Getting to know you: Caelen King

What do you currently do?

I’m a founder, start-up mentor, angel investor and a dad. For the past 8 years I’ve been CEO of WhatClinic, a site that helps consumers find the right clinic for their elective healthcare needs, anywhere in the world.  Last year, we helped almost 20 million people find and compare clinics in more than 120 countries around the world.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

I was rock climbing in South East Asia when I had a small accident – and I had no idea where to go for the best treatment. It wasn’t surprising though I was far from home and I didn’t speak the language. A few months later back in Ireland I noticed that even finding a new doctor presented the same problems. There was no easy way to find and compare available services online. And so WhatClinic was created to help people find the right clinic. Over the past few years we’ve expanded the features and services on the site and now reviews and ratings are very much a core part of how we help consumers. We’ve also rolled out realtime booking through our strategic acquisition of Toothpick, a dental booking provider in the UK.

Who do you admire?

We have some great people working here, I admire them. My wife is pretty incredible! When it comes to business, Paddy Holohan, who founded NewBay, and was Chairman of is certainly worth a mention, he sits on our board.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

We certainly could have been better prepared for growth and for the very unique set of challenges that brings. I believe that investing in senior management is crucial when your business is growing quickly. Start ups have to be flexible, and it’s hard to hang on to that lean mentality over time, however not having structures in place to cope with scaling up can be a hindrance in the long run.  It’s all about finding the right balance between innovation and process.

What defines your way of doing business?

We value three things at WhatClinic – innovation, transparency and people. Innovation is at the heart of everything we do. We believe in transparency because we believe that people make better decisions when they have all the information. And lastly, respect for people, whether they be staff, users or customers, is a mark of how we do business.

What advice would you give someone starting out?

Don’t sweat the metrics too often. There’s too much volatility and it’s not good for your mental health.