Riches in Niches: Startups Battle at Competition

NEW YORK— Despite its gem-related name, Quartzy's business model is about biochemicals, not baubles. The online lab management company showed enough of the right stuff yesterday (May 10) to take home the prize as winner of Startup 2011, an annual business plan competition held here by Business Insider.

Quartzy is an online lab management platform that helps research labs across the country be more efficient and save both time and money, CEO Jayant Kulkarni told BusinessNewsDaily.

Quartzy enables scientists and lab managers to keep track of inventory, analyze their spending and cut back on duplicate orders.

"A lot of times, people order things they already have," Kulkarni said. "Ten percent of all lab spending is spent on duplicate orders. Quartzy lets everybody in the lab know what everybody else has."

Redundant orders are a major pain point for laboratories when you consider that life science supplies and services is a $7 billion market in the U.S.

Quartzy also serves as an online community that allows scientists to collaborate and share resources.

"We put the work back in networking," Kulkarni said.

Quartzy offers its standard services for free, but also offers fee-based customized online lab management solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of individual institutions such as universities, nonprofits, or biotechnology companies.

Although only two years old, Quartzy is used by 4,000 life scientists at leading academic institutions such as Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, Washington University in St. Louis, UCSF, Harvard, Yale and others.

More than 40 percent of those scientists have logged into the site more than 50 times, according to Kulkarni.

The company received a $100,000 infusion as winner of Startup 2011, including a $25,000 cash investment from founding sponsor General Catalyst Partners and $75,000 in goods and services from other conference sponsors.



Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.