Migrating to Europe: Creating Preventative Care Solutions for COVID-19 and Beyond
An entrepreneur’s journey from tackling obesity to tackling COVID-19
It is rare to come across an entrepreneur who is as accomplished as Renato Romani, founder of Sinque and Easy Way to Health (EW2Health). And ever rarer is someone who is a founder whose accomplishments are outside of entrepreneurship. Renato has two MDs and an MBA but that’s only the start of his incredibly interesting background and journey. Born in Brazil to a Czech mother and a Brazilian father (who is the son of Italian parents), Renato has been an international citizen his entire life. He spent ten years flying around the world following his wife’s career, or what he calls “an international stay at home dad trip” before settling down with his family in the Netherlands. Renato has worked on the business side of healthcare for years and his entrepreneurial endeavor began with an electronic health recorder company that he started in Brazil, a company that Renato has stepped away from and sold his shares but that is still alive today. He then moved to the US where he studied business and learned more about the healthcare industry to build substantial insight and experience in the sector. Renato notes that this is where he learned that “to be an entrepreneur, you really need to be stupid and to be moved by the purpose that you have in life.” This outlook and whimsical view towards the sometimes absurd nature of entrepreneurship makes the smile that is constantly across Renato’s face even more genuine.
Renato’s business arose from the goal to move more to preventative healthcare as the market is so focused on intervention once problems surface. Sinque and EW2Health focus on promoting health and to create a platform where non-medical professionals can support people towards being healthy. The main problem being tackled is preventing obesity. “In Brazil and the USA, more than 50% of employees need to lose weight,” shares Renato, an issue that has created a 9.1 billion dollar market in the US alone. He created a program using artificial intelligence to track weight and to help professionals improve weight loss results. With Sinque, “people step on a scale and see the future, instead of seeing the frustration of the past.” Everytime Renato talks about someone struggling with their weight and then stepping onto one of Sinque’s scales, his eyes light up and as he puts it, his batteries are recharged. What inspires Renato are his customers and their successes (alongside his wife and kids who he calls “my heroes inside my house”).
Just as with many entrepreneurs the COVID-19 crisis has hit Renato hard but he has adapted and is moving forward by turning his technology and product into a program to monitor workers and help them get back to the office in light of COVID-19. To show how their business has been transformed, Renato gave the example of a meatpacking company that was forced to shut down because of an outbreak of hundreds of coronavirus cases. Using EW2Health’s application, companies now have a dashboard that knows where higher risk employees and those with symptoms are at, helping the company to bring back their employees in a safe and controlled manner all while respecting the privacy of each employee. Even with a change in Renato’s business, the same purpose and enthusiasm for his customers prevails throughout.
A continual theme when talking to Renato, and one that is shown in his response to COVID-19, is the need to constantly reflect on what is going right and what is going wrong. When asked about the lessons learned and the biggest mistakes he has made as an entrepreneur and a CEO, Renato immediately responded “I need two hours [to answer this question].” The main takeaway though is the importance of a team. “If you don’t have a team, then you don’t have a company.” He notes the mistakes he has made in not investing enough into his team as well as not aligning the people in his team with the purpose of his company. But if one thing is for certain, Renato will continue to be a hard worker in easy times and tough times. His attitude of try, try, and try again until you cannot anymore is inspiring and an important lesson to all aspiring entrepreneurs.