Today the BizSpark Startup of the Day is DocCenter, a startup developing on-demand document management solution. The company is currently hiring and will look for funding in the next few months. Interesting anectod: The CTO of the company, Tu Nguyen, won the Imagine Cup competition a few years ago when he was still a student.
Interview with Todd Fishback, CEO of DOCCENTER
Who are you?
DOCenter, Inc. (d.b.a. DOCCENTER) is a Nebraska-based company. The Company developed DocLanding, an on-demand document management solution. DocLanding delivers enterprise-class document management functionality to small and medium-sized businesses in compliance related industries like investment brokerage and billing and collection. The solution leverages Software as a Service (SaaS) to eliminate the complexity and costs associated with traditional document management systems. DocLanding’s POINT (Personal Online INformation Terminal) concept allows secured and controlled collaboration between multiple parties with a single sign-on to share documents and content.
How do you feel being the most promising “Company of the Day” per Microsoft?
We are ecstatic about this honor. This opportunity will allow us to showcase the value of our DocLanding solution, and allow us to promote our productivity tool, built on Microsoft platforms, to our target audiences that regularly use other Microsoft-based products.
What did you do before creating your company?
I was previously a certified public accountant and then moved on to a business development role for a medical billing firm. It was while I was working with the medical billing firm that the idea of web-based document management was birthed. Our Vice President of IT, Tu Nguyen, was a student with the Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha , NE when he joined us as an intern. Tu worked tirelessly to train himself as a creative software developer. Tu’s creativity and programming skills led him to become Microsoft’s inaugural Imagine Cup winner for the development of a PDA-based restaurant order taking application that took orders in English and converted them into Vietnamese for the kitchen staff. Team ? Todd Fishback is the President and Tu Nguyen is the Vice President of IT. track record ? This is Todd and Tu’s first technology endeavor, but Todd’s financial background and Tu’s software development background have created an excellent business mix.Our CEO (Mr. QI Guosheng) was a summer intern at MSRA, before graduating with top honors in Computer Science from Tsinghua University. Mr. Qi then recruited three Tsinghua classmates to form Gridsum, hired several others with deep business experience, and received the support of two famous Tsinghua professors.
How did you get the idea?
The idea came from the high volumes of paper medical practices battled when filing insurance claims. Medical practices receive thousands of explanation of benefit statements (EOB’s) when being reimbursed by insurance companies. The paper not only created issues for the storage of statements, but also required several staff members to manually retrieve, distribute to collection personnel, and re-file. Many offices are distributed, so problems existed with routing the statements to other offices. We saw the opportunity to leverage the web, to allow healthcare clients to instantly manage and access these critical documents. What s the genesis? In 2006, Tu and his application development team embarked on the design of DocLanding based on the knowledge he and I had gained from working with medical billing and collection companies. Tu recognized that Microsoft’s .NET platform would not only allow us to speed the development of the application, but provide the scalability that would be needed to launch a SaaS-based product.
What do you sell? What is your company's mission?
Our product is DocLanding, an enterprise-level document management solution designed for small to medium sized businesses. What is your company’s mission? Provide continued value to our clients by delivering innovative technology solutions for their growing businesses.
What is your market?
Our market is small and medium sized businesses in billing and collection services, investment brokerage services, and architectural and engineering firms.
The Company has received seed funding of $1.2 million from Angel Investors. The Company is preparing to seek an A Series round of funding for $3.5 million.
None to date.
The Company is expecting significant growth in SaaS subscriptions in the next six months. The DocLanding application was just launched at DEMOfall 2008 and resources are being committed to sales, marketing, and distribution efforts.
The Company has had subscribers from Asia, Europe, and the United Kingdom. A key reason for delivering the application through the SaaS model is the ability to reach international markets.
The Company has 8 enterprise-level clients and has 250 new client registrations since launching DocLanding at DEMOfall 2008. References? Tom Haley–CIO Creighton Medical Associates 402-280-1862, Mike Anthofer–Director of IT Signature Performance LLC 402-343-0300, Vic Stannish CIO at DOT.Comm 402-444-6053 reference for why Omaha and Douglas County chose DocLanding. Partners? In development of reseller channels. You want to quote We have customer testimonials we could provide.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have six developers including Tu Nguyen and one contractor.
Are you hiring? Where?
Yes, the Company is currently building out the remainder of its executive team and seeking highly skilled marketing, sales, and operations backgrounds with document management and Software as a Service (SaaS) experience.
We are looking to staff at our headquarters in Omaha, NE, as well as the West Coast and Southwest.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We built the backend of the system using Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, LINQ to SQL, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2005. ASP.NET and Yahoo User Interface Library (YUI) 2.5 were utilized for the frontend application development.
These platforms were selected by our team because they offered the performance we were looking for, as well as providing the needed scalability. Making it easier for us to grow DocLanding without being hindered by outdated technology. Further, the Microsoft platforms are all well-documented making our development time more effective resulting in our delivery of DocLanding over a shorter development timeline. Finally, deployment using these technologies is fast and easy.
Do you have any IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?
DocLanding is the Company’s primary IP. In addition, the Company has patents pending on DocLanding processes and features.
To our knowledge DocLanding is the first to provide web-based annotation capabilities. Image files can be redacted (blacked out), highlighted, despeckled, and deskewed. DocLanding also allows many file types to be viewed with no download, including Microsoft Office 2007 and Photoshop without the software needing to run resident on the PC.
Who’s your role model?
Todd: Walter Payton. I am a competitive sports minded individual and “Sweetness” epitomized a hard work ethic and classy personality.
Tu: I have several role models, from my daughter and wife who remind me of what is really important in life, to my mother who has always supported and guided me to make the right decision. I also look at professional individuals who have succeed in life, and try to learn what I can from them.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet areas?
We see continued opportunities for cloud-based computing services. We are designing productivity tools to take advantage of the web’s ability to have access to critical information and productivity tools from anywhere at any time. Designing simple and useful productivity tools in our competitive workplaces will only grow in importance.
Looking for funding? If yes, how much?
The Company is preparing to seek an A Series round of funding for $3.5 million.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think?
We view this as a tremendous opportunity to facilitate the launch and maturity of the DocLanding offering. Microsoft’s identifying the services and tools they are offering through the program are significant costs for any organization especially startups. This program will allow us to maximize the commitment of resources to our go-to-market strategy and tactics.
Microsoft’s foresight in implementing this program will only enhance their status as the premiere enabler of innovation around the globe.
Are you going to join? Why?
Yes. You cannot put a value on what the exposure involvement in the program will provide or the impact receiving software at no cost will have on executing our business plan.
Any advice to young software entrepreneurs?
You cannot underestimate the importance of building your personal network or that things will generally take two to three times longer to execute than you plan. Patience and perseverance are must have qualities.
How do you feel about the crisis? What are YOU going to do?
It is unfortunate that much of the crisis is the result of mismanaged business operations and public trust. Fortunately we are a resilient nation and we will recover. It will take time to overcome the current financial crisis, but it should not deter entrepreneurs from living out their dreams.
We will watch very carefully how we expend and commit our financial and human resources. We will carefully monitor the market for signals that could create additional opportunities for us. Our technology is simple and affordable for all to deploy, and can provide an organization productivity tools needed to effectively compete in a difficult market.
Anything else you’d like to say?
We are committed to delivering our clients the best document management technology.