This year marks New Ventures BC’s 20th anniversary of supporting tech innovation in BC. We are celebrating our 20 years of impact by interviewing those who made the past two decades so special.
Jane Software is a company that is no stranger to success. Since placing second in the New Ventures Competition in 2016, the company has evolved into a scalable organization with 135 employees and is now on its way to be the preferred practice management software used by a variety of allied health disciplines around the world.
We reached out to co-founder Alison Taylor to hear what’s new with Jane Software and how the company navigates growth and evolving their business while still staying true to the heart of their company.
What has been the most surprising development with Jane Software since you were in the Competition?
We definitely grew internationally in a way that we weren’t expecting. I look back at the Competition and see now that our ambitions for Jane were too small. Our feedback from the Competition was that we should think bigger, but at the time we were still so small and growth was hard to wrap our heads around.
In Canada, success is a company getting 50 million dollars and selling out, but we have bigger ambitions than that. We want to be the best and we want to be the first choice for health care practitioners and patients around the world. We have a multi-layer plan and we are right now just on one layer, but the goal is to go global.
Anything you know now that you wish you knew when first starting out with Jane?
That question is hard for me! I’m a present person and live in the present 100% of the time, so it is difficult to imagine the past looking any different because everything, in combination, created what we are now. If I was to give myself advice, I think it would have been helpful to know that our company was going to look different than other companies and that we didn’t have to follow similar paths to success. Many times we questioned whether we were doing something wrong because we didn’t want to do it the same as a lot of other people. I am happy we had the confidence to stand up for what we believed was right for our company and do it our way.
I always compare it to raising a family. Every family is going to be completely different, just like every company. In fact, raising kids and growing a startup are super similar! You’re always going to be able to find a hundred articles that will support your decisions, but you’ll also find a hundred articles telling you it’s the wrong way to do it. You have to be confident that you really do know your business and not feel like there’s a right way to do it because there isn’t.
What have been your biggest challenges so far as a company?
Right now it is scaling and having to keep up with growth, which I think is a good challenge to have. We are at 135 people now. When we entered the Competition we only had around 10 people working with us. That feels like a lifetime ago! Now we are a completely different company, learning how to lead differently and create company organizations or as we call it “cre-orging”. We are fairly new to scaling and it is challenging to figure out how to do that successfully while remaining true to the heart of our company.
What does success look like for Jane Software?
We say growth is our goal, but not at the expense of the delight of our staff or our customers. Our official goal is to be the number one choice of practice management software by Allied Healthcare practitioners around the world, but you can also say our goal is to help people, help people which I find to be more of an inspiring goal.
We want to be the big fish, but there is a lot we will not give up for our goals. We celebrate growth internally, but we are not a sales-based organization, which I guess is kind of a weird dichotomy.
How would you describe NVBC’s impact on the tech community?
I think NVBC Competition does a service to the BC tech community by distilling good companies and bringing them into public view at an early stage. Having a cash prize competition and giving companies the opportunity to get in front of investors is phenomenally helpful.
Every year I look at companies in the Competition because it gives you a good idea of what is going on in the BC tech scene and who the up-and-coming companies are. It’s like a vetting process for investors because the final round of the Competition reliably has good companies that are at a great early investment stage. We had interest from investors early on and it was most likely because of our involvement in the Competition.
Share your #2020nvbcimpact story
This year marks our 20th anniversary of supporting tech innovation in BC! We are inviting NVBC Competition alumni, mentors, volunteers, accelerator participants, and ISI grant recipients to share your impact story by completing a short form on how you feel NVBC supported you and sparked innovation in the tech sector.