December 3, 2012
By: Fatema Fatakdawala
The Zymewire team approached the RIC Centre in February 2012 looking for mentorship and access to established entrepreneurs who could help them bring their technical innovation to market.
The co-founders, Pete Bastedo and Ryan Drake- Stoker, came from very different backgrounds prior to joining forces to build Zymewire. Ryan, an experienced software developer and technical team manager, has spent 15 years working in tech companies in a number of different industries. Pete comes from a biological sciences and business background having spent a number of years at the Canadian affiliate of a multinational pharmaceutical company in sales and marketing roles.
Through extensive customer development interviews and by following the methods of Steve Blank and other startup thought leaders, Pete and Ryan realized there was a significant opportunity to provide an online service to improve the way business-to-business sales professionals in any industry find and close high value service deals. The company is focused initially in the pharma and biotech industry to leverage their domain knowledge, but the core technology has applicability to a much wider number of verticals.
The relationship the Company has with the RIC Centre has influenced and improved almost all parts of the business. What started as an occasional phone call with the Entrepreneur in Residence for business plan feedback grew into multiple interactions within the RIC Centre network, including regular investment pitch deck feedback from a seasoned RIC Centre volunteer advisor, market research assistance from the in-house business analyst, sales and operations advice from two of the EIRs, and even product usability feedback from a RIC Centre advisor from the pharmaceutical industry.
In November 2012, the Zymewire team was awarded $30K in matching Venture Start funding through the RIC Centre to help fund the operations of the company. With additional runway in hand, the team is now squarely focused on the next stage of growth and bringing Zymewire to market.