As the former CEO of flower-delivery company FTD, Michael Soenen oversaw one of the most recognized brands in the world. Now, Soenen is eyeing a very different market: emergency preparedness.
Soenen is in the driver’ seat of EmergencyLink, an online emergency ID network that aims to make it easier for emergency response teams to do their jobs.
The idea for the company came after one of Soenen’s friends spent days unconscious in a hospital before anyone was able to contact his family. The reason: lack of proper identification.
“This struck me as ridiculous situation, and something there had to be a better answer for,” Soenen told VentureBeat.
EmergencyLink stores a variety of key medical information such as allergies and health conditions, as well as practical data like contacts and insurance policy numbers, on driver’s license stickers and ID cards. Medial workers, who often find themselves without such vital information when treating emergency patients, can then quickly access the data.
As far as EmergencyLink’s business model goes, the most obvious corollary is to financial planning service Mint, which, while free, makes its cash by offering users related products like credit cards and loans. EmergencyLink may take that model and apply it to health and medicine, offering users products like health insurance and a variety of other services. (The company says that it doesn’t share user information with third-parties.)
Soenen has come a long way from flower deliveries, a reality that isn’t lost on him. Still, the CEO sees some significant connections between his days at FTD and his current venture.
“At EmergencyLink I have many of the same people helping me out, and we are leveraging a lot of what we learned back at FTD. We’re taking a company from a start up and turning it into something much larger,” he said.
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