By LAURA LOREK
Reporter with Silicon Hills News
That meant her job as a staff researcher and librarian would be phased out.
So in June she decided to launch Bizologie, a business research firm, with her colleagues and fellow librarians Lindsey Schell and April Kessler. Kessler also worked at Austin Ventures. They all originally met at the University of Texas working in its library system. Bizologie provides due diligence and competitive intelligence research to venture capital firms and startups.
Today, Bizologie has four VC firms as clients, a couple of advertising agencies, Techstars in Austin and lots of startups.
“A lot of CEOS need what we have they just don’t know it yet,” Young said.
Bizologie can provide research for any business or organization. They have subscriptions to expensive databases like Capital IQ and Thompson One and they know the tips and tricks to finding information on Google that most people don’t know exist, Schell said.
“It’s an investment in your growth whether you are seeking a Series A or you’re at $10 million in revenue and trying to get to $20 million in revenue, there is expert research you need in your business at every stage,” Young said.
Sante Ventures, a VC firm in Austin with a focus on investing in life sciences startups, is a client.
“I got used to relying on a top-shelf professional research and intelligence department during my seven years at Austin Ventures, and at McKinsey before that,” said Kevin Lalande, managing director of Sante Ventures.
But the expense required to have a full-time team with that caliber of research talent makes sense for large funds that have more than $1 billion in capital under management, Lalande said. But it doesn’t for smaller funds, and that’s the problem Bizologie solves, he said.
“Laura and her team at Bizologie fill this need by allowing several smaller but demanding funds to share the expense base,” Lalande said. “Their work was always outstanding when they were in-house at AV, but if there’s one thing I know about start-ups, it’s that nothing so focuses the mind as launching your own business and knowing you have to cover your own expenses with paying clients.”
And Bizologie has met and all of Lalande’s expectations.
“They have over delivered as I knew they would,” he said.
Tritium Partners, a private equity firm focused on growth buyouts in the lower middle market, based in Austin, uses Bizologie for a wide variety of projects including market and company research, diligence support and opportunity sourcing.
Bizologie is creative, thorough and efficient, said Brett Shobe, principal with Tritium Partners. They are collaborative problem solvers with a friendly, trustworthy and responsive team, he said.
“Bizologie’s research experts allow our investment team to be more productive while also improving our research capacity and quality,” Shobe said.
“They are research experts, a skill set most firms don’t have internally,” he said.
If someone really understands what a librarian does, they instantly understand the value in what Bizologie does, Schell said.
A venture capital firm might want to know the size of a market, a bio of a CEO, competitors in a particular industry, a history of a funding in that area, a full overview of an industry and Bizologie can do all that, she said.
Ad agencies ask the same questions in different language, Schell said. Bizologie generally investigates 20 to 25 sources for each report.
Bizologie charges different rates depending on the client’s needs, Kessler said. It can even provide 24/7 red carpet service based on a retainer and an anticipated volume of service, she said.
“Our customers are coming to us for different reasons,” Kessler said. So Bizologie offers a variety of pricing plans to meet their needs like flat fees for startups.
“We answer any kind of off the wall question like how much does sugar cost and how much will it cost five years from now?” she said.
Bizologie specializes in high-tech and med-tech, but they have done every kind of research topic across the board, Young said.
Even today a lot of people think they can just Google information and find the research they need, but that’s not as easy as it sounds, Young said.
“We can use Google better than a lot of people,” she said. “If you’re not trained and experienced at finding information, it can take days to find information.”