Duane Conners and Jamie Bono noticed they were solving the same problems for clients over and over again.
They decided to build a digital tool that could make a difference across the entire system.
Conners and Bono, healthcare and tech industry veterans who run Buffalo-based consultancy Rprt, are the force behind Allco, a web-based platform for community-based organizations. Allco is a product from spinout company WellConnected, itself a partnership among Bono, Conners and Healthy Community Alliance.
Conners and Bono are entering the scalable startup space because they believe Allco can be the connective tissue in a system that functions on old tech and institutional knowledge.
The software can be used by intake coordinators at a food bank, for instance, who can use the Allco directory to make specific referrals to other organizations throughout the community.
The platform also has a secure system of storing records for individual patients, instead of starting from scratch with each person seeking help.
By connecting the agencies and people using them, Conners said Allco will generate a data layer that provides a one-of-kind snapshot about systemic strengths and weaknesses in any given region. He said community-level data will be available to the public.
“This is a mission-driven startup that can make our lives and our communities better,” he said. “We can use the tech to design better support for the entire community.”
Allco partners with regional 211 organizations – there are more than 300 of those nonprofit call centers throughout the country. They use registered 211 service organizations to populate their directory, with other groups able to register their own pages as well. Then Allco sells licenses to the service providers. Conners said they’re almost unanimously eager to move away from pen-and-paper, Excel or tools such as Salesforce.
WellConnected officially launched the full version of the platform in fall 2021 with Western New York as its beachhead market. A variety of pilot projects are in the works across the U.S., while Conners said he expects to begin debuting the platform with nearby 211 call centers, such as 211 CNY, later this year.
Conners – a co-founder of the TechBuffalo workforce initiative – said he expects to raise seed money this year and begin adding to WellConnected’s four-person team. He said the dimensions of the company will start growing quickly when he starts onboarding new regions.
“Nonprofits are the third-largest industry in America, and we have all of our customers right in front of us,” he said. “This is groundbreaking work that nobody else is doing.”
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