EpiFinder Covers 1,500 Miles in Three Days on Cross Country Road Trip!
We started east from Albuquerque on the second morning. The flatlands continued. Dry terrain
of cacti and rural towns passed Neel and Kristi’s car. Steadily, they crossed into the tip of Texas
and then Oklahoma. The open land rolled on.
In the trunk were all kinds of snacks, placed to be safely reachable from the front. Neel and
Kristi had Kind bars, kettle-cooked chips, coconut water, protein shakes, nuts, and bananas.
All told, the trunk was packed from floor to ceiling. Snacks occupied a small space. The rest was
filled with cups, mugs, and swag; with water bottles and business cards; with posters, banners,
easels, flyers and other supplies for the American Epilepsy Society’s conference in D.C.
Neel and Kristi still had to drive through the remainder of the American southwest, much of the
south, and up many eastern states. So far, the land had been open and empty.
That was how things were when EpiFinder germinated four years ago—a blank slate.
“The journey of EpiFinder started in 2013,” Neel recalls. “Robert Yao and I teamed up to work
on this project. I was actively looking for a biomedical project, and he was looking for a product
application person.” Neel and Robert met almost by chance. Their desks happened to be near
each other at Arizona State. They met, shared ideas, and EpiFinder was born.
“I wanted to build something that could impact and influence people’s lives,” Neel says.
Today, EpiFinder has five full-time employees, two part-timers, and several student interns. The
team works out of a shared space in Arizona State’s SkySong office campus. U.S. News recently
named Arizona State the most innovative school in America.
On the third afternoon of EpiFinder’s trip, Neel and Kristi reached Oklahoma City.
In Oklahoma City they met with Jenniafer Walters, executive director of the Epilepsy
Foundation of Oklahoma. Neel and Kristi were hoping to connect with local epilepsy groups on
the return trip after the conference, but they embraced this opportunity when it arose. Jenniafer
was impressed with EpiFinder’s novel software. She was intrigued by our Patient Portal, by its
potential to better connect people and doctors.
“I look forward to working with you and EpiFinder for my state,” Jenniafer said.
“Congratulations on this amazing product to help change the future of patient-to- doctor
communications.”After this meeting, Neel and Kristi hit the road again. They stopped for dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas. On the menu were dolmades and vegetable gyros, good eating from a Greek
restaurant. Up until then, Kristi says, meals had consisted of “endless enchiladas.”
They stopped for the night in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis marked 1,500 miles on the road for
the EpiFinder conference team of two. On a rainy morning with tall trees rising into cottony
clouds, Neel and Kristi buckled up and hit the road with enthusiasm.
They were enthusiastic because that morning EpiFinder had gotten ten new Kickstarter pledges.
(The Kickstarter for EpiFinder’s novel Patient Portal ends on December 8!) They were also
excited for new scenery, new meetings, and to see what new adventures lay on the road ahead.
Next stop: Nashville.
If you’re up for an adventure, ‘like’ us on Facebook. We would love for you to follow along on our journey!