Tag Archive for: Startups

 Delve Health on Track to Transform Clinical Trials Worldwide

Traction Capital has invested in an on-going partnership with a local Minnesota MedTech company with experience in clinical studies around the world. Delve Health reduces clinical trial costs and accelerated drug development by bringing the trials to patient homes, enabling more accurate data collection, and processing from wearables, digital health apps and sensors. The Minneapolis venture capital firm looks forward to helping the company continue their expansion.

Delve Health’s end-to-end solution combines web, mobile, SMS and wearables to make clinical trials more accessible to a broader group of patients to increase patient diversity and engagement. Ultimately, Delve Health’s technology platform improves clinical trial outcomes for pharma and medical device companies.

“We are very excited about partnering with Traction Capital. Their investment will allow us to nearly double our staff, while updating and strengthening our platform—all of which will allow us to continue to effectively help patients around the world” says Wessam Sonbol, co-founder and CEO of Delve Health. Delve Health has already supported 100+ studies and 26 registries in a variety of therapeutic areas. Their clients include medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotech manufacturers; clinical research organizations (CROs); as well as specific therapeutic area organizations.

The founders, Wessam Sonbol and Tamer Swidan, each have over 20 years of experience in healthcare and technology industries—making them extremely qualified to enter the MedTech world. With big goals on the horizon, they are looking to hire for a variety of positions, including individuals with expertise in sales, marketing, operations, and software development. Follow Delve Health as well as Traction Capital’s LinkedIn pages for more details and up-to-date information.

As they begin putting their investment to use, they plan to grow their team, expand their marketing efforts, and continue to work on product enhancements.

Key advantages of Delve Health’s solution include:

  • Access to a large, diverse patient pool
  • Reduction in patient burden and increase in patient data
  • Minimized patient dropouts

Traction Capital and Delve Health are delighted to partner in pursuit of this growth opportunity. With similar principles, Traction Capital looks forward to helping Delve Health enhance their values and achieve high growth. “The Traction Capital team is looking forward to working with Delve Health as they remain focused on growing their business and making clinical trials more accessible to a greater number of people. We believe the industry is ready to embrace Delve Health’s innovative solution to virtual and hybrid clinical trials (e.g., decentralized clinical trials (DCTs)), which is validated by their growing number of contracts with major clinics around the world. We are excited to work with Wessam and his team as we implement processes and leverage our experienced network to add value and grow the business,” says Shane Erickson, Founder and Managing Partner of Traction Capital.

 

By Ellie Pigott

In the midst of a labor shortage, seeking the right talent for your startup may seem intimidating. But you might be in luck.

People are leaving their jobs because they want something new and different, and working for a startup that shares their values could be a strong point of attraction.

Attracting good talent doesn’t always have to mean fancy offices and catered lunch. We’ll outline five key things to keep in mind when hiring during this unpredictable time.

1.     Offer Remote Work

In a post-pandemic world remote working has become very normalized. In 2022, statistics show nearly 60% of Americans work at least part time remotely. While it is important to have rapport between team members, offering optional remote is a great way to keep up with today’s changing societies.

If you haven’t yet integrated this or you’re wary of committing to fully remote, offer some in between options. Set a two or three day a week minimum for in office work and let your work force determine the rest of the week.

Even if you may think your employees prefer working in person, giving them the power to choose allows them to feel like a more valued member of your company.

However, be careful when offering this, don’t throw around promises you can’t keep. If the kind of work you’re seeking requires someone fully in person, be upfront.

2.   Develop a Strong Mission, Vision and Values

More than ever, people are seeking work that they align with, not just from a skillset perspective, but with their mission as well.

Has your company dedicated time to construct your mission statement? If so, is that mission statement somewhere potential employees can see it?

Displaying your mission statement on your website or LinkedIn is a great way to show people what you’re about when they’re considering applying. It’s important that your mission statement actually holds your values. A generic mission statement isn’t any better than not having one at all.

Take Patagonia for example, their mission is to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to protect nature, and not bound by convention”.

People strive to work for their company not just because they have openings in product design, but because their personal values align with that of the company’s.

By having a mission statement or core values and showcasing them in your job description, you’ll be more likely to find candidates who align with your work. This then increases the chances of them sticking around.

3.   Don’t Sacrifice Values for Convenience

When the need for labor is high it can be easy to sacrifice values for a quick and easy hire. However, this type of convenient mistake can often lead to high turnover and dissatisfaction by both the employer and the employee.

Your company’s values are at the core of what you do, if you don’t have employees that align with them it’s impossible to be confident in their ability to deliver on those values to your customers.

Remember, values are soft skills that greatly affect someone’s work but can’t be taught. On the contrary, hard skills may be more directly related to the specific position but can be learned by someone who may not be an expert.

