A desire to solve the hardest problems, a servant’s approach to leadership and a $1,000-pitch competition drove Luis López to found Crumb. The founder as well as the startup has an incredible story to tell – a swirl of experiences that has culminated in a grand, groundbreaking push to save lives through data.
“I get bored easily when solutions come too quickly.”
“I like challenges. My Dad said,
‘A land without giants is not worth conquering,’
and I truly believe that.”
“My younger brother Danny and I were born in Guatemala. When I was 7 and he was 4, our dad left a very successful corporate career to serve as a missionary in Belize. Our family went from riches to rags intentionally, so we could put our all energy in helping others – a far more fulfilling pursuit. Those values are at the core of what we’re building with Crumb (formerly CardioSys).
“Bad data kills people.”
Crumb’s vision is to radically change how health information is accessed and analyzed; therefore improving the odds a patient’s health data is available and instantly usable.
“Crumb is a data science company at heart. From a data infrastructure standpoint, healthcare is 10-15 years behind other industries. So we’ve built a platform that handles integration and allows healthcare professionals to find data when they need it. Thus preventing errors and ultimately saving lives.
“Our whole idea was – let’s create something that advances healthcare, research and clinical grade technology and helps save lives.”
“We wanted to solve a huge problem
in a hard-to-solve industry.”
Luis, who moved to Omaha with his family in 2000, and started in English-as-a-second-language courses. During his freshmen year of college, he went on to co-found a tech startup Contemporary Analysis in 2008, which was featured in the likes of Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine.
During a semester abroad in Madrid, he happened upon a Tweet – and the idea for Crumb began to germinate.
“I had seen a tweet from Bill Gates that stated the two areas where innovation occurs the least is healthcare and education. As we began to look into things, we realized how far behind healthcare was.”
Months later, Luis submitted a last-minute entry into a UNO business plan competition, where he and his brother fleshed out the initial idea for Crumb (then CardioSys). They won third place – and $1,000, just enough for a laptop.
“After doing it, I recognized we could turn this into a company. We decided to apply for an accelerator; we got in to Straight Shot. We worked 16-hour days and by the end of the three months, we had insane amounts of traction.”
The startup forged strategic partnerships with an investor from the Kaufman Foundation, which helped solidify hospital relationships and a new partnership with Carnegie Mellon University. Some of the best researchers in the world are now validating Crumb algorithms.
“Our number one job requirement is
‘MacGyver-like coding skills.’”
“We’ve been lucky to find people who have those skills. All they need is a laptop, a program to code and a problem to solve.”
“Innovation will transcend anything – that’s something that Omaha has been proving. I’ll take our five engineers, and I’ll put them against any 20 engineers from any other part of the country. My guarantee is that no one will work harder than us. I love that attitude about the Midwest. We’re very heads down, and we’re building great companies without the ego.”
You can find Crumb quietly signing on additional partners and solving the big, hard-to-solve problem of reducing hospital error based on bad data at Omaha Startup Collaborative.