Carol MacDonald is revolutionizing home health care

Carol MacDonald is revolutionizing home health care

Who: Carol MacDonald, co-founder and president, Gotcare, a home health care agency
Company HQ: Junction Triangle
Founded: 2018
Employees: 13

How it works: “Gotcare connects consumers with a personal support worker in their area. Then we let the consumer schedule work hours and select their preferred type of care.”

Eureka moment: “In 2015, I was looking at the traditional model for homecare, which involved consumers paying a lot to health care agencies to manage their case. It occurred to me that consumers could take ownership over their care, reducing the role of agencies, offsetting the user cost and allowing PSWs to earn more. That’s when I decided to start Gotcare.”

How much you spent initially: “$270,000 from angel investors. We spent it on building the minimum viable product.”

Your turning point: “At the start of the pandemic, our revenue dipped by 30 per cent, because clients were initially worried about letting personal support workers into their homes. But everything rebounded that summer, primarily due to families bringing their loved ones home from long-term care facilities. Now we’re doubling our revenue year over year.”

Your big-time backers: “We’ve raised a total of $1.5 million, with support from the Telus Pollinator Fund for Good, Red Thread Ventures and SheEO.”

Past life: “I owned an OT company for more than a decade. In 2008, it was acquired by Life­Care Health.”

The best advice you’ve received: “ ‘Do it yourself.’ If you want to have some impact as an entrepreneur, identify the problem and find a way to solve it.”

Tech jargon you use too much: “ ‘Pivot.’ For Gotcare to be successful, we’ve had to fail, re-evaluate and reinvent ourselves.”

Tech jargon you hate: “People often say we’re ‘Uberizing’ homecare—except Uber is a five-minute taxi ride and Gotcare is a lifelong relationship between a client and their PSW.”

Coolest thing in your office: “We’ve got a vintage 1950s fridge. It holds fruit, nuts and yogurt, and the occasional alcoholic beverage.”

Your tech role model: “Vicki Saunders, founder of SheEO, a firm that invests in women-led businesses. She’s all about challenging the status quo.”

App you can’t live without: “LinkedIn. I use it to share content and establish ourselves as experts in consumer-managed care.”

If you weren’t running a start-up: “I’d go back to working as an OT. I get a lot of satisfaction from helping people.”