If someone is a good fit for your company but lacks some of the hard skills in your job description, consider finding ways to incorporate that needed hands-on learning in their first month of onboarding.

4.  Include Statements to Deter People

A large contributor to the labor shortage is employees being unhappy in their jobs or employees leaving their jobs shortly after accepting due to being misled.

Oftentimes the job description does not fit the reality. To help avoid this turnover many businesses are turning to “what we’re not” statements.

This sets realistic expectations with those applying. Some companies will even go as far as to include statements like “you are not the right fit if you…”. While it may sound harsh to some, you’re saving yourself time in the interview process by weeding out people who don’t meet your company’s needs.

By including “what we’re not” statements, you’re establishing a level of trust and honesty with the applicants. You’re being upfront in ways other companies aren’t and you’re saving them time that they could use to apply for jobs they might be a better fit for.

5.   Provide More Than a Salary

Fair compensation and benefits are a must, but nowadays employees are looking for more.

Consider what additional unique advantages your company can provide. This could be strategic growth, individualized mentorship, extra certifications relevant to the role, and more.

The level at which a potential employee feels they can grow as an individual may be the deciding factor between your company and another. Being “taken care of” by an employer has an entirely new meaning than it did 20 years ago.

Your company might be their next job but it’s unlikely to be their last. They want to know your company is dedicated to their growth. And when the time comes, they’ll be prepared for whatever comes next.

The Next Step

With a toolkit of good practices in mind it’s time to start drafting your job description. Remember that transparency and honesty are both at the core of finding a great new member of your team.

By being open about your company’s values, growth opportunities and offerings, you’ll be sure to find a candidate who aligns well with your role.

If you have specific questions about hiring or how to help your startup succeed, reach out to us at peyton@tractioncapital.com.

Traction Capital has invested in a Minnesota Technology company revolutionizing the way people fly fish. The company provides anglers with the knowledge and technology to optimize their trout fishing experience. The Minneapolis venture capital firm looks forward to helping TroutRoutes grow their platform as they tackle the U.S market.

TroutRoutes is revolutionizing a sport that began over 1,000 years ago. Their mobile app and desktop service provides anglers with maps of public streams, water conditions, access points, elevation levels, GPS services, locations of local fly shops and more.

“What we’re most excited about is the mentorship and integrated approach to Traction as a capital partner,” says TroutRoutes founder Zach Pope. “The next phase of our project will require more than an early product and an excited early adopter cohort; we’ll need structure, process and people and I can’t think of a better partner for this than Traction Capital and the leadership with Shane Erickson.”

TroutRoutes is already active in 33 states and has mapped over 25,000 streams. With over 100,000 users, they are changing the way new and accomplished anglers experience trout fishing.

Founder Zach Pope is an avid trout angler himself and noticed firsthand the opportunity in the market. In addition to angling, Pope also has experience in technology engineering and management in the medical device space with a Masters in Management of Technology from the University of Minnesota. TroutRoutes has grown rapidly in 2022 and now has 4 employees, with several active openings in technology (software engineering), marketing and operations.

As TroutRoutes begins putting their investment to use, they plan to grow their team, expand to the rest of the U.S and continue to work on product enhancement.

Key advantages of TroutRoutes include:

  • Every trout stream with proprietary rating system
  • Public land access
  • GPS and Navigation
  • 750,000 Designated Access Points
  • Real-time Stream Flows and Elevation Map
  • Personal Notebook (make notes, create markers, plan trips)

Traction Capital and TroutRoutes are excited to join forces during this period of rapid growth. With strong entrepreneurial spirit, Traction Capital looks forward to helping Zach grow his team with more like-minded, hardworking individuals. “Zach is an incredibly smart and driven individual. The Traction Capital team and I are very impressed by the platform he’s developed and can’t wait to see the company accelerate as he grows his team,” says Shane Erickson, Founder and Managing Partner of Traction Capital.

B2B sales company, Saltbox, has received a $500,000 investment from Traction Capital to finish out their $675,000 raise. The Minneapolis-based company is revolutionizing the way B2B organizations improve the buying experience of their customers. As Saltbox continues to grow, Traction Capital looks forward to working closely with their team.

Saltbox is a Salesforce startup that helps to digitize, personalize and automate a B2B consumer’s buying experience. With their extensive knowledge of Salesforce, they are able to improve storefront experiences and purchases, in addition to streamlining order management. As B2B buyer personas shifts, B2B buyers are expecting more B2C– like experiences and Saltbox assists organizations in identifying and catering to that shift.

