Kenny Schiff is the Director of Analytics at Lone Star Communications, a Texas-based healthcare solutions company that provides technology services to hospitals. A healthcare industry veteran with over 25 years of experience, Kenny is also the Founder of CareSight, an analytics-as-a-service platform. He hosts the newly launched CarePoints Podcast and is based in Naples, Florida.
In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran sits down with Kenny Schiff, the Director of Analytics at Lone Star Communications, to talk about scaling a healthcare business. They also discuss the difference between service and technology companies, changes in the healthcare technology field over the years, and how to find a strategic acquirer.
Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:
- [02:07] What Kenny Schiff learned from his entrepreneurial family
- [06:12] Kenny’s experience working for a family-owned business and starting his own company
- [13:38] The difference between service and technology companies
- [17:25] The challenge with starting a business during a recession
- [21:20] How Kenny’s family and EO supported his career
- [25:18] Have changes in the healthcare industry impacted CareSight?
- [29:44] Kenny talks about funding his company, how the pandemic affected the business, and how he found a strategic partner
- [38:40] The peers who’ve had a significant impact on Kenny’s life
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
- Lone Star Communications
- Kenny Schiff on LinkedIn
- Kenny Schiff’s email: [email protected]
- CarePoints Podcast
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO)
- Stryker Corporation
- Rauland-Borg Corporation
- Ray Bailey on LinkedIn
- Jeff Richard on LinkedIn
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John Corcoran 0:00
Today we are talking about scaling up a healthcare business through a pandemic. How do you do that? We’re gonna be talking all about that. And also, we’ll be talking about how to find a strategic acquirer for your business. My guest here today, his name is Kenny Schiff, spent three years finding the perfect strategic acquisition company to acquire his company and ended up getting acquired. So we’ll talk about how he did it in a second. So stay tuned.
Welcome to the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where we feature top entrepreneurs, business leaders, and thought leaders, and ask them how they built the relationships to get where they are today. Now, let’s get started with the show.
John Corcoran 0:43
Alright, welcome everyone. John Corcoran here. I am the host of this show. And you know, every week I talk to interesting CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs from all kinds of companies. We’ve had Netflix, we’ve had Kinkos, we’ve had Grub Hub, we’ve had LendingTree, all kinds of interesting companies. Check out our archives, and you can hear some of those episodes. And of course, this episode’s brought to you by Rise25, my company where we specialize in crafting custom podcasts and content marketing strategies for b2b businesses with a high client lifetime value. You can go to our website at Rise25.com and learn all about what we do in our brand new platform, podcast copilot, which we’re really excited about.
All right, so Kenny Schiff, so excited to have you here today. You are now your title is the Director of Analytics for Lone Star Communications, which is a Texas-based healthcare solutions company that provides technology and services for hospitals. You spent 25 years or so in the healthcare space, and your company CareSight was founded in 2016. It’s an analytics as a service platform, we’ll talk all about what that is. And of course, your story about finding the right acquisition partner, and running that company during COVID and Obamacare and all these different challenges that you’ve had over the years. And I want to put a plug in for your new podcast, which may be live by the time we publish this episode CarePoints Podcast is the name of it. And you are based in Naples, Florida. But first, I’d love to tell people to start people off Kenny by getting to know you a little bit better. And hearing a little bit about what little Kenny was like back when you’re a kid. And you came from a family of entrepreneurs. Your father was an engineer, you had a grandfather was an entrepreneur. Let’s start with Grandpa, what grandpa does that was entrepreneurial. I’d love to hear that.
Kenny Schiff 2:26
So my grandfather became a habit Dasher in Europe, before World War Two. And he was a refugee and my mother and my grandmother eventually traveled to the United States after the war started. And he had to figure out whatever he needed to do in order to have a livelihood for his family. So he was a diamond cutter. He did wholesale trade for all kinds of things. And then he eventually became a diamond dealer in the New York City area. And he also along the way, had all kinds of side hustles. But that’s what entrepreneurs do. So he was somebody who understood how to create with what was in front of him, and he was a very resourceful guy.
John Corcoran 3:16
Were you conscious of learning any lessons around that as a kid? Or is it now looking back, having been an entrepreneur, that you realize that you picked up some of that?
