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VitusVet, eying growth, hires OrderUp cofounder as COO

Jason Kwicien is joining the Columbia-based pet health IT company's leadership team.

VitusVet offers a health IT platform for vets. (Photo by Flickr user Zlatko Unger, used under a Creative Commons license)
Updated at 7:48 p.m. on 2/4/19.

Like a lot of medical practices, veterinarians seek to send patients a message when they’re due for a check-up, schedule appointments and keep track of medical records. Yet Dr. Mark Olcott, DVM, sees a lot of those tasks still happening by phone or on paper, and thinks it should all be available digitally.

“To make an appointment for something as simple as having your dog’s nails trimmed, people shouldn’t have to pick up the phone to do that,” he said.

As the CEO of Columbia-based VitusVet, Olcott helped to create and spread an app that helps practices centralize the tasks that keep pets getting needed care. He sees it as simplify communication with their human companions, and, in providing a way to more quickly book an appointment, forming a more direct line with pets.

Olcott calls the company’s product “a CRM for veterinary practices.” It offers messaging two ways via text and pictures, as well as a way for vets to send reminders. Plus, it allows patients to set up appointments and complete refills. By making all of that easier, he said, it can help veterinarians retain clients and stick to visits as they’re recommended.

Founded in 2013 alongside CTO Kalpesh Raval, Olcott said the company is seeing growth. The team working inside the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship has grown to more than 25 people, and there’s starting to be more adoption, he said, as veterinarians realize the need. As it looks to expand its reach, the company added to its leadership team to help put the infrastructure in place that will allow for fast growth.

“We were at the place as a company where we needed that operating experience and expertise to start scaling,” Olcott said.

They turned to Jason Kwicien, who was a cofounder of Baltimore-based food delivery startup OrderUp, recently joined as chief operating officer. Kwicien held the same role at OrderUp, which was acquired by Groupon in 2015 after growing to 40 cities. Olcott called Kwicien’s hiring “a massive opportunity for us. We’re so grateful to have him on the team.”

“With a veterinarian and a technologist at the helm, VitusVet is uniquely positioned to partner with veterinary practices to solve technological inefficiencies,” Kwicien said in a statement.


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