Next up in our Startup Spotlight Series is Scholastica, a publishing platform that makes it easy for scholars to manage manuscripts, find editors and reviewers, and publish journals online. Brian Cody, CEO and Co-Founder of Scholastica, recently spoke with us about his company, life as an entrepreneur, and being a part of the Catapult community.
Since Catapult is a digital start-up community, we are not strangers to the technology industry and neither is Brian Cody. What differentiates Scholastica’s team from others in the industry is their unique perspective, which is rooted in two ideals: remaining deeply academic and passionately practical. Cody explained that the mission of Scholastica is focused on scholarship, and so “as a company Scholastica really tried to model the best aspects of academia, including intellectual honesty, transparency of sources, and public discourse”. Scholastica tries to link this scholarly orientation with the strengths of the startup world: a focus on producing, addressing real-world problems, the experiment/learn/pivot process, and being agile through rapid iterations. Combining the thoroughness of academic research with the fast-paced startup mantra is challenging, but Cody is proud that his team feels it’s a noble goal—and this combination also pushes them to have a great product.
When asked what the worst part about being your own boss is, Cody responds: the inability to compartmentalize worry. You have to worry about everything, including the things you don’t even know you have to worry about yet. When he’s not worrying about running the business, Cody loves to build wooden furniture, though he doesn’t think he is particularly good at it. As much as we love furniture, we’re glad he’s sticking with disrupting academic publishing instead.
Excluding his own company, Brian Cody is most intrigued by Opternative, another startup in our space. Opternative is the world’s first online eye exam that yields a valid prescription from an ophthalmologist, something that Cody notes would benefit him significantly. He currently orders his glasses online and knows that Opternative offers a super-clear benefit that millions of people are going to love.
Joining Catapult has significantly changed the way Brian Cody looks at entrepreneurship. Based on his experience in our co-working space, Cody thinks other entrepreneurs are the most valuable resource available to entrepreneurs, a key feature of Catapult. He notes that one of the biggest challenges of growing a tech company is “dealing with unexpected developments and coping with uncertainty”. This has become more manageable through experience. He discovered that augmenting his own experience with first-hand accounts of other founders' experiences, asking them questions, and learning from their shared experiences is increasingly valuable. Brian Cody also wants to thank Raman Chadha of The Junto Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership for starting a forum among Catapult startup founders, which has dramatically increased the quantity and quality of shared experiences Cody has been able to learn from.
With all of the success surrounding Scholastica and their recent funding, there’s no telling what else this company can do!