Today's Entrepreneur


Today's Entrepreneur: Assaf Shalvi

Envisions easily accessible home healthcare for the growing population

Innovation series by Anna Vodopyanova
January 26, 2018
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Today's Entrepreneur is Assaf Shalvi, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Swift Shift Inc.

Assaf describes himself as an entrepreneur with a passion to establish a convenient way for healthcare workers to deliver their services.

As the title suggests, Swift Shift is an interface that lets home healthcare providers easily schedule shifts for nurses and caregivers. This is Assaf’s second startup. The first was Jobinasecond, a UK-based part-time/temp job matching app he co-created before moving to the United States.

Prior to entrepreneurship, Assaf was International Strategic Development Director at A4e, also known as PeoplePlus, a for-profit welfare-to-work company, Executive Manager of Global Strategic Initiatives & Business Development at MAXIMUS, an international business provider to government health and human service agencies, and worked in business consulting in his native country, Israel.

Here, Assaf tells VatorNews about entrepreneurship and the concept behind Swift Shift.

VatorNews: What motivated you to go into reforming the home healthcare industry?

Assaf Shalvi: There is a huge shortage in home caregivers and healthcare workers. The aging population is growing, and there are not enough people who deliver these services. Workers in the industry, at the same time, have no efficient job coordination. They serve multiple companies, they don’t get paid for travel, often traveling long distances for short shifts. I looked into this market, and I recognized that this is an industry that is in huge need for technology that would make this job more efficient and attract young people to reduce the shortage. If we create a better experience for workers in home healthcare, young people may start to consider it as a first job out of school. Swift Shift lets you deliver better care and earn quicker. 

VN: What excites you the most about being CEO of Swift Shift?

AS: We launched the first on-demand recruitment platform for the home healthcare industry. I am trying to change the entire industry, which will affect the lives of millions, including the lives of healthcare providers and their employees, in addition to people who need care. Swift Shift is in a position to make a real change. 

Last week Bloomberg reported on babies stranded in hospitals because there are not enough nurses who can provide pediatric services. We have a few pediatric care providers that we helped fill over 20,000 hours in the last two to three months, and each of these hours is an hour that a child got to spend at home with his or her family rather than in a hospital. And there is nothing that excites me more than that.

VN: Where do you see yourself in five years?

AS: I hope that in five years Swift Shift becomes a national platform for healthcare and spreads to all major cities in the United States, as well as abroad. I hope that we make a meaningful impact not only on the home healthcare industry, but also on logistics in the healthcare sector.

VN: What’s a major setback in health tech right now?

AS: The medical device industry has a lot of issues with integration because of the approvals required in conjunction with new drugs and devices. Luckily, Swift Shift is outside of that, because we work with management and recruitment software. So, there are no setbacks for us – we don’t have any excuses.

VN: How do you see health tech evolving in the near future?

AS: One thing that is already different now is that innovation companies deliver medical products directly to the consumer, and I think this will be happening more. I also anticipate major changes happening in IoT: the smart health monitoring devices in your home can send data to your healthcare system and trigger services. I think it will be really interesting to see how we can leverage big data and analytics from these AI devices to improve our health.

VN: What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship?
AS: What's frustrating is the amount of work I want to get done and the need to focus. Seeing how we can change lives is rewarding.
VN: What are the most important qualities for an entrepreneur?
AS: Understand your product, how it would feel to you, and how your product will change things. You have to be able to take a vision and make it into a reality, make others – developers, customers, marketing personnel – believe in it. An entrepreneur must also understand his/her clients.
Most importantly, a good leader has to create the right culture –  to be open for learning and making mistakes, and to be respectful to everyone. Good leadership means living by example.
VN: What is the most common mistake entrepreneurs make?
AS: My mistake is trying to do too much at the same time instead of focusing on one thing.
VN: What are top three lessons every entrepreneurs should know?
AS: (1) Keep super close to your customers; (2) confront problems early; and (3) find ways to get more done with less energy. To achieve more, work with the elements and not against them. 
VN: Who is your principal supporter in your work?
AS: My biggest supporter is my wife. Being an entrepreneur is a difficult task – we work all hours, we travel at a short notice and we are busy all the time. My wife understands. She takes care of the home and our two children when I am away, and she is super helpful when I need an outside point of view in my projects.
For more about Swift Shift and Assaf's entrepreneur background, check out his Vator profile

Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Swift Shift Inc.
Description: Swift Shift was created to help home healthcare providers quickly find qualified nurses and caregivers to staff visits in less time. Sch...
Bio: I've built my career focusing on infrastructure to empower labor force sectors on the low end of the earning scale. Prior to la...

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