Kenny Schiff 3:29
I would say what I picked up more than anything else is that this was not a family of corporate people. So one’s livelihood was dependent on one’s own efforts and one’s own ability to take things and make something out of nothing. So whether it be my grandfather, coming to this country with basically no money in his pocket, and trying to figure out a way to earn a living and have a good life for his family, and eventually, my father, working as a pharmacist, to create a good life for his his family. Nobody did anything for them. And if anything I retained it was that sort of self-determination and that ability to deal with what was in front of them and do something with it. And
John Corcoran 4:19
I believe you said your father was also an entrepreneur, did he run or or acquire or start his own pharmacy? Yeah, he,
Kenny Schiff 4:28
he owned your chemists on the east side in New York City. And as a young kid, that I experienced that so I understood what that was like for somebody to have to go in on a Saturday morning or respond to a situation and even though it took me a long time to eventually sort of own up to my own entrepreneur, this I always understood and felt that and it was kind of part of a core understanding of What people do?
John Corcoran 5:00
Hmm? And do you recall any sometimes this happens where the next generation of entrepreneurs run the opposite direction, what you did for many years you worked in the corporate world didn’t start a company for a while. Did the experience of seeing your father having to go in on Saturday mornings? You know, do you recall it it? Did it lead you to not want to own your own company for a period of time.
Kenny Schiff 5:27
Um, I don’t think it necessarily had any impact on it. For me, I didn’t understand my own power and my own ability to do something from a livelihood standpoint. I guess it was nascent, it was wait waiting there in the background. But no, I definitely didn’t run in the other direction. I don’t know that I ran in any particular direction. But I think a lot of that is a reflection of the time and place and, and I think, you know, I came of age in the 1970s in New York City. And I wasn’t around people that were creators from a finance, certainly from an entrepreneurial standpoint. And then it took some time for me to kind of climb into that.
John Corcoran 6:12
And one of the foundational experiences was you ended up working for a company called TPC associates, which he described as kind of a smaller, I don’t know if use this word scrappy, but family owned business and where you could start to see the potential of owning your own business. Take us back to that period of time. This is early 2000s, that you’re working for this company.
Kenny Schiff 6:36
Yeah. So I showed up on the owner’s doorstep in 2002. And he turned his name is Tamika four, takes a look at me says I could use a guy like you what that meant. I didn’t know, buddy
John Corcoran 6:52
showed up on his doorstep. I’m picturing you like it’s raining. And you literally drove until on his doorstep, but well, so.
Kenny Schiff 7:00
So I had a little bit of a side trip into very, very heavy duty corporate job for you, it associates a multinational consulting, HR consulting company. And in 2002, you know, after 911, the economy was in a pretty bad space. And the consulting business really took a significant dive in 75 of us that you had at the time got laid off. And I needed a job. And I I’ve often asked, you know, what’s your special power? I’m a good networker. You know, I’m I’m relationship person. And I asked my former boss, from a prior company I worked for, you know, who should I talk to? And we’re two different companies. One was 25 miles one way and the other one was 25 miles the other way. And I was I reached out to Tom and he said, Sure, come on by and, and so yes, metaphorically showed up on his doorstep. It wasn’t in Lorraine. But there was immediately a synergy. And the kind of funny thing is, it turns out that we both share the same birthday. I’m two years older than he is. But there was something about about about us complimenting each other. And the big thing about that experience for me more than anything else is that number one, he kind of took me and into his confidence in a way that I don’t know that he did for other people in his business. It was a good time in that healthcare technology was really beginning to change. And he understood that I could help him develop some of his own ideas around it and help him commercialize those things and bring them to market. And the amazing thing about entrepreneurial businesses is there are in creative, incredibly creative playgrounds. For people who are able to live in that place. There’s certainly chaos to it. And I was very, very comfortable with looking at all the things that were in front of me and saying, here’s what we need to do with it. And because it was a family business, and because it was a smaller business at the time, we were able to do things, I was able to go go with him with a somewhat half baked idea and kind of work on it together and make something out of it. And that’s really the special thing that I learned. And and in that time, I began to build my own confidence and say, wow, people can make can people can be creative in business. So I’m, I’m a I’m a musician. I like to make things I am somebody who likes to cook. And and I’m interested in I’m kind of a chop guy. What’s in the basket. Yeah, and today make something out of it. And to connect that to business. That was like the big aha for me. Now there’s