Transcriptic wants to make “science a service” by developing lab automation technology. Many are referring to the company as cloud technology for the scientific world. Transcriptic aims to make the mundane aspects of scientific research automated so graduate students no longer have to toil away for hours performing experiments that require relatively little intellectual investment. Currently, the company offers a subcloning service, a technique used to package DNA for exogenous expression, while the larger infrastructure needed to expand the list of services is built. Transcriptic recently raised $1.2 million in a seed funding round to help build up the facility.
Transcriptic’s initial target market is graduate students and post-docs in academia. The company has gained its initial customers though partnerships, proximity to university campuses, and word of mouth. This strategy has served them well so far. Transcriptic is starting small to make sure that the services they offer run well and customers are happy. For a scientific services company, it is important that once they have a full launch everything works every time. As the CEO, Max Hodak, put it, customers will be lost quickly if there are mechanical rather than biological causes of failure for a particular experiment. Their initial service is also a smart pick due to the high turnover and low cost.
I think Transcriptic’s ability to start small will be important for their long-term success. The initial market and product they are focusing on will provide them with a strong initial customer base. These customers can then spread the word as the company grows. Transcriptic is taking the time to build a relationship with each customer now. This personal touch will help them stand out. I admire Transcriptic’s ability to stay focused and small initially even though they are set up to revolutionize the way science is performed.