Kent Dicks, CEO of Life365, is incredibly passionate about fulfilling previously unmet needs in the healthcare space. With Life365, he and his team bring disparate digital health solutions into one consolidated platform, then aligns patients with the solutions that are right for them. One solution does not fit all patients, and Kent takes extra care to match patients with solutions that meet their terms and comfort levels.
What part of Arizona do you call home?
Scottsdale, Arizona. But I am native-born and raised in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Phoenix is the sixth largest US city, and I am dedicated to building entrepreneurship and startup resources in Arizona to make it a top startup/business venture city in the country.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
My belief is that entrepreneurship is engrained in you. It started from when I was 7. I started at Phoenix College studying business, then transferred to ASU. It was more economical, and I knew I always wanted to go to business, but it was here I realized I wanted to work in technology and computers on the business side. I graduated from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business with a degree in computer information systems.
What was your very first entrepreneurial venture?
I started my first venture when I was seven, delivering newspapers. On weekends I would mow lawns and paint houses with my dad. My grandfather taught me how to fix and sell things—he would take me to fix typewriters for the Scottsdale School District, where he worked. He would take me to the park & swap, where we would buy and sell typewriters. I had my first balance sheet by the time I was ten.
How did you come up with the idea for Life365?
My team and I started working in remote healthcare ten years ago. One of my first companies was a staffing company that worked with companies that did top secret work. It was here I realized we needed to do more with managing people from a distance. That morphed into remote healthcare, and reducing healthcare costs, which is where MedApps came from. We sold MedApps in 2012, but the last ten years represent remote healthcare efficacy—which solutions work and don’t work. The next few years are going to be focused on scalability, and that is where Life365 came from. We need to reach more people in a cost-effective way in order to reduce healthcare costs, while also increasing quality of care.
What was the biggest challenge in executing this idea?
It’s always funding, especially here in Arizona. We have tried to overcome some of those barriers by going into some very strategic partnerships, like BioAccel in Phoenix and BioInspire in Peoria. This helps get us into circles of funding and leadership in Arizona. But funding is still a major problem in Arizona, even for experienced teams like ourselves.
What is your favorite part about running a business?
The ability to think freely and to be able to pivot wherever the opportunity lends itself. The ability to work with teams of entrepreneurs and a team that works towards a common goal to achieve it. In large corporations, there are different missions and goals that aren’t aligned with everyone. I like being able to create culture from the ground up.
How long have you lived or worked in Arizona?
I have lived in Arizona most of my life. I did work two years in Dallas with Texas Instruments, and then between New York and London with American Express for a year. There is tremendous entrepreneureurial spirit here; the scene just needs to be more organized. There are entrepreneurs who want to be board members, invest, and be mentors, and that is what needs to be organized. We need to know what we have locally. That is my passion after Life365—to help Arizona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and mentor new companies.
If you could only describe your city with one word, which word would it be?
What’s your favorite thing about living in Arizona?
In the winter, probably the weather. Also, getting access to great resources economically.
What’s your least favorite thing about living in Arizona?
Lack of access to capital.
In what area do you think Arizona still has a long way to go?
The capital. It’s here, it just needs to be organized. I think resources from the highest level need to be organized as well. For example, the angel tax credit needs to be brought back.
The foodie scene is growing bigger and bigger by the day here in Arizona. What is your favorite place to get breakfast in your city?
I go to Butters every morning. It’s a great place to network.
What’s your favorite place to grab lunch?
I like Taco Guild in Phoenix.
What’s your favorite dinner spot?
What’s your favorite place to work in your city aside from your office?
The Henry in Arcadia.
Best place for a meeting over drinks?
The Hyatt at Gainey Ranch for drinks and sitting on the patio listening to jazz.
What is your favorite memory from Arizona?
When they started getting freeways! And in 1993 when the Suns were in the playoffs and when the Diamondbacks won the World Series.
What is something about living in Arizona that only a local would know of?
That we can be within major water in an hour and skiing in less than three.
Any tips for new Arizona residents?
Take advantage of the beautiful golf courses, hiking, boating and biking.
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