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Capital Efficient Entrepreneurship: Janet Kosloff, CEO of InCrowd (Part 4)

Posted on Monday, May 2nd 2016

Sramana Mitra: These are corporate accounts. You have to do an enterprise sale to get this to the purchase system?

Janet Kosloff: Our clients, being pharmaceutical companies, have a pretty onerous procurement process. Almost every one of our clients require, what they call, a Master Services Agreement. It’s a whole process and a thorough review that you have to go through before you could even accept a PO from them. Even if they haven’t purchased anything from you yet, in order for them to consider purchasing something from you, you have to get a Master Services Agreement.

Luckily, that’s something I spent a lot of time doing at my last job. I knew the process. I understood how to navigate that. We were able to get some of these Master Services Agreements pretty quickly. What that does is it gives you a license to hunt, essentially, within these companies. A company like Merck for example has many different brands and many different functional areas.

A company like ours could have 20 different subscriptions within Merck. For the most part, we sell subscriptions brand-by-brand or on a function area basis. We do have several clients who are approaching seven figures. When those companies start to spend a million dollars with one vendor, the procurement people start to come out and want to talk to you about more of an enterprise relationship and how they can get the most value. We are having discussions at that level now with several clients.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s go back to this January 2012 timeframe when you brought on Launchpad and brought $350,000 in seed capital. What happens next?

Janet Kosloff: Then we were able to bring on some people. That’s when we found the person who’s now our CTO. When we hired him, he was the Director of Software Development. He was the one who essentially led the charge to rebuild our application so that we could scale and develop it in a way that we could quickly iterate features and make improvements and grow. We brought him on. We brought on some of the folks who started to develop the different functional areas within our organization.

We have a crowd team. One of our first hires was the Director of Crowd Services because it’s a very important aspect of our company to have the crowd available to answer the questions. We brought in some client service folks. We realized pretty early on that even though our application was developed to be do-it-yourself in the vertical we’re servicing, having a client service team was still important for a couple of reasons. One reason was that these folks weren’t necessarily comfortable with using technology, and needed some tech support to get oriented and learn how to use the technology.

Also, we realized that people wanted  someone to bounce things off of. Am I asking the right crowd? Is there a better way to phrase this question? Without that, folks didn’t really have the confidence to launch those surveys. We launched a client service team that services the need of our clients. Of course, we started to add things like accounting. We got an office space. We just started to add the pieces to the pie, and Diane and I don’t have to do everything anymore.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Capital Efficient Entrepreneurship: Janet Kosloff, CEO of InCrowd
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