Kathleen Colatrella is the CEO and founder of LINEA System. LINEA is a company focused on helping pharmaceutical companies to facilitate clinical trials so that novel medicines can be brought to market faster and help patients.
Welcome Kathleen to Founders First Member Spotlight! Let us know how you got started with your company LINEA System?
We launched in 2008 and we relaunched in 2018 when we actually went from a life science company to a technology company, because we designed and launched a platform that helps pharma identify the right doctors that can support their clinical studies.
Our organization is small, but we’re growing and we’re looking to scale, so that we can get this application in front of as many sponsors that can use it as possible.
It also alleviates the burden of identifying the right sites, it looks at all of the processes, all the activities and tasks that have to be managed within the application. We’re really proud of it. Everything has been homegrown and I bootstrapped the company myself. I have a solid, great team behind me trying to help make this happen.
What was the inspiration to start your business and what got you started as an entrepreneur?
So, I started the company to impact the space where I’ve been all of my career, in pharma. I was at a large pharmaceutical company for 10 years and then I worked at several biotech companies doing the same work. I was launching the clinical trials and making sure that all of the research that is necessary to bring a new drug to market was done.
My inspiration was that I wanted to address a huge challenge that every clinical trial team faces, which is how do we start trials with the right doctors that can contribute patients, so that there’s not these monumental delays that are very costly for everyone involved.
So firsthand, I just wanted to impact that process. I knew that if I stepped out of what I was doing for one company, I could do it for many. And then, when I started to come across really meaningful data technology and putting all of that together, I feel like I really cracked the code in impacting that process!
That inspired me to keep moving. I’m passionate about the work that we do, and I think that it will continue to make a big difference as more pharma and sponsor users are on the system.
How did the accelerator program with Founders First benefit you and your company?
I was so grateful for the opportunity because we’ve learned so much through the program. There were three things that directly impacted our company.
One was organization and structure. The second was how we focused our operations and processes. It also helped us clarify our vision, so that we are in the know of what is happening. Thirdly, we are appreciating our team and setting them up to succeed. I learned to look at the key factors that are going to make each of the team members leverage whatever talents, training and experience they have to be able to bring this product forward and serve the client the way they need to be served.
You’re a recipient of the job creators grant. How has that improved your business?
The job creators grant through Founders First has helped us up significantly. We were able to actually bring on some new sales reps onto the team and put those funds toward training to equip them with the information and the tools that they need to be able to continually get the word out for the awareness of our program and our software.
Since the program wrapped up and ended, how has growth been?
We were able to pitch clearly our intentions and projections to three different investment companies and we’ve been invited for a second round for two out of three.
We’re looking to secure funds, and I think that Founders First prepared us well to be very clear on what is that we are offering, what is the opportunity for any investor and then how they can partner with us to make this company grow.
How did you end up hearing about Founders First and what attracted you to this specific program?
We were approached by someone who’s in the investment company who suggested that I look into Founders First because it’s a woman-owned company and I am the sole owner of the company and I’m also a minority as well. Through those certifications, they recommended that I look into Founders First.
An accelerator program is always great when you are preparing your company for fast growth, scaling and for investing. Eventually even an acquisition, if that’s in the cards, so that you can speed up the growth of the company and be able to get your product out to a bigger audience.
Founders First was attractive because they’re not just giving you a grant and then saying goodbye good luck. They are also investing a lot of time, resources and expertise in the companies that they support through the program.
Do you have advice for the up and coming entrepreneurs out there?
I would tell them that I strongly recommend going through an accelerator program like Founders First. Not only because of the resources that it provides, but also because of the learnings and experiences that are shared when you are in a group of 20 entrepreneurs with different types of companies. Even though we were in different industries, the information being shared was the foundation of the knowledge entrepreneurs and owners need to bring good services to serve our clients with integrity and the best products.
We also want to make our companies grow. So, I would tell an entrepreneur they need to be part of an accelerated program that’s going to support you in that way and take advantage of all the information that’s shared because it’s invaluable.
The founder, Kim Folsom, is so generous with her advice on what you should do with your company. Her guidance adds another vote of confidence that this would be the right thing to do — for any entrepreneur — to be able to grow their company and really be of service to their clients.
Interested in an accelerator program at Founders First? Check them out!