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Start-up generation

Adrián Dorado

UX/UI Manager and Co-founder of Qualud and Laia Contigo

He has over eight years of experience in startups, SMEs and multinational corporations. Patient experience and digital product design for the healthcare sector are his main areas of expertise. He has a degree in Multimedia, Master in User Experience and Master in Business Administration. He is also a professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and University of Vic (UVic).

“It’s important to get good legal advice right from the start”

21.12.2021

Adrián Dorado founded Qualud in 2020 with Eudald Mas, Irene González and Reinier Torres to promote the digitalization of healthcare, creating digital products by searching for real solutions that improve people’s lives. 

Qualud is a technological innovation agency focused on the healthcare sector that created its first spinoff this year: Laia Contigo, a digital solution for women, leaded by Irene González, in the transition to motherhood, looking after their mental health and wellbeing before conception, during pregnancy and after the birth. Aware of the importance of mental health, in the short term the team plans to act as a Venture Builder for this type of companies.

1. Why did you want to be an entrepreneur? 

Being an entrepreneur is something you’re born with because no matter how good a job you get or salary you have, your brain is always thinking about how to improve things. You’re never completely satisfied. 
In my case, I’d wanted to do this for many years. I was convinced. I wanted to create some of the many ideas I had and with Qualud, I could make my dream come true. 

2. What motivated you to become an entrepreneur? 

Meeting my team at just the right time: the first pandemic lockdown. For months, we had loads of time to think and the conditions were right to take our ideas to the next level and take the leap we all wanted in creating Qualud.

3. How did you get the idea to set up the company? When and how did you identify the opportunity?

The idea to set up Qualud came out of the workplace experiences we had each had individually, especially in digital health. We wanted to work to bring to life projects that often got forgotten in a drawer. With Laia Contigo, we received information on postpartum depression and the emotional issues women experience in the transition to motherhood, and that was when we saw a clear need to support women in this all-important stage. We always try to make sure our projects have a component of large-scale social impact. 

4. How did you set up a team that is committed to the project?

There are several reasons we’ve been able to put together a team that is so committed to our goals. Firstly, the project aim is highly motivating: improving quality of life for people through the healthcare arena. 
Plus, the commitment of the team. We already knew each other from previous work experiences and we knew each person’s professional and personal quality. This is key in establishing a good team: trust and professionalism. Finally, entrepreneurship is hard, so to keep a team united and dedicated it is important for everyone to believe in the idea, the goals and mission. 

5. What is the most important strategic decision you’ve made so far?

One of the most important strategic decisions we’ve made so far is for Qualud to start creating its own products, like Laia Contigo. Another key strategic decision for us was deciding who would accompany us on the path of business growth. It is important to have people around you who support you and advise you properly, with the goal of improving a specific element of business development. 

6. What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

“Trust in yourselves". And this is something we firmly believe in. Above all with the avalanche of advice and opinions that come pouring in. 

7. And what advice would you give someone getting started in the world of healthcare business?

I think a good tip for entrepreneurs in the healthcare sector is to reflect on the professional reasons you want to do it. It’s a difficult sector, but there are many needs. So it’s key to consider what you want to contribute to this sector and then go for it with everything you’ve got.

This first piece of advice leads to a second, which for me is key: you have to be familiar with the sector. It’s very important to know the healthcare sector where you want to act, the processes, stakeholders, main players... otherwise your idea might not fit with the reality or, if it does, you may need someone to guide you.

8. 3 things you’ve learned in your journey as an entrepreneur

First, the importance of a multidisciplinary team, not only in terms of professional profiles but also personal ones. It helps you generate more ideas, different points of view and visions that will give you different perspectives on any problem or situation.

Second, don’t wait. In any company, it’s important not to wait for things to come to you, out of luck, not projects and not meetings. It’s important to keep moving as much as possible, because when there’s a part of the company that isn’t getting as much attention, that part stops working and nobody is there to fix it but you. You always have to give 200%.

Finally, legal guidance. It’s important to get good legal advice right from the start, because it’s one of the areas that entrepreneurs tend to be less familiar with and some don’t take it seriously enough. 

9. Tell us about something you would have liked to know before setting up the company.

It’s related to legal guidance, in fact. As new entrepreneurs when we were getting started, we weren’t familiar with the process and didn’t understand its importance and magnitude within the business ecosystem. Luckily, along the way we’ve found a fantastic legal team that has guided and advised us.

10. And now what? What milestones do you want to achieve in the short term (1-3 years)?

Our intention is to keep working with hospitals and other companies in the healthcare sector, implementing technological innovation products that help improve processes, data processing and patient monitoring or global solutions that bring in a new digital service related to people’s health. Plus, we’d like to be able to support other startups in the sector in developing their projects with other stakeholders and act as a Venture Builder for the healthcare sector. Specifically in mental health.
At the same time, we’re going to continue developing improvements for our Laia Contigo mobile app, launching new content, initiatives and activities to have a positive impact on women’s mental health during their motherhood journey.