The Winston-Salem chapter of Startup Grind hosted their inaugural fireside chat in May at Flywheel Cowork in Winston-Salem, NC.
The featured speaker for our first fireside chat was Doug Pierce, the President of Clinical Ink. Doug Pierce has more than 20 years of experience in digital forms technology, mobile data capture, healthcare workflow solutions and web portal design. In 2007, Doug co-founded Clinical Ink to revolutionize clinical trials by eliminating the complexities and costs associated with paper-based data capture processes.
"If I can do it, anyone can." - Doug Pierce
Doug began his career as an English teacher in a private school. After spending 15 years in the education field, he began his transition into medical records by developing a company with his father in 1997 that was focused on paper record-keeping forms. The forms were convenient and clever, but nonetheless, they were still paper forms.
In 1998, electronic medical records emerged in the market, and slowly, Doug began losing customers who were transitioning into the medical recording devices. However, those same customers missed the convenience of Doug's paper forms, and he was continuously asked if he could make an electronic form that was similar to his paper forms. It was around this time that Bill Gates announced the tablet idea, and that Doug noticed that the digital record-keeping was all around him. "How is it possible that the FedEx guy delivering packages had better technology than the medical industry?"
Faced with a solution, but not knowing what the exact problem was, Doug created a tablet prototype. At that same time, his son began dating Anna Claire Littlejohn - the daughter of a prominent doctor in town. One day, Anna Claire saw Doug's tablet, and asked him to explain it to her.
Two days later, Anna Claire came back to Doug's house, and said her dad, Dr. Littlejohn, wanted Doug to call him. "Like every father, I feared the day that I had to call my son's girlfriend". Doug mustered up some courage, and placed a call to Dr. Littlejohn. Once they were on the phone together, Doug realized that this phone call was in reference to his tablet, and had absolutely nothing to do with his son. It was at that moment that Dr. Littlejohn presented the problem that matched Doug's solution.