March 22, 2023

In honour of Viedoc's 20th birthday, we've interviewed co-founder Sverre Bengtsson, CEO Mats Klaar and COO and co-founder Henrik Blombergsson to share their fondest memories and reflections.

In a rare, filmed interview, Henrik joins Viedoc’s Elin Weiring on a trip down memory lane, visiting the unique locations that have shaped Viedoc into what it is today while giving us some unique behind the scenes-stories. You don't want to miss this! 

From CRO to award-winning software 

Viedoc's entrepreneurial journey began 20 years ago in Uppsala, Sweden, where the company was initially founded as a CRO. However, the founders soon realized that the options available on the EDC market were inadequate, and they decided to create their own software to address the problem. They wanted to create an EDC system that was modern, cloud-based, easy to use, intuitive, enjoyable to work with, and built by professionals for professionals. 

”When we started 20 years ago we were very adamant about founding a company that would be a premium CRO company in the Nordics. But when we started we immediately felt that the then-current methods were dated and inefficient,” Sverre explains. 

The fusion of technology engineering and design played a crucial role in creating Viedoc's unique DNA. The company was driven by a desire to create an intuitive and efficient system that removed distractions and clutter, made data easier to understand, and ensured a seamless ebb and flow of data in a clinical trial. 

The magic of a free office space and the power of coincidence 

In 2003, the founders did not have much funding to start with, so when one of Uppsala’s biggest landlords put out an ad about a competition offering free office space to the best new entrepreneurial ideas, Viedoc submitted their business plan and won. Located at the heart of Uppsala Science Park, Viedoc had its first office in a historic building, sharing the space with several other entrepreneurs. From here, a bit of magic and coincidence got the vision to take off. None of the founders had any programming or software-building experience, so they asked three companies if they wanted to participate and support Viedoc in developing the system. 

"This was the very beginning of Viedoc, but we didn't have the software yet," Henrik explains. One of these companies was two guys sitting in one of the rooms, and they came in with the best offer, the cheapest one, but also the best one, by far. And the incredible thing is that both of them, Antti Salmi and Jens Pettersson, eventually joined Viedoc and are still with the company. 

Henrik details that Antti and Jens, although with no background in the industry, grasped Viedoc's founders' vision, "We had a team of statisticians, researchers, data managers, monitors and site experts all immensely knowledgeable about what was needed for this particular effort. Meanwhile, their technical know-how paired perfectly with our specialized experience". 

The power of finding the right people 

Regarding success factors and challenges, Henrik emphasizes that the single greatest success factor and challenge throughout these years has been the same thing–finding the right people. 

"We were fortunate to have brought in some former colleagues in the beginning, but then, when we had to go outside of our networks, it was like going outside of the comfort zone, and it became increasingly difficult to find talent, but somehow we were very lucky and found great people and it is them who have made Viedoc into what it is today." 

The birth of Viedoc, the software 

Smaller teams; bigger dreams! The CRO quickly grew to over 90 employees, but the founding group found a passion even greater than running a CRO, and that was Viedoc, the software. So in 2018, Viedoc became a company focusing solely on technology. 

"The biggest change was that we actually split. We were 90 people working at the previous office being a CRO. And we decided to split the company into two. So those of us who wanted to continue with the software part came here. And so we were 90 and we kind of became 15 or 20 people. But I have always appreciated working in smaller teams, so that worked well for us," Henrik explained. 

With this move, the company could focus exclusively on its software product and its clients. Viedoc's platform has since grown into an innovative, leading solution that improves the speed, efficiency, and quality of clinical trials worldwide. The platform is designed to be user-friendly, customizable, and scalable, making it a perfect fit for any organization or study phase, regardless of size. 

“I remember when we got the first major pharma deal. I met a Director at the airport lounge in Paris and we struck up a conversation, and after some persuasion, she agreed to a demo in the lounge. The whole process took 1 year and 26 days before we signed the deal with them. This was the starting point for changing the company once and for all into where we are today. Here we realized that Viedoc could be a company on its own and that it had global potential.” Sverre explains. 

The beginning of something historic 

Viedoc's 20th anniversary is just the beginning of something more significant. With a multitude of possibilities, Viedoc stands ready to make an indelible mark on history. The goal is to get Viedoc into the hands of as many people as possible, making clinical trials more efficient on a global scale, contributing to a healthier world and empowering greater discoveries. After all, in this industry, shorter timelines and more efficiency mean treatments reach patients faster, potentially saving lives and making significant improvements to human health at large. 

Mats continues, “I will never forget the first conference I went to, SCDM, in Washington, DC. After only three weeks of employment, I went there with Sverre, and I got many "Wow, I've never seen anything like this!" when giving quick demos. That made me realize how outstanding Viedoc was–and still is.” 

Pushing the boundaries of EDC 

While the first generation of Viedoc was a complete platform system built by Jens and Antti, the company had to rebuild it to remain competitive. This decision, although very challenging, became a big success, and the company hopes to continue to innovate clinical trials to unprecedented levels by pushing our technology to the forefront of the future. 

At Viedoc, we are determined to make our software available to as many researchers out there as possible. We believe that the only way to truly create an impact is by getting more people familiar with our product. That's why we remain dedicated to spreading awareness of Viedoc so that people can experience its usefulness firsthand. 

Viedoc's next 20 years: A future filled with possibilities and impact 

Viedoc's 20th anniversary is a celebration of its success in the clinical trials industry. Today, Viedoc has been used by over a million patients and over 100,000 scientists and life science professionals all over the world–from the rainforests of Brazil to the science laboratories of the arctic. Viedoc is a multinational company with offices in the US, China, Vietnam, Japan and Sweden as well as representatives across Europe. With more than 120 employees around the world and 38 nationalities–Viedoc has created an extensive global presence. 

The company's founders and employees are driven by a passion to make a difference in the world by improving clinical trials and advancing healthcare. As Viedoc continues to innovate, there is no doubt that it will continue to shape the future of clinical trials and change the way that we approach clinical research. 

"At Viedoc, we're not just satisfied with being acknowledged as one of the leading EDC providers in clinical trials–it's just the beginning for us. Our purpose is to create a healthier world, and the best way we can accomplish that is by putting our software in the hands of as many researchers as possible, so that we can speed up timelines, get treatments to patients faster, and ultimately save lives, all while making our clients' lives easier, more efficient and fun," Mats concludes. 

If you are interested in joining the Viedoc team and being part of the mission to improve clinical trials and advance healthcare, check out our current job openings.

To learn more about Viedoc's innovative eClinical platform and to see a demo of our software, book a meeting with our team. 

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