Michael Ferguson is the co-founder and CEO of Ayogo, a Vancouver-based digital health company that has raised nearly $2.5 million to boost sales and marketing for a gaming platform that is designed to encourage people with chronic conditions to stay on their health care plans.
Michael Fergusson is not your typical CEO. With his dreadlocked mane and pearl-buttoned western shirt, it is evident that this individual dances to his own beat. The Jamaican-born entrepreneur who was part of a reggae band, is a self-made man who has made his mark in an ultra-casual world of high-tech Gastown start-ups.
Fergusson has natural leadership skills and a tech-savvy personality. He capitalised on the rise of the Internet when he established his first company in 2001. However, that did not fulfil his desire to make a positive impact on the world so in 2008 he joined forces with CTO Paul Prescod to form Ayogo. His objective was to inject fun into an otherwise serious illness and to create a business that was both meaningful and profitable. He says, “People living with chronic conditions often need to make very difficult changes to their lives, attitudes, routines. To support this herculean effort, they get 6-10 hours per year with their healthcare provider. Our mission is to be there, empowering them for the other 8,750 hours of their lives.”
Fergusson believes that the success of Ayogo is primarily because of his belief that business is not just about money but also about life and happiness. “Human beings are naturally joyful creatures and if you can give people moments of joy, you can really have a big impact on their lives,” he says.
Ever since he was a kid, Fergusson wanted to do something that mattered. He is excited to be at the forefront of using games to help people learn and improve their health. Before co-founding Ayogo, Fergusson held key positions at MovieSet, Uniserve and Blast Radius.He was named the 2012 Pacific Region Social Entrepreneur of the Year. His company Ayogo was #7 on the Journal of mHealth's list of 100 most innovative digital health companies in the world. In 2012, PharmaVoice 100 included him in the 100 most inspiring people in life sciences.
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