An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Jeremy Edes Pierotti, the co-founder and president of Datica, which was honored in our:
- 2021 Best Tech Startups in Minneapolis
- 2019 Best Tech Startups in Madison
- 2018 Best Tech Startups in Wisconsin
- 2018 Best Tech Startups in Madison
Tell us the origin story of Datica – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
Datica exists to advance the success of digital health solutions. We provide foundational infrastructure that enables telehealth, secure messaging between clinicians, real-time clinical surveillance, and a host of other transformative capabilities. Everyone who works at Datica knows that our customers touch the lives of millions of patients every day.
We created Datica to address two unique challenges of using patient data in digital health solutions: interoperability, and compliance with privacy and security regulations. These problems slow development of innovative new products. Datica’s solutions put digital health teams in the fast lane by clearing many of these technical and regulatory hurdles so developers can focus on building great software.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
At the operational level, building a company means confronting every possible challenge: recruiting and retention, sales and marketing, contracting, finance, hitting key development milestones – you name it. All that can crowd out time needed for critical strategic decisions: developing growth plans, whether and when to raise investment capital, market segmentation, partnerships – all big questions.
My stepdad had a saying: “leave well-enough alone”. In health information technology, workflows and data flows are complex, and so when technology is working “well-enough”, most stakeholders won’t mess with it. Replacement technology cannot just offer incremental improvements – the solutions need to bring transformative change to the customer.
Healthcare is hard. In fact, one of our investors has a podcast with that name! If the problems we and our customers tackle were easy to solve, we’d be done. At the same time, the status quo in healthcare offers massive opportunity for improvements that lower costs, improve outcomes, and give people the chance to live happier, healthier lives.
What does the future hold for Datica?
Health IT solutions now are built in the cloud first, and that makes Datica’s integration and compliance solutions more important than ever. Securing cloud infrastructure is different than security for a traditional data center, and “compliance” means proving your security and privacy posture. Datica’s cloud compliance solutions implement and provide evidence of cloud infrastructure security, so development teams can create better software even faster. And because most patient data still resides in legacy, on-premise clinical systems, Datica’s integration solutions streamline the exchange of data between those legacy systems and the new cloud applications.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Minneapolis?
I’m amazed by the creativity, tenacity, and contributions of early stage Minnesota companies. We also have a talented, well-educated workforce. More and more early investors recognize the innovation happening here, and so as access to capital improves, we should see even greater success.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Participate in a peer support group. Starting and running a company often feels lonely and it can be easy to (wrongly) believe that you face terrible challenges that no one else confronts. Connecting with other founders always reminds me that we share common struggles. I have benefitted tremendously from fellow entrepreneurs – their advice has been invaluable.