Tag Archives: Paul Winandy

WebPT founder Heidi Jannenga

Significant investment will Fuel WebPT’s Growth

WebPT, the leading web-based electronic medical record (EMR) solution for rehabilitation therapists, announced it has received a significant investment from Battery Ventures. WebPT intends to use the new capital to accelerate growth.

Founded by Brad and Heidi Jannenga in 2006, WebPT is the leader in the rehab-EMR industry. The company’s innovative technology has been adopted by more than 35,000 therapists and 6,000 clinics in the US and Canada, and WebPT has consistently increased in revenue, while continuing to gain market share. It was recently named to the Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest growing companies.

“Battery Ventures has an outstanding track record investing in growth companies and helping them achieve success. We are thrilled to partner with such an experienced investor as we continue to aggressively grow our business,” said WebPT CEO Paul Winandy. “We’re at the cutting edge of healthcare technology and this infusion of capital will allow us to keep innovating in the physical therapy space.”

WebPT is strategically leading the rehab industry into the digital age, enabling fast, secure, paperless documentation. Having created a sophisticated, industry-specific platform, WebPT is fundamentally changing the way rehab therapists manage the day-to-day operations of their clinics. In addition to offering defensible, compliant and intuitive documentation, the web-based application provides physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists with intelligent business reporting, interactive and organized scheduling, and integrated billing.

“WebPT is pioneering a new way for rehab therapists to manage their business operations, while saving them time and money,” said Chelsea Stoner, Battery Ventures General Partner, who specializes in investments in software and healthcare technology and is joining the WebPT board. “As the electronic medical records industry is continuing its explosive growth, WebPT, with its advanced technology and innovative leadership team, has carved out a unique position in the market. We look forward to helping the company continue to achieve success and solidify their position as the leader in this sector.”

WebPT founders Brad and Heidi Jannenga will remain in key leadership positions. Heidi, an experienced physical therapist and multi-clinic site director, joined forces with Brad, a seasoned technologist and award-winning entrepreneur, to start the company after recognizing a need for a robust, industry-specific EMR platform. Today, as President and Chief Technology Officer at WebPT, Brad leads all aspects of company’s technology, while Heidi guides the product strategy and oversees the WebPT brand vision as the company’s Chief Operating Officer.

WebPT

Paul Winandy, WebPT

Paul Winandy, CEO at WebPT, shares what it is like to be the CEO of WebPT, which provides physical therapists with a Web-based electronic medical records system.

How did you end up as CEO of WebPT?

There is a group in town called the Arizona Technology Investor Forum, which focuses on early-stage technology investing. I was the managing director of that angel group, and I met (WebPT founders) Brad and Heidi Jannenga when they came in to present to the group. I looked over their strategy and vision and was really impressed and really enjoyed what they were bringing to the table.

Video by Cory Bergquist

What qualities do you have that helped WebPT triple in size in 2011?

My background is all in early stage technology startups. I’ve done about five in my career. My experience is taking those companies from the early stages and growing them to $10 million or $12 million in revenue. I’ve been through the wars and I’ve been through the battles, so I know what to do in terms of building the right team, bringing in the right resources and being able to grow the company fast.

What qualities do you think an effective CEO needs?

You have to be able to rely on your team. You have to realize what you bring to the table and you have to realize what you need to build out. In early-stage technology companies like WebPT, you have to have the ability to be able to get in there and get your hands dirty. I like that part of it. I like to be a hands-on CEO. But once you build up the team, you have to have the ability to let go and let that team be successful.

Are there benefits to starting a technology company in Arizona?

We’re a little bit under the radar in terms of the Silicon Valley mentality. In Silicon Valley, the mentality is “let’s get a great idea and get a little proof of the concept and then raise a bunch of money.” You can’t do that here in Arizona. You have to build a product that is out on the market generating sales before you can go out and raise a lot of money.

Are there any obstacles to starting a tech company in Arizona?

As much as being under the radar is beneficial, sometimes it’s nice to be out there in the spotlight so you can get the right talent. Phoenix has some phenomenally talented people, but we’re not as deep in the technology area as some other parts of the country.

Where do you see WebPT growing?

We need to stay focused on the physical therapy industry because that will allow us to be laser focused. There is a great market there. It’s a niche market, but it’s developing and it’s a very open and a very green field ready to embrace and adopt technology. There are about 30,000 physical therapy clinics and we have 2,100 now, so about eight percent of the market. So if we focus on that and become the dominant player, we’re going to have a nice, long track record.

What advice would you give someone looking to start a technology company in Arizona?

Solve a business need with whatever product you’re trying to develop. To be successful, it has to be something that is going to have a market demand. There are a lot of great ideas, but they cannot figure out how to make it solve a business need and get that first customer. So find out what is needed, create a way to solve that business need, and then go to market on that basis.

