Ali El-Ali is the CEO and co-founder of CURE. He's the one behind all strategic decisions and leading the way on how CURE will revolutionize the health industry.
"Just get shit done" could well be one of his life's mottos, CURE's co-founder Ali El-Ali tells me, "with a plan, of course." Without perfect execution, the coolest idea is no good.
He should know: At just 26, Ali is already an experienced founder, having CURE as his third company. His biggest motivation in doing so is having a real impact on changing society in a positive way. He says: "I realized that I'd like to give something back to my community and make the world a little better by solving problems - that motivates me immensely."
Ali has a lot planned with CURE
For parents, for example, limited pharmacy hours are a real problem when a child gets sick on Sundays or late at night. Visiting an emergency pharmacy is an additional stress factor. Plus, 70 percent of prescriptions are follow-up. "That could all be done remotely."
In the future, CURE will be much more than a delivery company. By 2024, he said, CURE wants to become a one-stop-shop healthcare platform across Europe, allowing people to improve their health anywhere.
"We want every sick person to have a way to act self-determinedly and generally make decisions about their health. If you're sick, you shouldn't have to leave your place. That's what we want to achieve for people."
Ali deliberately defines the term health broadly
He said he realizes that the definition of health has changed significantly in recent years. And he wants CURE to reflect that.
"Three years ago, health was a physical aspect. Today - especially after Corona - emotional, social, and mental health are coming more into focus."
In an increasingly fast-paced society, he said, people must manage their energy and health well. "We take on many daily roles: father, founder, friend, brother, etc. Juggling that takes strong health."
He said apps could help, but there is not yet a centralized app that maps all the health aspects - and CURE wants to change that, too. "There are thousands of apps for everything, and that bugs me. I want to have everything centered. Through us, people can maintain and improve their health."
With nutrition tips, for example, CURE connects you with your doctor by allowing you to book appointments through the app and even by receiving medication within 45 minutes.
Inspiration and a support system are everything
Where does Ali get all his strength and motivation? He draws inspiration from many founders, "but it doesn't have to be people who are in Forbes magazine."
Ali's immediate environment is an important support system that gives him much energy. Also, he can talk to them about problems instead of bottling everything up. "You are not weak if you communicate this," he says. He has also learned that in recent years, not only as a founder but also as a person.
Less than two weeks into his business psychology degree and master's in business administration focusing on behavioral psychology, he worked for a large German company. Ali quickly realized that working in a corporation and being an employee was not his cup of tea.
From social investment to micro-mobility
So he tried small projects and founded his first company, AE Invest. Even here, he aimed to make a difference in society: He uses the investor platform to network Lebanese and Cuban projects with European investors. But Cuba and Lebanon are too politically turbulent to rely on it for business, and Ali El-Ali opts for an exit.
When TIER, LIME, and Co. came to Germany in 2019, Ali founded GreenLog Mobility and dedicated himself to increasing efficiency in battery swapping and setting up scooters and e-bikes. The company runs successfully, and the work was fun - but Ali was missing something: the social benefit. At the same time, he meets his current business partner Manuel Aberle in a mobility hub.
First friends, then business partners
The two hit it off right away. A friendship develops; they start a company together. Ali appreciates Manu's calm manner and the fact that he only speaks up when something is fundamental. Ali can always take something essential away from his conversations and learn something new.
Business-wise, Manu shares Ali's aspiration to improve society. "We've both found that we can't give back in the micro-mobility space."
That this point is so close to his heart may also be rooted in his family background: Ali was born and raised in Berlin, but his roots are in Lebanon. His parents fled to Europe in 1976 to escape the civil war. Ali has therefore made it his mission to show the people of his community that it is possible to start a business and convince investors of your merits even if you have a migration background.
Ali wants to be a role model for the migrant community
Although 70% of his family are self-employed, this is mainly due to their cultural background: in Lebanon, many people are forced to be self-employed because the structures work differently. An entrepreneur is something else:
"As a startup founder, for example, you have entirely different expansion plans than someone who runs a pub. It's a systematic problem. I think it's also related to how investors distribute their money."
Most of the money went to white men. He said this problem equally affects women, blacks, people of color, and people with immigrant backgrounds.
For Ali, this is also a question of media representation:
"The guy who gets 100 million euros is called Daniel and not Bilal."
He says this can make people feel that only white men are pulling up successful startups. "I think any founder who has a background like mine gives a boost in the right direction."
The healthcare industry has a lot of room for improvement
With this approach, it's little wonder that Ali sees potential for improvement, especially in the healthcare industry, which is often criticized.
He says everyone has an opinion on this topic because it affects everyone. But it's good when people articulate problems, "that allows founders to take that up and improve the market."
The very complex healthcare system in Germany and other European countries urgently needs an update:
"Of course, lobbies and rigid systems are behind it, but mostly the problem lies in technical systems."
Many pharmacists want innovations but are not up to date. CURE wants to be that interface and platform. "We want to drive digitalization in the healthcare sector by connecting customers with doctors and pharmacists."