eCOIDA is an online insurance technology platform; a central database that connects all role players in real-time, creating an accurate workflow, fraud-free, paperless claims processing platform. A division of an 18-year-old company, we find out how the Barclays Accelerator is helping it to venture into the short-term insurance industry...
Tell us about your startup business. How did you come about the idea?
eCOIDA, a division of Compensation Solutions (“CompSol”), was founded in 1999 by Fritz Lüttich and Trevor Allnutt. Before CompSol was founded, both Fritz and Trevor were involved from the mid-1980s as medical practice managers for large South African diagnostic radiology practices.
It provides medical service providers, injured employees, and employers with a software solution which allows for all role-players to be connected in real-time on a centralised database platform. The central online software platform ensures the prompt processing, administration of disability benefits and medical accounts as well as the pre-funded payment of injury on duty (“IOD”) claims of medical service providers in South Africa.
The eCOIDA business opportunity, which included the development of a centralised database, arose from systemic (manual and automated) issues faced by the Compensation Fund, which in turn resulted in protracted delivery of social security services to injured employees and as well as the delayed payment by the Compensation Fund of medical accounts rendered by medical service providers.
This protracted service delivery by the Compensation Fund affected (and still affects) the willingness of many medical service providers to treat IOD patients, and without the eCOIDA product offering, many medical service providers would have opted not to treat injured workers due to the concern of having to personally fund the lengthy process of collecting outstanding claims.
How did you hear about, and what motivated you to apply for the Barclays Accelerator programme?
We got introduced to the concept of an accelerator programme by a company that approached us with the possibility of making use of the eCOIDA software platform for their service offering.
We saw an opportunity to pursue the possibility, via an accelerator programme, to venture into the short-term insurance industry, given the similarities that existed between the medical insurance and short-term insurance industries. The possibility of expanding the company’s current product offering into different international geographical areas remains a high priority as well.
As a result, an accelerator program was identified that could assist us in exploring these opportunities by providing the company with the introduction to the relevant role-players and markets.
What is the long-term vision for your company?
The group’s long-term vision is to add new sustainable products in multiple markets i.e. Africa and internationally while maintaining the business principles and ethics applied over the past 18 years.
By investigating the possibility of entering different geographical areas and diversifying the current product lines, the group seeks to safeguard a sustainable business environment for its owners and employees.
What do you hope to gain/learn from this programme?
We hope to harness the benefits from the introductions to industry role-players as well as the input from the skilled individuals that the Accelerator programme offers. Combining the benefits of the programme with the lessons learnt over the past 18 years will allow us to make informed decisions with regards to expanding our existing product offerings and gaining the benefits of these diversified product offerings in new geographical areas.
All of this can be achieved by using newly acquired knowledge, learning from past experiences and developing a clear business vision for any new business ventures.
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What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming 13 weeks of the programme?
We are determined to obtain a clear “road map” for our product offering and conceptualising our target markets. In the process, we look forward to building a comprehensive software platform while building business relationships with key stakeholders in the insurance (medical and short-term) market.
What are you most unsure/nervous about?
We are unsure as to the extent of market penetration that the Barclays Accelerator programme will bring about. We do expect that we will have a greater understanding after completing Mentor Madness.
How do you define the word "success"?
Success to eCOIDA is not merely achieving goals but it is the process of turning a business idea into reality. To achieve goals without having built a sustainable business that can benefit more than merely the shareholders is not success.
We pride ourselves on the positive feedback we receive from our customers, the loyalty of our employees and the personal difference we can make to injured employees' lives.