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Get to Know the 2016 GIA Finalists: Epharmix

November 2, 2016

Next week is the final event for the Global Impact Award, our business plan competition that awards up to $50,000 to impactful, scalable, and sustainable Washington University in St. Louis ventures.

As the final event inches closer, we’re excited to introduce the four finalist teams who are vying for the big award. Check back each week for a new team profile!

This week, we introduce you to Epharmix.

About Epharmix:

Industry: Healthcare Software

Total Number of Employees: 6

When They Formed: May 2015

Total Funding (as of August 2016): $800,000

What problem are you solving? 

Epharmix helps the sickest, toughest patients stay in touch with their care teams automatically.

How do you solve the problem?

Epharmix uses SMS and phone-based technology tailored to 20 different disease states. These “interventions” and the underlying algorithms are clinically tested through randomized controlled trials.

About the Founding Team Members:

Blake Marggraff, Chief Executive Officer for Epharmix. Source: Epharmix

Blake Marggraff

Chief Executive Officer
Leads and builds the team, creates and grows business and sales opportunities, raises money, and solves problems along the way.

Blake received a BS in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis in 2015.


Evan Huang, Chief Technology Officer for Epharmix. Source: Epharmix

Evan Huang

Chief Technology Officer
Builds the product, manages development team, and solves problems along the way.

Evan received a BS in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis in 2015.



Avik Som, PhD, Chief Medical Officer for Epharmix. Source: Epharmix

Avik Som, PhD

Chief Medical Officer
Leads research and development, interfaces with the Epharmix Research Center, and solves problems along the way.

Avik received a BS in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 2011 and is currently receiving a MD/PhD from Washington University School of Medicine.


Joe McDonald, Chief Operations Officer / Chief Financial Officer for Epharmix. Source: Epharmix

Joe McDonald

Chief Operations Officer / Chief Financial Officer
Leads sales & sales-related operations, manages accounts, and solves problems along the way.

Joe received a BS in Biomedical Engineering and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2015.


Christine Stavridis, Creative Director for Epharmix. Source: Epharmix

Christine Stavridis

Creative Director
Leads branding, creative, and front-end development, and solves problems along the way.

Christine received a BS in Engineering and a BA in Art from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011.


Andrew Garvin, Engineer for Epharmix. Source: Epharmix

Andrew Garvin

Leads product strategy, builds product, and solves problems along the way.

Andrew is currently receiving a BS in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis.


Cody Meyer, Account Manager for Epharmix. Source: Epharmix

Cody Meyer

Account Manager
Leads account implementation, success, and growth, and solves problems along the way.

Cody received a BS in Business from Parkland College in 2010.


What is your favorite part about being an entrepreneur?

Blake Marggraff (BM): Direct agency to create scalable impact and value

Evan Huang (EH): Build things that can impact and benefit many people

Avik Som, PhD (AS): Being able to directly apply research to human health

Joe McDonald (JM): Ability to make disruptive changes in stagnant industries

Christine Stavridis (CS): I love being able to wear different hats so that I can learn new skills at break-neck speeds while being surrounded by inspiring peers with equal, or greater, ability, drive, and ambition.

Andrew Garvin (AG): The chance to personally make decisions that affect large populations.

Cody Meyer (CM): The ability to create. Most 9-5 jobs, you come in, learn the process, and repeat it. Being entrepreneurs is often trying new directions, learning and adjusting along the way. No day is ever the same, and you either love that or hate it.

What is the most challenging part about being an entrepreneur?

BM:  The most challenging part is the reason it’s so rewarding: there’s no playbook.

EH:  Stick to the essence. Many things will pull us into many different directions, it’s imperative to stay focus to the goals and vision while analyzing and intaking new information.

Epharmix Team. Source: Epharmix

Epharmix Team. Source: Epharmix

AS:  Creating new processes that never existed before. No one has truly done this unique implementation of technology into healthcare. At the same time, tackling this is one of the most exciting reasons to be an entrepreneur.

JM: The rollercoaster: the highest high’s and lowest low’s generally happen within 24 hours of each other.

CS:  Taking time for self-care and cultivating personal relationships. Sometimes it’s easy to lose track of time outside of the never-ending cycle of deadlines imposed by new opportunities to improve the product or expand the business.

AG:  Finding direction. Nobody is telling you what to do, and it is very hard to tell if your work will benefit the company.

CM:  Forgetting to take care of yourself too, it’s easy to fall into that trap early on – in order to perform at your peak, you need enough sleep, exercise, and the right mental state.

What is your #1 tip for building a strong team?

BM:  Enable everyone to grow all the time.

EH:  Get people who are capable and believe in the vision to work with you.

AS:  Find people with different and complementary strengths, and be willing to let them own their tasks to completion. You don’t have to do everything as an entrepreneur.

JM:  Work with people who you trust.

CS:  Find self-sufficient people willing to challenge themselves and foster growth within the team. Then, strive to take good care of them.

AG:  Self-motivated, thick-skinned and trustworthy people.

CM: Define your culture and hire around it.

What is your must-read book?

BM:  Influencer by Kerry Patterson

EH:  Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

AS:  Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

JM:  Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

CS:  The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

AG:  Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making by Gary A. Klein

CM:  The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes

What is your favorite entrepreneurial news source? 


EH:  Hacker News

AS:  Modern Healthcare

JM: TechCrunch

CS:  Model View Culture

AG:  Hacker News

CM: r/entrepreneur

Like what you see? Follow along Epharmix’s journey:



Check out last week’s profile on Geneoscopy, too!