Vendormate: Reducing Risk Through Improved Credentialing

2010 was a banner year for Vendormate as the ATDC graduate company captured the No. 25 spot on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing U.S. companies, making it the highest-ranking software company on the list. In another major coup, in December 2010 the company landed a significant investment from Primus Capital, a Cleveland-based private equity firm, which will position Vendormate for additional growth.

Launched in 2005 by Andy Monin, Vendormate provides a unique credentialing solution that enables health care, banking and other clients to better manage supplier networks and reduce the risk of partnering with fraudulent, illegitimate or fiscally irresponsible vendors. Vendormate’s patented software system screens both new and existing vendors to make sure they meet client requirements and comply with government mandates and regulations, such as HIPPA and Medicare’s and Medicaid’s fraud list.

Admitted to ATDC in March 2006, Vendormate marked Monin’s second tour through Georgia Tech’s startup accelerator. Prior to Vendormate, Monin co-founded BroadSource, a telecommunications expense management company that ATDC incubated from 2003 to 2005. “One of the reasons I wanted to take Vendormate through ATDC was because of the value we got with BroadSource,” Monin said.

Monin estimates that Vendormate received more than $250,000 of cash impact from ATDC membership. This reflects consulting services, the ability to attract talented employees, a $25,000 unsecured line of bank credit, access to office space at reasonable rents — and the flexibility to move into larger quarters as the startup needed more elbow room. Indeed, Vendormate made four moves during its two-year tenure in ATDC as the software company grew from five employees to a staff of 45 when it graduated in May 2008.

In addition, ATDC was able to accommodate Vendormate for several weeks after its graduation while Monin worked out a sublease for office space in Buckhead. As part of its lease agreement, Vendormate received $140,000 worth of office furniture and artwork. “It was an amazing deal, but one we wouldn’t have gotten unless we could be patient about the move-in date. Thanks to ATDC, we were able to wait,” Monin said.

Yet what Monin considers the greatest benefit of ATDC was the sense of community it provides to members. “When there are five people in your company, and you’re sitting in cubes in an office complex in Norcross, it’s hard to build a strong company culture,” Monin says. “At ATDC our team got to be in an environment where they didn’t feel all alone and could learn from other entrepreneurs. The casual conversations that happen on the way to the soda machine, when you could talk to other people about whatever pain you were going through, were priceless.”

ATDC also hosts numerous events to accelerate peer learning, from brown bag luncheons with outside speakers to confidential CEO roundtables.

Monin fondly recalls those CEO roundtables. “They were unbelievable networking events,” he said. “Although we were in different vertical industries, you could get fast answers to so many questions, from HR issues to what it costs to do a series A round of funding. While we were at ATDC, our CTO even started a roundtable for other CTOs because I kept saying how valuable the CEO roundtables were for me.”

In fact, the ATDC culture was so ingrained in Vendormate that its management team has replicated some of the incubator’s events. “In celebration of our new digs, Gil Benton and Jeff Beck went out and bought a giant popcorn machine so we could continue to have Popcorn Thursdays,” Monin said, referring to a weekly networking event at ATDC. There’s just one switch: Instead of a different ATDC entrepreneur making a presentation each Thursday, someone in a different Vendormate department discusses what’s going on in his or her area. “It’s a great way for people to feel connected now than our staff has grown to more than 100 employees,” Monin said.

Vendormate has been focusing on the health care market since 2006. Today more than 1,200 hospitals use its flagship product, including such prestigious institutions as John Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic and Harvard University.

Intent on capturing even greater market share, Vendormate introduced two new products in 2010:

  • IDConfirm, a solution that tracks credentials and monitors compliance for hospital staff, volunteers and medical students.
  • VisitorConfirm, a badging application that enables hospitals to document visitors’ entry and create identification badges for them. It also visually screens visitors for health risks, such as fever, so hospitals can deny access for someone who may be ill.

“This is something no one has done before,” Monin said, referring to the new badging solution. “Having a process for tracking visitors provides better physical security — and  demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to patient safety. Hospitals need to know who is roaming their halls. You can’t have 40 people in the same room visiting grandma and expect to have patient care under control.”

In addition to expanding his company’s presence in the health care arena, VisitorConfirm will be key to entering new industries and achieving future growth, Monin said. Vendormate is already providing its badging solution to a private school in Atlanta.

Photo caption: Andy Monin, CEO of Vendormate, considers the greatest benefit of ATDC the sense of community it provides to members.

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Writer: T.J. Becker