Celebrating tealbook’s first birthday and beating the odds
It’s hard to believe that 12 months ago today, I was sitting in front of my computer with an empty tealbook.
I had spent five years trying to kill the idea, not sure I wanted to add one more thing to my already busy life. I knew the odds of startups were low- although I purposely chose to ignore the actual data! But it was one of those ideas that I couldn’t shake off.
I had the unique opportunity to support sourcing needs for 30 –plus pharma and biotech companies. No matter how sophisticated or non-existent their procurement and sourcing departments were, all of my clients found it challenging to easily access supplier information and build institutional knowledge.
I knew there was an opportunity to make the process simpler and more efficient, generating stronger partnerships in the process.
After our tech team spent three months coding the initial platform, I started spreading the word on September 8, 2014. For the first couple of months, I spent 10-to-14 hours every day (and skipped a few meals) telling suppliers about my mission to provide better information to clients so that we could together, speed up and simplify the RFP process.
With tealbook, clients could quickly find suppliers best aligned with their specific requirements. Meanwhile, suppliers could focus their time and resources on opportunities that were well aligned with their experience and capabilities. tealbook was luckily extremely well-received and within days, suppliers started signing up and populating profiles.
Since then, we have :
1) generated revenue to support our growth and continued to develop a sophisticated and intuitive platform (a luxury for most startups);
2) welcomed the best suppliers from across the pharma and biotech industries. Suppliers use their profiles to differentiate their services and experience. They are responsible for keeping their profiles up-to-date and offering relevant content to their clients. Through our unique profiling and tagging process, we help suppliers generate more visibility and find relevant business opportunities.
3) grown an incredible senior team to support the business. Our commercial, sourcing and procurement experts are passionate about tealbook and have already added huge value to our platform. Bringing an idea to life can be a lonely journey, but luckily over the past few months, I have been able to surround myself with a dedicated team that understands first hand the value of tealbook and believes strongly in what we are building.
4) listened and learned so much. We launched a corporate platform that addresses many concerns from clients, and developed a tool that enhances – not competes – with their current processes. (No more excel spreadsheets to collect supplier data!) tealbook doesn’t require training or lengthy on-boarding, making it extra easy to implement. Tealbook is quickly becoming a powerful tool for procurement and sourcing managers to bring innovations and efficiencies to their organization.
5) built a strong group of key opinion leaders that will continue helping us add features that make tealbook more valuable and efficient. We have a few round-table sessions coming up, and we are supporting industry events including the MM&M awards and ProcureCon Pharma.
6) added new tools and features to help pharma and biotech better engage their employees, while improving the value of our data. Features such as MSA/CDA identification, network/parent company profile navigation, project tracker tools and our soon-to-launch app are just the beginning.
Over the last 12 months, we have beat many odds and will continue to forge ahead, making tealbook the most valuable source of suppliers information for the healthcare industry.
I know how fortunate I have been to be able to bring my vision to life. It has taken an incredible amount of work, but each milestones reached has been highly rewarding! I am immensely grateful for the support, advice and contributions received throughout this journey. Tealbook wouldn’t have made it this far without the support from each corner of our industry.
I am looking forward to the next 12 months and continuing to beat the odds.
Steph (firstname.lastname@example.org) | @tealbook | 416-660-4606