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September 25, 2017

Small Business Profile

MobileHelp makes a good call

Mike Vogel | 2/23/2012

More than 20 years have passed since "I've fallen and I can't get up" moved from a commercial for a medical alert pendant into a pop culture catchphrase. After spending 10 years working for others selling pendant services, Elias Janetis came to believe the technology was as dated as the slogan. "The No. 1 question people would ask me is, how far does the button work from the box?" he says.

The answer to that question led Janetis to look for a new approach that wouldn't depend on proximity to a monitoring box. Three years and $4 million later, his Boca Raton company, MobileHelp, came to market. Since launching sales at the end of 2009, the phones haven't stopped ringing. With a cellular connection and GPS, a senior with MobileHelp can summon aid, whether in the kitchen, on a neighborhood stroll or driving across town. Caregivers receive notification too and can go online to locate their loved ones.

A monthly subscription is $36.95, but the extra features and no contract make it "a strong value proposition," Janetis says. Designed in Boca, where the company employs just over 50, the device is manufactured in Malaysia.

To carry the company forward, Janetis stepped aside as chairman in September in favor of Boca entrepreneur Scott Adams. Adams co-founded and built Hiway Technologies into the world's then-largest web hosting company before selling it for $352 million in 1999. Janetis projects MobileHelp will be cash flow positive this year. "In downturns like this are opportunities," says Janetis, 37. "Isn't that the best time to launch a service that's value priced?"

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  • Breaking News: Nova Southeastern University calls $200 million commitment from Patel Family 'transformational'

    Today, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) announces the largest philanthropic gift in its history from Tampa-area cardiologist Dr. Kiran C. Patel and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Pallavi Patel. The commitment from the Patel Family Foundation includes a $50 million gift and an additional $150 million for real estate and facilities. The money will be used to expand the university's programs in osteopathic medicine and health care sciences, and also to develop a new 27-acre campus for NSU in Clearwater, Fla. The Patels are renowned in Florida for their philanthropy, community service and entrepreneurship.

    “This gift and additional investment will enrich NSU’s ability to educate highly-qualified physicians and health care professionals who understand how the medical disciplines can and must work together. These future leaders will represent the cultural diversity of our region, our nation and our world so that they can better serve their patients and communities,” said NSU President Dr. George Hanbury.

    Their $50 million gift, one of the seven-largest to any Florida university in history, catapults NSU to more than 84% of its goal to raise $250 million by 2020 for its Realizing Potential philanthropic campaign.

    Read more at the news release, here.

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