New Brunswick’s elandas is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company offering a variety of enablement tools for sales and marketing leaders in the life sciences sector.
CEO Ryan Roberts says the company began with a solution to help customers (pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies) streamline the process of getting customized marketing resources through rigorous approval processes.
The success of their initial product (Pull-Through Express) led to elandas turning an eye towards its customers’ other challenges. The Coverage Tracker solution collects data inputted by a company’s salespeople, moving it through reviews and approvals as well. The resulting data sets are then used to create executive dashboards for strategic decision making.
With the company launching a new mobile product—eGenerate—Opportunities NB (ONB) decided to check in with Ryan Roberts to learn more.
ONB: Where are your customers?
Roberts: We’ve done most of our business in the U.S. We’re starting to gain real traction in Canada, however, and have had interest abroad. We recently received an inquiry from Switzerland as a direct result of the success one of our customers is having with our marketing solution.
Is need for your offerings greater in the U.S.?
The challenges we solved in the early going were fairly unique to the U.S. market. Much of that was driven by changes in insurance coverage, which isn’t as big of a factor in Canada. We know now though that our data collection and sharing solutions have mass appeal. The explosion of data has made our solutions more relevant as we’ve moved forward. Data is so readily available now, and personalization is increasingly prevalent.
It used to be about showing people the top insurance plans in their state. Then it became more granular — what are the top plans in an urban centre? Now in some instances, it’s down to the most relevant plan for a particular doctor’s office. It’s gotten increasingly laser-focused, and our presentations get more custom-tailored for their audience. Our solutions are really helping sales reps avoid wasting a health practitioner’s time.
You returned to New Brunswick from Alberta. What do you see as benefits of establishing the business here?
There’s a better support system here for a business our size. The NB business community is closely-knit and highly supportive. I was fortunate to get involved with the Wallace McCain Institute’s Entrepreneurial Leaders Program (ELP) for example. I’ve connected with truly incredible mentors via that program; it’s a great group of smart people you can lean on.
We also took part in Propel ICT‘s Launch36. We have fantastic resources like that here for entrepreneurs, not enough people know that.
Finally, we’ve been able to assemble an excellent team in New Brunswick. We have quality people here that are extremely loyal, and offer our customers outstanding support.
Speaking of support for businesses, can you touch on ONB’s role with elandas?
Public sector assistance in New Brunswick has been great. ONB, as well as ACOA and NRC, have helped with funding to offset much of our R&D costs. We intend to do more recruiting, and ONB is assisting us with each new hire. We’ve also been part of ONB-led conferences and trade missions that have helped our export development efforts.
Finally, any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Startup culture in New Brunswick has grown tremendously over the past few years. It’s much more fleshed out than it was even three years ago. If you have a good idea, don’t be afraid to pursue it. There is plenty of support here, and a slew of people willing to help you realize your vision.
I think it’s important to try, and if you’re going to fail, try to do it quickly. Learn from it all, success and failure. I’ve learned plenty of lessons the hard way, and there are a ton of lessons learned at failed startups. We’ve had challenges at our company, and every entrepreneur I speak with has their share of war stories. If you really believe in the idea, stick with it.
Written by Jason Boies
Cover image via Flickr