startup

Federico Cismondi, "From Postdoc to doDoc"

Some of our most interesting founders are immigrants. That is certainly the case with Federico Cismondi, a bioengineer from MIT. His path began at the foothills of the Andes and has led Federico and his co-founders to build a company, doDoc that is radically changing how the world’s technology leaders handle complex documents. This was a scintillating interview.

 

Highlights include:

  • doDoc is not your grandfather’s Google Docs, it’s more like Google Docs on super duper steroids.

  • doDoc allows users to do things no other platform offers, for example an owner can share a portion of a document, not the entire document.

  • On doDoc every piece of information is an object allowing great flexibility in privacy, accountability and presentation.

  • Pharmaceutical companies appreciate that every key stroke is instantly auditable. This saves a lot of time for auditors and significantly reduces the risk of mistakes.

  • doDoc’s founders are from Argentina and Portugal and yet was founded in Cambridge. It probably has the best soccer team of any Cambridge startup!

  • Los tres amigos, Carlos, Paulo & Federico knew they wanted to build a company but were searching for an idea. Their first idea was to help in scientific collaboration where massive documents are common.

  • Competition is MS Word, MS SharePoint, Viva. doDoc’s features make it valuable to integrate with existing offerings.

  • Techstars allowed doDoc to expand its connections to investors in Boston.

  • Portugal is becoming a dynamic place for startups.

  • A long journey to get product/market fit, now the company is focusing on scaling up

  • First pivot was from research to industry. Money sparing vs. time sparing.

  • Shortening the time to market for pharmaceutical companies is highly important economically.

  • Entry point includes the regulatory group, another is quality also R&D.

  • In early raises doDoc did not use mentors; now they do. Frankness and good communication are really essential.

  • doDoc manages investors with a formal and methodical sales process.

  • Federico was initially drawn into nuclear medicine by an inspiring teacher and eventually built a company in the space. An introduction to building software.

  • Federico’s advice is to hire fast. Get the new hires involved in hiring new people.

  • Read your family into the ups and downs of your company so they are prepared to support you.

  • The relationship with co-founders requires really good communication.