Daniel Etra is the co-founder and current CEO of Rethink, a platform designed to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their caregivers through clinical best practice treatment tools, training, and supports based on data-driven, and evidence-based science. Rethink’s award-winning cloud-based online program is used by Fortune 500 companies, public school districts, behavioral health providers, government agencies, managed care organizations, and even families to deliver personalized and scalable care to this population. For its contribution to the society and extraordinary service, Rethink has received several honors such as being named among the most innovative and best healthcare companies consecutively over the years and has won numerous awards including Inc. 500 Award, Interactive Media Awards – Best in Class, Healthcare, AI Excellence Award – Most Outstanding for Inclusive Education Evidence-Based Treatment Solutions in, and CV Magazine Achievement Award – Best for Inclusive Education & Evidence-Based Treatment Solutions, and Mid-Atlantic Innovator & Entrepreneur Award and Global Excellence Award for Most Innovative Behavioral Health Software to name a few. Although it’s not just the organization that has made such an impact. For his leadership, philanthropic achievements, and dedication as an entrepreneur, Daniel was recognized as the CEO of the year and received the prestigious SmartCEO Future 50 Award. But where did Daniel find his impulse to empower people with special needs?
Rethink is a platform designed to support differently abled individuals and their caregivers through clinical best practice treatment tools, training, and supports based on data-driven, and evidence-based science.
Born and raised in New York City, Daniel completed his bachelor in Economics from Yale University in 1993 and afterward, pursued his MBA at Harvard University from 1998 to 2000. Starting his career as a consultant at Bain & Company, he quickly progressed to fulfilling bigger roles such as that of the Managing Director at Promodex Ltd. For a while, Daniel also served in the Israel Defense Forces and worked at Wasserstein Perella & Co, specializing in Mergers and Acquisitions for healthcare, technology, and the natural resources industry. Daniel soon began his journey as a serial entrepreneur and, gathering over 15 years of experience and expertise in the field, inn 2007, established his ultimate venture, Rethink to fulfill his purpose to have a positive impact on society. He says, “The desire is to not just build a successful business but one that also has an impact on the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as the vision to leverage technology to create a scalable solution that delivers a global solution. Using a proven methodology recommended by the medical community and a scalable platform, Rethink leads a team of education, clinical, business, and industry experts with a shared commitment to making best-practice treatment solutions available to every child with special needs.”
Since its establishment, under Daniel’s guidance and influence, Rethink has expanded its service and product portfolio to support all bodies surrounding the care of differently-abled people. Initially, the focus was on families caring for a dependent but now they are managing three divisions; Education, Employer and Behavioral Health where they provide treatment tools and supports for caregivers in public schools, Fortune 500 companies across over 100 countries and in the healthcare system serving public and private behavioral health agencies. Daniel asserts, “With a significant dearth of trained professionals (there are only approximately 30,000 Board Certified Behavioral Therapists) available to meet the needs of a growing population with a developmental disability (approximately 450 million individuals birth-21 globally), Rethink set out to create a scalable solution that would make clinical best practice treatment tools and supports available to the individual and their caregiver(s) no matter where they are located.”
“A constant striving to be the best that I can be and to seek to perform at the highest level in any task/endeavor, whether for fun or in a professional context. I hold myself to the highest standards and seek to drive the same in my colleagues.”
Rethink’s program includes a comprehensive online individualized treatment program with over 1500 video-based demonstrations which are created by world-renowned experts in the field based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to guide caregivers, parents, professional and para-professional staff how to manage different behavioral issues of a cognitively challenged individual and help them learn critical skills. To track their progress, the program provides data-based reports facilitating effective coordination across the care-team members and allows for robust data analytics on the results. In addition to this, Rethink acts as a form of job-embedded professional development for Program Specialists, enhance their credibility and potential to coach caregivers and other support staff. Rethink also offers some technology-based remote service options, ranging from short-term online consultations with its board-certified behavior therapists to on-going program development initiatives supported by an in-house team of clinicians. Apart from this, its practice management offering allows professionals to keep track of service authorizations and total cost of treatment as it relates to clinical outcomes. Daniel adds, “Rethink serves individuals at all levels of development and ages ranging from point of diagnosis through early adulthood.”
Rethink’s unique position in the marketplace can be easily attributed to its ability to offer a scalable and fully integrated solution to support the needs of the differentially abled and their caregivers, as well as its deep passion for having a social impact. Sharing an instance with the Aspioneer about how Rethink works in practice, Daniel explains, “One of the most critical needs in employee benefits is supporting employees caring for a child with a developmental disability such as autism or ADHD. Costco Wholesale decided to be proactive and offer unique supports such as the Rethink program to these employees, who make up nearly 20% of the workforce. As Donna Sexton, the Director of Employee Benefits at Costco noted: ’I can’t think of any benefits we’ve ever added to our suite that got so much attention and so many letters to our president, thanking him for bringing Rethink on, and what a difference it was going to make in their lives.’” Rethink constantly strives to be the best and approaches every problem in the market as an opportunity to innovate and enhance. Presently, they are in the middle of expanding their core product offering beyond treatment tools and supports for dependents and their caregivers to adults in the workforce population with special needs.
When asked how he manages to stay ahead in the game despite new developments in the field every day, Daniel says, “A constant striving to be the best that I can be and to seek to perform at the highest level in any task/endeavor, whether for fun or in a professional context. I hold myself to the highest standards and seek to drive the same in my colleagues.”
To all aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for their true calling and have a dream to win big in the business, Daniel offers this advice: “Find a problem in the market that is not yet addressed with an effective solution, develop a vision of a solution to address that problem, and surround yourself with capable people that are smarter than you to create a product that will solve the problem. And always continue to innovate and improve that solution!” says Daniel. “Despite what many may think, building a successful company does not happen overnight. There is the expression ‘the 10-year overnight success.’ This is particularly true for entrepreneurs and successful ones need to be willing to pivot their business strategy to respond to changing market conditions as well as to have the patience to play the long game and be willing and able to move the ball down the field a little bit each day.”