bigger, as we go.
[SPEAKER] So the next evolution brand mentions that we call our accomplice platform.
And think about concierge type services for members once they joined a plan., most people do not understand all the benefits they have access to.
And how to use those benefits how to save money.
You think about basic things around.
Drugs and maybe there's a generic drug available where you can actually say what money OUT OF pocket.
We're focused on.
Understanding consumer's health.
So we can help them maybe getting a preventative care model sooner, which ultimately reduces the amount of visits to the emergency room.
So a lot of things beyond the and, enrollment, we're focusing with helping.
Consumers out and leverage their plan.
We schedule transportation rides for folks that may not have a car to get to a provider.
We will schedule a healthy meal delivery for folks that may live in a food desert or an area that doesn't have access to good grocery stores fa lot o So a lot of activity like that.
We're doing for the member beyond just purely enrollment.
[SPEAKER] [inaudible] the size of our market is mentioned in the beginning, we are at a massive market.
The market for just Medicare eligible seniors is about $30 billion in growing every year.
When you talk about the encompass services that we provide, whether it's connecting with your doctors, the meal deliveries, or whatever it might be.
The market is infinitely larger.
And if you think about where the world is going, especially because of covid nobody likes the process today of having to figure out what doctors in your network and scheduled appointment and drive down.
It's two weeks from now.
People want things at your fingertips.
So the market is enormous and getting better for us.
[SPEAKER] I think the key thing here is there is 11 thousand people turning 65 every single day.
So that trend continues throughout till, till 2028.
So you can think about just shift in the size of market.
Growing.
And then suddenly other macro elements around you, a lot of people turning 65 today are very comfortable buying online, researching online, and leveraging this channel so a lot of elements in our favors we think about scaling the model we built.
From a location standpoint.
We were traditionally in three areas, Chicago, Charlotte, and lyndon in our sale centers.
We have expanded virtually in the markets below, and we will continue that expansion nationally.
You think about where we sit today., we're 100% from home pure virtual we'll probably get a discussion on where we think that will be six months or a year from now.
But I think there's still gonna be a virtual hybrid model.
Were from home at the plays in our game plan long-term.
So there's a lot of talent across the country and there's in a time where there's been a lot of layoffs.
In folks kind of losing their job with we've been pretty aggressive hiring mode and we've found really good talent and that talent is very capable of working from home.
And I think that it is somewhat of the new norm as we sit here today.
[SPEAKER] And this last.
Slide is our values for our business, a lot of times it seems kind of hokey to put down your mission and your vision and your values.
But it really is something that we live by.
If you think about everything, do these values really permeate our culture?
And part of who we are and really define us and guide us.
And that's us., that's kind of a quick summary of us as a company.
I think Jenny, we've got some additional Q&A and stuff.
We're gonna do next.
[SPEAKER] We indeed, so then we just provide a couple of points.
And then I'll take you into a deeper dive and explore some of the points we've already raised.
What I was really impressed by is how focused on the customer and both the customer and the providers.
I thought that was incredible just to listen to be our customer focus and boy, what a growth path you have been on.
And I think Brandon, you see that this is a slow born in play, right now.
So I just wanted to take them to a couple of things you spoke about and then I'll go back AND SO miami history.
Pick up on a bunch of other topics that we'd like to cover tonight.
So you didn't talk about where the idea for go health came, from but GO HOW THE always cocoa health.
[SPEAKER] It wasn't.
So you want to take a good drug [inaudible].
Companies original name was Max and it emanates from a project that we were working on in school on our senior year.
So we just kind of managed a couple of works together.
I would not say what they are because we sort of copying.
Cat it off to different companies and then push them together for a school project.
And when we started the company, we name, so we had nor backs in three years and years and years.
We're gonna change the name and we didn't get onto every get to know us as norm of x.
But when we rebranded to be a consumer focus company, we were able to acquire the domain name, go out and we rip the Band-Aid off and we'd we'd been go house sense probably.
2011 cleanse right about there..
[SPEAKER] So your talk a lot about growth and I know you went public last year and that was part of the strategy to go public but as you've got bigger, what I am really interested in, is some of those inflection points, the pain points, if you will, that weight with the growth.
And I wonder if you can share some of those stories that the tonight.
Thank you.
[SPEAKER] Yeah, i think when you're when you're 50 or so people in an office, it's easy to keep everybody together.
Everybody marching to the same kind of beaten direction.
Once you get multiple locations and you get many more people.
I think one of the challenge.
From a communication standpoint, make sure that you've got everybody aligned so that there is some learning curves there.
And some pain points we had as we uncover the best ways of ensuring that the organization was marching to the same same beat We also had along the way some, some regulatory.
Challenges and changes in our business that we had to pivot overnight, if you will.
But I think it's also a testament to the team you build.
You create people that work with people that are very fluid and they can tackle challenges along the way.
It feels like at every step of the way or every major point of growth There's been a unique challenge that we've had to solve.
And I think it's probably not unique to us.
It's probably common in most companies but I think it's how you go through that challenge.
How do you, how do you understand what options are available?
