Founder Stories: Roland Achenjang of C2 Keep Safely and Efficiently Manages Controlled Substances

In pharmacies, much of the prescription management system is still manual and inefficient. What’s more: the room for error leaves space for mismanagement in controlled substances inventories, which fuels the opioid crisis we are experiencing in the United States. Although Roland Achenjang wasn’t originally planning on pursuing pharmacology—let alone starting a company around it—his life and spiritual path led him to seeing an opportunity to use his creativity to solve a major problem and leave a positive impact on the planet. Read on to learn about the origin story of Roland’s Keyhorse-backed company, C2 Keep.  

How did you become interested in the pharmacy profession?

I was unsure what to do after I graduated High School. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare or become a pilot—and my mother was not too thrilled about the latter. So, I was left with a choice in healthcare. My dad’s advice was to pursue pharmacy as a profession, but I thought being a medical doctor might be better. I remember asking one of my best friends in high school what he intended to be, and he said he wanted to be a pharmacist, which surprised and impressed me. I then did more research on both professions. I looked at how long I would be in school, future job openings, and also where I could go to school. In the end, pharmacy school was the best solution for me. And here we are. Twelve years after graduating, I am now the Founder and CEO of C2 Keep. I could never have predicted this.

What inspired you to be the founder of a company?

I’m inspired by many things, but primarily my desire to contribute to the betterment of both the patient's health and the healthcare worker's ability to help the patient. As pharmacy director, I enjoyed making it easier for my coworkers to leverage technology to be more efficient with their work. While solving many of the problems we all faced, I encountered a problem with the ways pharmacies and other healthcare providers manage their controlled substances inventory; these are drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone. The work was highly manual, inefficient, riddled with errors, and way more stressful than it needed to be. I couldn't find a viable solution in the market for our pharmacy, so in 2018, I began working on C2 Keep.

Parallel but supporting the above reason is my meditation practice, which began around 2014. It eventually led to my spiritually transformative experience, which caused a significant change in my understanding and perspective of life on Earth. It helped me remember that founding a company was, at its core, a creative expression of who I truly am. And doing so would inspire someone somewhere to do something they're passionate about—fully express themselves. It's like planting a seed if you will, to help another person remember that we (humans) are natural problem solvers and creative entities. Everything we do is an expression of this truth. 

Tell us about your team: Who’s on it, and how did you meet?

My team is fantastic. It is made up of David Galownia who is the CEO of Slingshot, a software and application development company founded in 2005 here in Louisville. He's serving as our Chief Technology Officer. Along with David, is Dan Murphy. Dan is serving as our Chief Strategy Officer. Dan is also the Executive Director for Slingshot Ventures. Slingshot Ventures partners with tech entrepreneurs, making their ideas a reality. We met here locally in Louisville when I called Slingshot to discuss developing the C2 Keep application.

I'm also supported by advisors including Sam Pizzo, who has 28+ years of experience in the pharmacy industry and successfully exited as the founder of Script Management Partners (SMP). And there is Steve Wubker, the former CEO of Transaction Data Systems (TDS) (RX30), a Pharmacy Management System. Steve grew TDS from 800 to 8500 customers and successfully exited. Sam and I met through contacts in the pharmacy industry and he introduced me to Steve.

...we are aware of how devastating the opioid crisis has been to many communities throughout the country, and in the long term, hope to be part of the solution.

Where do you see controlled substances inventory management headed in the near future?

In the future, controlled substance inventory management for pharmacies and other healthcare providers will be heavily digital. This will allow for the process to be streamlined, automated, and integrated within employee workflows. The advantages of leveraging technology to do this work include time and money savings, improved regulatory compliance, helping employers gain a competitive edge. The reason for this is that the future generation of healthcare workers and providers are, today, heavily dependent on technology for studying, entertainment, interacting with one another, and much more.

Also, following the recent opioid crisis, we are already seeing increased scrutiny, audits, and more attention paid to the controlled substances inventory activity within the entire healthcare system. Pharmacists can't stop taking care of patients to meet the new requirements, so inventory management today and in the future needs to be streamlined and more efficient. C2 Keep helps with this.

What does success look like to C2 Keep in the short term and long term?

In the short term, we are already experiencing success. Since launching in March of 2022, we now have customers in over 14 states who love how much more easily and efficiently C2 Keep allows them to manage their controlled substances inventory and improve their compliance. We anticipate the growth to continue as we add more customer-requested features to the application.

In the long term, our vision is to continue to support other healthcare providers (not just pharmacists). We are working to eliminate the paper trail exchanged between stakeholders in the controlled substances inventory ecosystem: drug wholesalers, pharmacies, state and federal regulatory bodies, nursing homes, reverse distributors, etc. We also want to improve reporting and data exchange between each of them.

Lastly, we are aware of how devastating the opioid crisis has been to many communities throughout the country, and in the long term, hope to be part of the solution. Even more, we are exploring ways to be proactive in preventing another crisis by including features in C2 Keep that make it hard for the diversion of drugs to occur within pharmacies and other healthcare provider locations.

Find out more about C2 Keep at Are you a startup based in or looking to relocate to Kentucky? Keyhorse’s current quarterly investment cycle is open until September 30th! Apply now.

Join Us

Are you a founder seeking capital?

Apply Now