“The investment and partnership from Traction Capital will play a pivotal role in helping Saltbox accelerate our mission of helping B2B companies reimagine the buying experiences of their customers through the use of Salesforce. I’m also excited to bring Traction’s experience as operators to our board of directors, as their guidance will be just as important as their capital as we look to scale the business and capitalize on the tremendous opportunity for rapid growth that the salesforce ecosystem provides,” says David Blue, founder of Saltbox.

The company strives to deliver engaging, frictionless, B2C-like buying experiences to their customers. Unlike their competitors, Saltbox specializes in B2B commerce and order management, with capabilities spanning the entire Salesforce platform. Their expertise and ability to serve end-to-end buyer transformation use-cases also helps them stand out. Saltbox’s three main industries of focus include manufacturing/consumer goods, high-tech/software and medical devices/pharma.

For the immediate future David’s focus will be expanding their software, growing their team, and continuing to innovate within the company. They are currently hiring a Salesforce Account Executive, multiple positions within the delivery organization, and will continue to post as more positions become available. Check out their LinkedIn for more details.

Both experts in their field, Traction Capital and Saltbox are eager to join forces. “We are excited by David’s extensive experience in the field and his ambition to make Saltbox succeed. Traction Capital looks forward to helping Saltbox grow their team and continue to innovate with the implementation of EOS. Our Traction team believes Saltbox has what it takes to transform the way B2B organizations interact and we are eager to help them accomplish that,” says Shane Erickson, founder and Managing Partner of Traction Capital.

Traction Capital has invested $500,000 in Froogle, a Software company that focuses on the hospitality industry. The company utilizes its location-based technology and online ordering software to help small and medium sized businesses draw in new consumers while also saving money and manpower. The Minneapolis venture capital firm is excited to be a key partner in Froogle’s growth and development.

Froogle is a SaaS startup that uses its technology to enable restaurants to offer mobile contactless order and pay for pickup and delivery. This software is free for businesses to use. Froogle also assists with social media, marketing/advertising and web development, this lessens the marketing hassle for restaurants and helps them compete with their larger competitors.

“When I met Shane and Brian at Traction Capital I felt they understood the vision of Froogle and what it offers to small and medium size businesses. I am extremely impressed with Traction Capital, their knowledge and support in growing businesses is what attracted me to them. Froogle’s Free online ordering software and assistance in helping with marketing, advertising and web development takes a lot of pressure off the small business owner.  We are growing so fast that we are seeing 15-20% month to month growth,” says, Michael Juszczak ,founder and CEO of Froogle.

Froogle currently has clients across 25 states and they have seen over a 90% retention rate. As Froogle continues to grow, they are looking to hire 8 employees in a variety of different roles including sales, social media manager and a content manager. Keep an eye on Froogle as well as Traction Capital’s LinkedIn for more details.

Key advantages and features of Froogle include:

  • Free White label ecommerce platform
  • Online marketing
  • Web development
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Cost Reduction for restaurants

Traction and Froogle are excited to focus on growth and more national expansion. With both companies’ EOS backgrounds, the joining of forces will only drive more success. “Mike and Corey of Froogle specifically sought out our Traction Capital team at Twin Cities Startup Week in fall of 2021. Their experience and interest in running Traction EOS aligns perfectly with Traction Capital’s thesis and value add. Mike and Corey are hustlers, go getters and have what it takes to be successful with Froogle in a high demand marketplace, while adding value to their customers,” says Brian Cox, Integrator and President at Traction Capital.

After raising $500,000 in capital in recent months, ControlBright is set for growth and has chosen veteran technology executive and private equity trailblazer Barbara Stinnett to lead the charge. Stinnett’s role as President began on 3/15/2022.

Barbara Stinnett is a highly respected industry executive who brings a wealth of global leadership experience in high-tech organizations. Stinnett served and led operationally in the C Suite at Hewlett Packard, Sybase/SAP, Oracle, & Cisco where she was directly responsible for global sales, services, and support groups. She was also the first female CEO for one of the largest global Private Equity firms. In 2008, she founded Timmaron Group, based on her passion to work with companies to address their strategic desires by applying technologies to be the best they can be.

“Barb brings unparalleled leadership skills and a deep skill set in technology,” says ControlBright Founder Chad Behling. “We are excited to have her join our team. With her industry acumen, financial expertise, and extensive connections, we have no doubt that Barbara will position ControlBright for considerable growth.”

Stinnett holds degrees in International Business and Management Information Technologies, Applied Technologies, and International Studies from the University of Wisconsin. She is a National Association of Corporate Directors certified fellow and seasoned board member serving on over 15 public, private, and non-profit boards.

Over the next year and beyond, Stinnett and ControlBright will work to build out their team to scale up production and sales. With Stinnett in place, Behling will be able to shift his focus to spending time on the company vision and areas of the business he is best at.