That is the key thing to be successful.
[SPEAKER] [inaudible] around 50 people, all of a sudden you guys start replacing systems.
You got to put.
More HR or the processes in place.
So whole bunch of new loss start kicking in as far as how you have to operate the business.
So yeah, that's the one that I think we both really remember between 5100 people, everything had to be overall.
[SPEAKER] And just getting a bit of systems in places you grew.
I'm sure of it.
So you talked a couple of times about pivoting and changing and I know part of your story is really interesting in terms of the number of pivots you've made.
And I think when I talked to you earlier, Brandon, I think you mentioned you were chasing too many ideas at once.
You keep getting reprimanded for having too many ideas on the goes.
You lean into that and share that story for us?
Thank you.
[SPEAKER] Yeah, I claim.
But remember this too, when we were we were a small company.
One thing we always knew, I think one of our advantages WAS WE knew there were people that had been through this and done this and we hadn't.
So we always had a board prior to having the requirement.
To have a board because of investors that boar role is.
The thing with you guys.
You have so many opportunities.
You tend to go after all of them and it distracts you a little bit instead of doing ten things, okay, why don't you do one thing really well?
And we tried to take that advice and then we try to focus, but when 2015 came out and the ACA was being implemented in the website, was not working.
There were all these obstacles on the horizon for us, and so we put a bunch of irons in the fire, so we started a life insurance business, sort of small group insurance business.
We started a health engagement business called Health joy and we started Medicare, and our ability and experience to diversify and put all those irons in the fire really helped us win.
When Medicare became the hot rod for us, and we took that out and I've been going.
[inaudible] [SPEAKER] I love it and I am sure you talked about some inflection points even 2015 when you hit to make some decisions.
But were there any times that you already thought you were not going to make it and do you want to share stories around?
Thank you.
[SPEAKER] Probably, a couple of times I remember when we first got started, this is early, early days.
You don't know if we were even a year old we started a business with $5 thousand each and credit card debt.
Essentially.
We kind of made it off that we had some clients in the past.
We were generate revenue off, but we got to a point.
Where we're either going to run out of cash and we we actually met at a pizza place in Chicago.
So if we don't figure out something or get the next deal, like we got to make a different decision.
And luckily, the came in and worked and we kept the ballroom, but I think that there's been always in the back I think a successful entrepreneurs has, has a fear of failure.
That's a lot of the traits that I've seen people that are successful doing unique things on their own.
And I think that fear of failure somewhat still exists today.
You are always look at the next thing and how do you get to the next level?
And I think that has made us successful in our own.
Right., with all the different challenges are things that we have gone through and I'm sure, all startups are the same way.
There's gonna be certain times, they're like, wow, we're gonna make it here.
Are people going to buy this product?
We have a cap kit continue growing.
But I think he's got Brian through it.
You kind of have that grit, if you will, to get to the other side.
[SPEAKER] So I want to say with the entrepreneurial mindset thing, just for a minute.
And you've talked about tackling challenges.
You've talked about the type of people that you employ.
You've talked about the fear of failure, having grit, determination.
So it's, you know, cleanse and branded it.
The Farmer School.
We believe that virtually all professions today demand creative problem-solving and entrepreneurial thinking and skills.
What do you look for new employees and what sits a high potential employee apart from others.
[SPEAKER] So one of the key things is the ability to solve a problem,?
I mean,, you could think about a finance function, a marketing function or copyright function.
Whatever the function is in the organization.
Can somebody do the job, but B, can somebody like think outside of the box.
And solve a problem?
And I think that's a key thing that all entrepreneurs have the trait 90, I see that every rule that organizationally and I see people that are extremely successful, like tackle problems.
They'd like to jump into challenges and hopefully try to help us figure those problems out.
And I think that's been a key trade.
For all all of our high up and cover the top performing employees we have.
[SPEAKER] Yeah.
I think that under that passionate enthusiasm for the job and what they may be doing, a lot of people will come in.
It's using example.
Let's say I built a car with my team and I did this that and you ask them specifically walk me through how you did.
That What challenges did you face?
How did you overcome them?
People that have the passion for doing the job, right?
And [inaudible] out of a fear of failure.
They tend to be the best people, the most effective people, the teammates that everyone wants to work with and teammates that are inspired by, so you really look for specific experiences, and understanding of how.
They did some things that those as telling you they've done something.
[SPEAKER] I love it.
I'm gonna take you down Memory Lane just for a little while.
So I want you to go right back and tell me both Why did you choose miami in the first place?
Why am I?.
[SPEAKER] My dad actually went there, so I remember I was a young kid having at the time a Redskin banner in my room at home and then obviously we in high school, we visited quite a few schools and I went to a football game.
With my dad early on in as a freshman wherever and just loved the campus.
Campbell's is awesome.
Campbell's is beautiful.
We walked around and he took me to Mac and Joe's for lunch and like how cool and awesome is this, which is still there actually last time where there was a [inaudible] got a sandwich.
Stills as good as it ever was but then everybody we'd met to would just super nice, friendly and accommodating.
