Miye Fonseca

Miye Fonseca had been stewing on her entrepreneurial idea for more than five years when she finally made the leap. It didn’t take long for her to prove out the concept, either. Just a month after launching, the Redmond entrepreneur turned her first profit.

Trained as a physical therapist, Fonseca is the founder of Therapy Exam Prep, a $375 online course that includes live Webinars, video tutorials and other materials for those preparing for the National Physical Therapy Exam.

Used by test takers from India and Ireland to Bahrain and Brazil, we chatted with Fonseca for the latest installment of Startup Spotlight.

Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: Therapy Exam Prep (TEP) helps Physical Therapist examinees prepare online to pass their board license exam.”

Inspiration hit us when: “I was preparing for my own Physical Therapist board exam for the National Physical Therapy Exam in 2004 and thought there had to be a better way then to just study from study guide books. It wasn’t until 2009 when the idea of Therapy Exam Prep began to develop more and in 2011 (it) was launched.”

VC, Angel or Bootstrap: “Definitely bootstrap. Actually from nothing to positive cashflow within the first month. Since then, TEP has been positive throughout the whole year and growing.”

Our ‘secret sauce’ is: “Really listening and talking to the customers and implementing their feedback quickly always focused on adding value.”

The smartest move we’ve made so far: “Working with recruiting companies to help their candidates pass the board exam and listening to participant feedback. We continue to improve both in the content and technology to provide them with a great experience while on their National Physical Therapy Exam journey.

The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: “Not resolving conflicts fast enough. It’s taught me the importance of clear communication and making sure everyone understand the vision of the business.”

Would you rather have Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: Steve Jobs. The innovative vision, perfectionism and the eye for visual aethistics. TEP’s vision is being the premiere program that brings the National Physical Therapy Exam to people anywhere with the help of great technology.”

Our world domination strategy starts when: “TEP is quickly becoming a world leader as the only online National Physical Therapy Exam webinar program that has helped Physical Therapist examinees globally.”

Rivals should fear us because: “We are progressive, innovative, and quick to implement changes to provide more value to participants preparing for the National Physical Therapy Exam. We understand technology and the advantages of integrating various systems into a seamless and unified experience.”

We are truly unique because: “We focus on three aspects to help the participants prepare for the board exam – exam analysis, clinical thinking and a holistic approach. We also emphasizes that the National Physical Therapy Exam is a journey and is there to support participants both on the exam and personal life.”

The biggest hurdle we’ve overcome is: “Being accepted in the U.S. market as the other exam prep courses are already established with the universities.”

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: “Don’t listen to naysayers and you’ll learn everything you need to know when starting on the journey. Enjoy what you are working on as that will make you grow in different ways. Always keep yourself open to new opportunities that are unexpected. You never know that contact could help you in the long run.”

Startup Spotlight is an occasional look at a Seattle area startup company. Have an interesting new venture you want spotlighted in GeekWire? Fill out the questions above, send  photos of the founder(s) and company logo to tips@geekwire.com. Past profiles can be found here.

Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3405650 Jeffrey Ashbrook

    I can attest that this is a great service and great idea. Way to go guys.

  • Mark D. Walters – GC To Go

    What a fantastic idea and staying close and listening to the customer is aways smart but not everyone does it well. Talk about focus and scale-ability. Wow! Great company to highlight here. Good luck to you!

  • http://www.adventureworksstudios.com Alberto Fonseca

    Great writeup, thanks John.

  • Gowri

    EXCELLENT APPROACH. NO WORDS TO APPRECIATE, TEP ROCKS!!!!!!GOOD LUCK MIYE TO YOU IN ALL YOUR ENDEAVORS!!!!!

  • Gowri

    Excellent approach!!!!!!TEP ROCKS!!!!!!Good luck to you Miye in all your endeavors!!!!!!

  • Karen I

    Great program that really addresses the whole journey when preparing for the NPTE! It truly is a unique program that continues to grow and strive for the best!

  • Kathleen L.

    Excellent idea that sounds like it’s being well executed. I’d love to see the program scale to other exams.

  • Colleen

    A great idea and well received.

  • Caroline P.

    It’s a great approach that allows students to learn and be part of a community no matter where they are located

  • katietwalker@hotmail.com

    Great work Miye! You took a brilliant idea and made it work!
    There are many Physical Therapists who struggle to pass their boards and this will help them greatly!! I hope your success continues!!!!! KTW PTA

  • Hogene C.

    Great execution on an awesome idea – angel investors, raise your hands to get a piece of this action while you still can.

  • Mary

    BEWARE!!!!!!! Please stop and read before giving her your hard earned money. I signed up for this class hoping that it would be a very helpful, well worth tool. I was completely WRONG. Not only did they not tell you details of the class before handing over $400, like that the lectures she gives online basically tells you nothing other than read about this topic, make sure you know about this general concept. They were so generic that it felt worse then some of the lectures from college. It didn’t go over any topics or go through any specifics that you actually need to know. Also, part way into the program I started having problems with the videos. I figured the first couple times it was just because there were a lot of people on at that time. Then it began happening more and more, so much that I couldn’t view any of the videos for days. When I tried getting help I just kept getting emails about what had I done to make it not work, what did I do to my computer, blah, blah, blah. Not once did I actually get an answer, just blame on my part. Being so frustrated with it, I just gave up on the videos. Then, I tried to at least open some of the “assignments” because I was hoping they would maybe help since I paid all this money for not much of anything, but then I kept getting error messages and told to contact the administration. Again all I got was the run around. What a waste. I can’t believe I wasted my very hard earned money on this joke of a class. Oh and just to make it known, basically there are these videos for about a month and then that’s it. You’re on your own. From my experience, DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY.

    • Niki

      Hey mary ………. i read same comment in physical therapy forum .by ptny.
      Is your exper. with TEP really bad ?

      I am also preparin for jan 2014 npte ……

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