On Tuesday, March 22nd Columbia University Program in Physical Therapy Private Practice Elective hosted Vinitial CEO and Founder, Dave Kittle. Vinitial is a secure, HIPAA-compliant patient-provider text messaging system which does not require exchanging cell phone numbers. The topic of discussion was about the anatomy of a startup, the physiology behind marketing yourself and marketing the PT profession and using the 9 step canvas business model to help plan for success. Then how to apply it to a wider aspect than just running a business!

Dave based his presentation on the 9 step Canvas business model using three examples: his company Vinitial, starting a PT clinic, and being a staff employee. Two pearls that Dave Shared were 1) Value proposition: what is it that we as physical therapists provide? Hint, it is not physical therapy. What do we offer that is unique to our competitors? And 2) Developing meaningful Customer Relationships is the best way to create buy-in and sell your services.   

In addition, Dave had some very powerful quotes that spoke volumes to the audience, and hopefully, will help students when they graduate:

“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

“Amazing things happen when you step outside your comfort zone.”

“Learning to overcome the fear of failure is critical to success.”

“Business plans only survive until the first encounter with reality.“

Michelle Dearwater, a second year DPT student had this to say, “Having Dave Kittle, speak at the Private Practice Elective gave me some perspective and insight not only on how to create my own path in the PT world but also how to get ahead in various situations when starting out. I think everyone who was in attendance was able to take away some value that could be directly applied to their future using his informative strategy. Dave was engaging, approachable and refreshingly relatable. Being a part of a forum like this filled with eager PT’s was inspiring.”

The presentation was full of valuable information and presented in a way that was enjoyable and understandable to our students. “Dave was honest; he spoke openly about what it is like owning a business, and some of the obstacles that he had to overcome and is still overcoming. It was incredibly valuable to learn about the hardships we are going to face going into the physical therapy field, such as declining reimbursement rates,” said Course Director, Shaun Whited.  

This was a unique class and turnout was interesting to measure, it was the first time one of our events was streamed on Facebook live as well as YouTube. In person, we had over 30 students including students from all 3 years of the program and 5 faculty members come participate. Online, our Facebook live stream and YouTube video have over 3,000. We hope to provide a valuable experience to students across the country. Another interesting statistic was for the first time we had more female students attend than male students. We are hoping to have women in physical therapy symposium in the fall to discuss the obstacles unique to women business owners.

Our next event will be on Tuesday, April 4th and will be a PT & OT case study which will include a twist with conflict resolution and cross-disciplinary communication all with the goal of learning to work as a team and about each respective field.

If you are interested in getting involved, please come to an event, tune in on Facebook live or reach out to the Private Practice Elective Course Directors: Shaun Whited and Joseph Lipsky. Overall we cannot be more excited about the progress of the course, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Until next time,

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”

–Mike Tyson


Subscribe to the Newsletter to get me in your inbox.  Once a month. (We won’t spam, because we hate spam too!)