Vital Stats: Paul Winandy

  • Over the course of his 20-year career, Winandy has been an executive leader in four successful technology businesses, two of which were named to the Inc. 500 list and were later acquired by public firms.
  • For several years prior to WebPT, Winandy was an active business advisor and angel investor in fast-growing technology companies.
  • Before his advisory practice, Winandy was COO of SkillSurvey, a startup web services firm providing online reference assessment tools. Before that, he was director of strategic accounts for Khimetrics, a leading enterprise software firm specializing in revenue.

For more information about WebPT, visit their website at webpt.com

Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2012

Funding Startup Companies Jumpstart Economy

Funding Startup Companies Can Help Get the Economy Moving Again

Wanted: More Jobs

I don’t have a fancy degree from an Ivy League school, and I’m not formally trained in economics. So you won’t see me on the President’s economic advisory team, or lecturing on the philosophical differences between the Keynesian and Austrian economic theories.

Instead, I grew up watching my father start a manufacturing firm and build it into a successful, multimillion-dollar business. I followed in those footsteps by helping two technology startups grow from infancy to a spot on the Inc. 500 list and eventually sell for more than $100 million.

What I’ve learned through these experiences is that innovative startups are the engine of the American economy. Startups breathe life into slow growth industries (think Starbucks, Crocs and Netflix). Startups create new products and new markets (think salesforce.com, Google and Twitter). And startups solve complex scientific and engineering challenges to create life-changing products (think Intel, Amgen and TiVo).

Naturally, as innovative startups grow they create jobs — and lots of them. An eye-opening study by the Kauffman Foundation brings that into sharp focus. The study showed that startups are responsible for all net job growth in the U.S. since 1977.

Think about that for a minute. In aggregate, older more established firms do not create jobs (at least not in the U.S.). Job growth at one company is matched or exceeded by a decline at another. In essence individual companies are trading market share, but the market itself is growing slowly or not at all. When you add in technological advances to improve employee productivity, outsourcing to offshore locations, or simply eliminating positions to meet a lower level of demand, it is not surprising that established firms do not drive job growth.

Not all startups are equal

Any entrepreneur with the guts to launch a new startup deserves enormous respect, but not all startups are created equal when it comes to job creation. Startups in slow-growth markets such as restaurants, retail and other consumer services suffer from the same challenges as more established firms. Namely, a new growth company takes market share from an established player, so any new jobs created are eventually met with job cuts at other companies.

Similarly, startups in cyclical industries such as transportation, hotels, construction, real estate, etc., will not create sustained job growth. In good economic times, these companies will boom — and just as quickly go bust when the economic winds change.

While there are exceptions to these broad generalizations (note Starbucks and Crocs), sustainable job growth usually comes from scalable, innovative startups. These are the startups that venture capitalists and angel investors target. And these are the startups that will create new markets and lead the U.S. out of this economic slowdown.

Angel and venture capital investing

The startups noted earlier all share one common trait: they were funded by angel and/or venture capital. It is safe to say that without that capital, these companies would not have reached their respective heights.

Venture capital (VC) as a distinct asset class has existed since the ’60s, reaching its high point during the dot-com boom of the late ’90s and early 20000s. With such a long history, venture capital remains a relatively small segment of the capital markets. According to a report by HIS Global Insight, in 2009, new venture investments totaled $18 billion. Since 1970, only $474 billion has been invested in 27,000-plus companies. By comparison:

    The U.S. Treasury Department will issue more than $1.1 trillion in debt this year to cover the budget deficit.

    The junk bond market is greater than $600 billion in size.

    The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost more than $170 billion in 2010 alone.

But venture-backed companies have an outsized impact on GDP and employment. VC-backed companies produced more than $2.9 trillion in revenue in 2009, representing more than 21 percent of total U.S. gross domestic product. More importantly, 12.1 million people are employed at venture-backed companies, representing more than 11 percent of total private sector employment.

These numbers clearly show that innovative startups create economic growth and sustainable employment.

An alternative plan

That’s why I get viscerally angry watching the economic ignorance of our federal and state governments. Politicians pay lip service to wanting to create jobs, then spend tax dollars on big corporate giveaways, old industry subsidies, and pet projects that have little impact on actual job growth.

And when our government finally recognizes the need to create jobs and support small businesses, they create programs that will do neither.

A simple (and most likely profitable) plan that will have a fast and tangible impact on jobs is to create a federal “matching fund” for any angel group or venture capital firm to access. The matching fund would automatically invest a matching amount in any innovative startup that receives investment from the VC/angel group. Funds should be made available only for seed and early-stage investments. Extra incentives should be given to promote investment in regions of the country with low levels of VC investment and/or high levels of unemployment.

Under this plan, capital will be invested in companies with the highest potential for job and economic growth, and the fund will most likely turn a profit when all is said and done.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for innovative economic solutions to materialize in Washington. Instead, allocate some of your portfolio to angel/venture investing, then find a local angel group and get involved. You will be rewarded by working with some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs, while helping get the American economy growing again. And with any luck, you will make some money along the way.