With the increasing amount of new, successful entrepreneurs popping up in the Newark area, one could be misled into thinking that starting your own business is an easy venture.
Tim Aumueller is one of the founders of MedPro Wellness, a mobile wellness solution that focuses on coming up with safe, effective, individualized programs for patients and employees of a company via nutrition, fitness, and education. He said learned firsthand that this is not the case.
Aumueller, originally from Wall Township, attended Messiah College in Pennsylvania before earning a master’s degree in Business Administration at Seton Hall University. Fresh out of college, Aumueller decided he wanted to be an entrepreneur.
“Whatever my fastest course was to being an entrepreneur, I was going after it,” said Aumueller. This led him to trying a stint as an investment banker. Aumueller spent just two years in finance, but he described it as feeling like “20 years.”
While Aumueller said he did not have any complaints and would not change anything from his financial work experience, he didn’t view it as a success.
“It failed,” said Aumueller. “It just wasn’t something I was truly passionate about.”
This sparked a change of mindset in Aumueller. He decided to no longer follow a career path based on its availability, financial returns, or level of difficulty. From that point on, Aumueller’s approach was, “Let me find what I’m genuinely passionate about, and let me pursue that.” This led Aumueller to a 10-years-and-counting foray in the fitness and wellness arena, which gave him the opportunity to initiate and manage specific wellness centers at some of the top hospitals in the state of New Jersey.
Working in the industry reminded Aumueller that he and his childhood friend, Michael Mihalic, had always wanted to open a fitness center. They had always seen there was a need for them, but thought their current “cookie cutter” structure could be optimized. ”A majority were just sign-up, monthly membership, and after a couple of weeks they’re still taking money out of your account and you’re not even using it,” said Aumueller. While this model could make for a financially successful endeavor, Tim did not want to create a business solely for the purpose of making money.
“We strived to be different and to start some sort of program or center that we felt was going to actually allow people to be successful,” said Aumueller. This meant no longer pursuing the opening of a regular fitness center, but customizing a program based on the individual's needs, and that could coordinate with the customer's doctors, primary care physician, and employer with the goal of sustaining them through the program.
“What we wanted to do is really meet everyone at every level, and that’s how we came up with this mobile wellness situation.”
After the vision of the initial two founders was set, things sped up for the duo as they eventually added Dr. Robert P. Caruso to the fold. But in order to truly work as a current, efficient mobile wellness solution, the three founders realized they needed technology expertise, and it was then that they connected with their fourth founder, Clark Lagemann.
Aumueller called the partnership a quick, effective union, and marvels at how everything aligned and how unified their approaches are. “All four of us wake up every day and say, 'How can we really help people effectively manage their health?'” said Aumueller. "That’s the only question we answer every day, and every step we take is towards answering that question.”
MedPro Wellness officially launched in February, and it didn’t take long for the startup business to not only grow in size – it currently has four partners, four health coaches, four advisory board members, and a programmer – but also have an effect on the Newark community. One of their very first programs started back in February where they provide a wellness program for all the employees of Newark.
“It is truly exciting working with all the employees,” said Aumueller, who is in charge of the operations aspect of MedPro Wellness. “The fire department, police department, business administration, every employee is offered this program in Newark, and they don’t have to pay a dime.”
MedPro Wellness offers these employees health assessments, where they define a need and ask them the necessary questions to gauge what approach they should take to the patient’s health situation. Whether it's dealing with chronic health issues, acute health problems, fitness planning, or even a little stress management, the founders of MedPro Wellness say help stop employees in Newark from hitting the "snooze button" on their health.
“We all need a little extra motivation,” says Aumueller. “This program allows them to be with a health coach on an ongoing basis, where they can work out a program that gets them fitness, nutrition, and education, and changes the way the individuals take care of themselves.”
Aumueller also hopes to one day expand the community education aspect of the program to provide opportunities for the residents of Newark, and has reached out to fitness centers in the area. MedPro Wellness’ founders hope to grow, and they're looking to develop further in Newark and surrounding municipalities.
“We only want to find people who are passionate about this industry and understand what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Aumueller, adding that he's ready to there's constant change in the wellness industry.
“This is a process,” says Aumueller. “It works because it’s built off people, who we listen too, bounce ideas off of, who we make feel confident and successful by setting individualized goals to advance progress, and everyday we’re constantly evolving.” The individualized outlook Aumueller and his partners have on health really opens the door for anyone to take part in MedPro Wellness’s program. But such diversity has made it difficult for the young startup to solidify an identity because the program really is “for everyone” and can change to deal with different needs.
That constant change has served as a humbling experience for the 37-year old entrepreneur.
“We’re still babies, we’re still learning every day, and I don’t think that’s going to stop,” said Aumueller. “And quite frankly I don’t ever want it too.”