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.”