Describe the company – the elevator pitch …
The SciencePOD platform brings the regular editorial workflow involved in the creation of quality content about innovation and research to the cloud. This makes using the platform a more convenient and seamless experience to assemble editorial teams assigned to work collaboratively.
How are you different?
Our unique selling point is that we specialise in delivering high-quality content about technology, science, medicine and innovation. We host an international pool of professionals who, collectively, have an expertise spanning the entire gamut of scientific and technological fields. Besides, our network of content creators extends to geographically diverse areas, thus providing access to the right editorial talent in the right location. Our competitors know plain content, we know substance.
#SciComm missing as a skillset, @ChelseaRochman @katmidds? Remember you can always find #companies, #SciencePOD, with this foremost in our interest. It is our goal that #STM #STEM has a clear voice for those who matter most. Don't forget #SciCom2017 #Dublin 6/12/17 we'll be there pic.twitter.com/MHw7ptHz8c
— SciencePOD (@SciencePOD) December 6, 2017
Why will you do well?
As social media platforms become major publishing hubs, every organisation is now expected to be a publisher in its own right. But few have the talent of a professional copywriter—let alone a science journalist, editor, multimedia producer and proofreader. Moreover, few can accurately tell the complex stories emerging from science, technology, medicine and innovation in a language accessible to a wide audience.
SciencePOD is surfing the wave of the latest trend in this field, as the appetite for content creation keeps growing. The content market is currently expanding at a rate of 15% per annum. None of our competitors have the breadth of talent and expertise to cover the specialist areas related to research and innovation, and the experience of creating quality editorial content.
What is more, we are in the process of further enhancing our platform so that every single step of the content creation process is automated. We want make it convenient for our clients to directly order their own content to our talent pool, located in widely distributed areas. We want to prevent them from wasting any time assembling their dream team. And we want to make it easy for them to perform the collaborative work they need to do quality-control over the content. We find that clients are prepared to pay for the convenience.
Where are you based?
We are based in Dublin, which is really is a location of choice, given the amount of support available to start-ups. This, for instance, allowed me to attend the DCU Ryan Academy start-up accelerator last year, alongside nine other Female High Fliers, and get a real boost to bring the business to the next stage.
The fact that we are based in Ireland gives us great credibility for tackling the global markets—particularly in the Middle East and Asia, where people thrive to tell their story to the rest of the world in English. Indeed, people in these territories realise that being based in a country with native-English speakers helps to produce quality content in English. We definitely want to firmly establish the place of Ireland as a key hub on the global publishing map.
When was the company launched?
The company was created in October 2014. In the three years that we have been in operation, we have refined our business model, validated the proof of concept with our existing clients, and made plans to scale up. We are engaged in a crowdfunding campaign to help us reach the next stage.
What have been your biggest wins to date?
So far, we are proud to be working with three of the top five global science publishers, while also catering for the content needs of biopharma companies and international NGOs, who value the diverse language skills of our writers.
Our ability to tackle the content needs of our clients, regardless of the format in which we deliver their message, attracted them to work with us.
Who are you trying to attract to your product?
Our target customers are typically marketing and communications managers, as well as people responsible for content marketing in the industries that are connected to science, medicine, technology and innovations. They can already order bundles of content which we create on their behalf. Alternatively, they will soon be able to directly order their own content from our upgraded platform.
Since a lot of our writers are trained as journalists, we also like to offer their skills to newsroom editors, who do not have a retained science, tech, health or environment correspondent. This ability to critically analyse complicated ideas is as part of a solution called Satellite Science Newsroom.
What tips would you give to others looking to build their business?
There are many pieces of advice I have learned along this journey. Here is a few: do your background research in-depth, register on a start-up accelerator programme, do not hesitate to ask for help (you cannot do it all by yourself), talk to as many people as you can about your project to get feedback. Listen to your intuition. And go for it. Fail better!
Tell us about your team?
We have assembled a team of remarkable individuals who share a passion for quality publishing. At the same time, each has their own reason for being involved in the company; some because they have always liked science others because we offer an unusual combination of flexible working, due to our cloud-base, and international outlook. Finally, the core of our business relies on the sharp minds of our 350 science writers, editors, proofreaders, data journalists, and multimedia producers, who deliver the content for our clients. They are our biggest pride.
What are your long term plans?
Our long term plans are to become the reference platform for specialist content creation and publishing. Ultimately, we want to grow globally into the various market segments that are relevant to the solution we offer, including, science publishing, biopharmaceuticals, medtech, ICT, energy, environment, etc… Ultimately, our model can be replicated in other areas, beyond science, where people use complex and technical language.
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
I guess, any digital gadget allowing to read the content we produce when it suits our audience.
As for gadgets improving communication, I am a big fan of appear.in which makes for great quality video conferencing.
What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?
We are always keeping an eye out for the latest AI tool to support our editorial process and the narrative composition of our stories. For example, there is currently a lot of work around the automation of processes to extract the meaning of data or technical texts. There was uproar a few years ago, when a robot automatically wrote a news brief about an earth quake in California. We are still far away from robots totally replacing humans when it comes to delivering well-crafted quality texts with a touch of humour, a special tone or an elegant turn of phrase. I guess, what these automated systems will do is to save human writers’ time in the actual process of delivering of specific kinds of documents.
Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?#
“Do you have any cool videos?”
We recently released a video as part of our crowdfunding campaign:
It is part of a series available on YouTube, if you search for SciencePOD.
How do people get in touch with you?
Contact Sabine Louët, Founder & CEO, SciencePOD — Science Prose On-Demand
by email: [email protected] or visit our web site: http://www.sciencepod.net