Monday, December 13, 2004
Interview with Jay Limaye, Founder of Gencache
In talking to entrepreneurs in Southern California, I like to hear not only from CEOs of companies that have, but also from people who are trying to get their startup ventures off the ground. Today, I'm interviewing Jay Limaye is the founder of Gencache (www.gencache.com), an early stage startup looking to create a social networking-based healthcare service.
BK: What's the idea behind Gencache?
JL: We at Gencache are working on building a signature platform for healthcare collaboration using the social networking model. Gencache makes intelligent connections between people, their symptoms and the solutions they recommend. This adds value above and beyond traditional healthcare portals. Gencache builds collaborative social networks enabling people who share similar experiences to gain mutual benefit from their participation.
BK: What inspired you to start Gencache, and what's your background?
JL: My background is in Biomedical Engineering and have worked with a number of companies across the healthcare space including G.E. Medical and Siemens Medical. I have also had the privilege of working for the Human Genome Project. In my most recent position, I was a Principal Software Engineer at Quest Diagnostics, a provider of clinical diagnostic services.
Started Gencache after noticing that most of the health portals out there offer volumes of information, but do not offer much interaction or collaboration between members, other than replies to message boards. I found myself wading through thousands of articles and messages. While I found some of the information useful, there were no point to point comparisons between myself and others experiencing similar healthcare conditions and symptoms related to those conditions.
BK: Has it been difficult bootstrapping the company, and how have you funded your product development efforts so far?
JL: We literally bootstrapped all the way, getting consultants and friends to help us on an as needed basis. The product development efforts have been self-funded and external funding has not been necessary so far. In this economy and at this stage of development, we felt that this was the best way to go. Even though the process has been challenging, it has been stimulating too and we have enjoyed the support that we have received from early users.
BK: I see you now have an alpha available on the web. How long have you been working on the product?
JL: We have been working on the core framework for the last eight months. We have recently released the alpha version which introduces initial functionality to the public.
BK: What are your current plans in terms of seeking capital?
JL: The work we have done so far has given us an alpha version of the service and allowed us to test market demand, gain initial feedback and build an early user base. We have now arrived at a point where it is appropriate for us to bring in strategic angel investors who can take us to the next level with their advice, experience and an injection of capital.
BK: What's the revenue model behind Gencache, and how does the company expect to make money?
JL: The Gencache service will be free to our users. For revenue generation, we are targeting potential customers like chronic disease foundations, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare regulatory agencies.
BK: How big is the founding team at Gencache?
JL: The founding team at Gencache is presently three people strong. Additionally we have two consultants working for us on an as needed basis.
BK: Finally, how has the response to your alpha site gone so far, and how are people hearing about your service?
JL: The response to our recently opened alpha site has been very encouraging. People have been hearing about Gencache mainly through other users of our service. We continue to receive a lot of feedback from our early base of users which has enabled us to make enhancements to the site. We remain focused on our goal of keeping our users happy and having everyone effectively use our platform for healthcare collaboration.