So when we start narrowing down and looking at the options available, that's really what I honed in on my final visit.
Super excited everybody I met.
Obviously the accolades and the ratings are key factors.
Well, yeah you read, you obviously want to go to at the time.
The Harvard of the Midwest, I think it was one of the nomenclature, so it was out there.
So yeah, super excited.
I'm a 100% confident, proud that decision wouldn't, wouldn't be here today without it.
[SPEAKER] My story is a little different.
I had I was a decent student.
I wasn't really into applying every college Doing the Best I couldn't school.
I was more into how can I start something to make some money on the side.
So throughout high school, I had various various businesses like I mentioned, I was doing OK in my little world in high school, I thought that was all I needed.
So I applied to a couple of colleges.
I didn't visit any.
And I got.
To Miami and so I went there and it completely changed my life.
People that inspired me to do things different ways.
I got the education I got in computers.
Miami should be credited with dramatically changing the direction of my life, kind of on accident.
I thought it wouldn't find doing like these little businesses on on for the rest of my life.
So thanks to miami my.
[SPEAKER] Favorite memory of things to my me a lot of profit to say.
But there's probably some of the best people I've met and still best friends today.
You kind of met through Miami whether it's through classes fraternity, freshmen dorms, remain contact.
A lot of folks there, I think the people are what make miami even better.
There's such great people there.
In our main close with today.
[SPEAKER] I'd say the same thing.
There's a lot a lot of really good and funny and emotional memories.
I'd say thing about Miami.
It's a collection of memories that made me who I am today.
Like I said, so whether it's times with friends, events that happened.
Road trips we did together, certain classes that inspired me and change things that that collection of memories is part of who I am today.
Clint, and I are both on a text thread with 20 friends or so that we had from back in Miami and I go by where there's not at least 50 texts on that thread.
So we, we stay in close contact with everybody.
It's great.
So before we get to go health, I have a question, I think especially for Brandon and probably also cloned, you talked about having had a lot of business hustles on the side of [inaudible].
A younger person can teach you about the photo business that.
Tell us a few more stories about what else you have tried.
[SPEAKER] Calling.
Do you wanna go first..
[SPEAKER] Yes.
I figured High School, I actually taken a web design class in college.
Sorry, buying my junior year.
And actually my sorry, my senior year.
When I realized that people.
That we're graduating with MIS majors first marketing majors in 1990.
We're making literally twice as much money.
I said, how can I add on from a marketing major ten by S, which I did.
But it was gonna take me a half a semester.
So I was gonna wouldn't graduated May at graduate the next next December.
So I went home.
It's given us by dad.
You need to pay for an extra semester.
First questions like, what are you gonna do for summer jobs and I do not have a summer jobs.
I said I am going to build websites.
So I went a little bit knocked on.
I've lived, and grew up in a small town, went door to door down Main Street in 1999, knocking on doors, building websites turned out actually sold a lot of websites made it.
Lot of money.
As probably one of the things my eyes what's possible if you just try and try hard and put your effort into it?.
[SPEAKER] Yes.
So for me, I had a few my big business in high school.
I was that was big at the time.
I would go rad make these fliers and I go around and put them in everybody's mailbox to everyone.
Advertise to clean AND then somebody's deck.
We live IN cincinnati IS really hilly, so people had these big decks.
And I realized the more I can advertise them for business I would get.
I charge 2 thousand bucks, or thousand bucks on the side of the deck and I pay my friends ten bucks an hour to do it.
So I just started getting his economies of scale.
That's why I was doing great.
And then in high school or then in college, I had begun to water sports.
And so I would barter for local place called extreme water sports, big week workplace, and I got to ride with professional weight borders and things like that and that parlayed into later in life, I started a tight surface.
In business.
We taught lessons, so the equipment and all nine yards and you notice all all those low side houses, even as we're starting to go, how if we had some side businesses that we would do just to make up for.
I am against me.
Just what whatever we could do whenever we could do, it isn't good stories in a month, it.
[SPEAKER] So back to this line of work.
So I want to focus on DE and I, and we will know running organizations that hiring and retaining diverse talent is very top of mind.
So can you talk about go health and how you approach [SPEAKER] So from top down, really the key focus for us.
And I mean when the top that board of directors starts there, and then all the way through the management team and down and you think that the benefits around, just like the overall culture you can create your brand awareness within the, within the market.
The truly creative environment, the pool of best out of people who has been a key focus of ours.
And obviously it's become more and more in the limelight today, but it's kind of a key theme for us as we've grown, the business is hiring really, really diverse top talent individuals, create what I'll call this creative group.
Both sort of environment where there's no wrong answer or no wrong idea.
People can come, come to the table if just crazy ideas that may or may not work, but at least let's talk about them.
Let's get them on the table.
I think having that kind of inclusive culture with really diverse people is the way to do that.
And that is the tone.
We have set in it,, it has been successful for us so far, TO continue TO BE.
You might be un-mute now When we talk back in May brand and we were talking about the future of work and you're not sure about the return to work.
In fact, you were redesigning some office.
Space to try