Nathan Heerdt

In December 2016, QCA announced a strategic investment in Healthy Roster, creator of a mobile sports-specific electronic health record. Healthy Roster is giving Sports Medicine departments the ability to easily track and report about injuries. The mobile injury documentation and communication tool gives Sports Medicine departments the ability to easily track and report about injuries while also integrating with electronic health records. Recently, The Halo Effect had the opportunity to sit down with Nathan Heerdt, CEO of Healthy Roster, to get an update about the company.

THE: What’s happened since we announced the investment?

Heerdt: We used QCA and the investment, syndication of REV1, Ohio Tech Angels, Northcoast Angels as a bulk of our round. When we closed the round, we put the investment to use to hire sales development reps that are responsible for the top of the funnel.

THE: Where are you focusing your sales?

Heerdt: We have three main customers. We have health systems, hospitals and hospital chains. We have orthopedic clinics, such as Beacon in Cincinnati, and we also sell directly to high schools. In sports medicine, health systems hire athletic trainers and put them on staff at the high schools, but that is not everywhere. Approximately 60 percent of the country uses that model. Roughly 40 percent of high schools still hire their athletic trainers. Our software is useful in those situations, so we do sell directly to high schools.

THE: Describe your experience with QCA since the investment.

Heerdt: Queen City has been amazing. They provided us with a good amount of our funding, and they also added two board members for us, Ted Capossela and Terry Wright. Both of them have been instrumental in not only providing insight, but also really going out of their way to help us with business development. They have given us multiple leads and warm introductions that are leading to business. Our sales cycle is six to 12 months long, and we are nearing completion of a deal because of QCA’s direct involvement.

THE: How important is Ted and Terry’s involvement beyond the financial perspective?

Heerdt: Both are among the most active investors in helping to set up relationships and introducing us to people. 

THE: How has the relationship with QCA and the two members on your board met or exceeded your expectations?

Heerdt: If you look at Ohio when you are raising funds, and you’re raising amounts like we were, your options are somewhat limited. There are not a lot of VCs investing at this stage. You are depending on local organizations in each of the big cities in Ohio to get behind you. It helps to have a syndicate of those groups behind you. Really important for us, we had success in Columbus with Rev1 and Ohio Tech Angels, to see the support across the state. Once we received the support from QCA, then they took it to the next level of engagement. QCA has been the leader in terms of supporting us beyond the money.

THE: What’s next for Healthy Roster?

Heerdt: We are really focused on building a scalable sales process, so hiring sales development reps, building the top-end of the funnel, providing enough leads for account managers to do demos and close sales. We are putting a lot of our time into that portion of the company, and then really building our customer success. That is really the second part of what we need to do to scale. Once we bring on a hospital or 50 athletic trainers, how do we take the next step to ensure they have a smooth transition into the software when using it on a daily basis, and using it to its fullest potential so that management of hospitals get the full value of the data and reports in the system.

THE: What’s your perspective on Cincinnati and the entrepreneurial, startup scene?

Heerdt: I’ve spent enough time in this city, and it’s robust to say the least. In Cincinnati, you get a strong sense of product and retail-oriented companies because of the strong base of Fortune 500 companies. Each market differs in who their established big companies are and the ecosystems that they build. In Cincinnati, we see a vibrant community. What I really like is they have the same type of viewpoints of how to build companies as we do in Columbus, so I found a lot of the same willingness in the investors here as I did in Columbus.

THE: How important is the collaboration and interaction between the cities and the investment groups?

Heerdt: It’s really important. It trims down the responsibilities of the entrepreneur to pitch and do due diligence multiple times. So when the investment communities agree and work together, it helps on the diligence process. Rev1 was our lead investor and we went through a stringent process with them getting the due diligence together. QCA trusts Rev1 enough to know that they were setting it up the right way, and could just access the documents that I had provided. It’s not like we did not have additional diligence questions or conversations around it, but I wasn’t constantly getting different versions of the same information that was requested because QCA wanted it done its own specific way. And vice versa, when Rev1 invests in a Cincinnati company, they trust QCA to do the diligence process the right way. It helps a lot from the entrepreneur side.

THE: How is the interaction between the angel groups and you? How do all these perspectives help you?

Heerdt: As an entrepreneur, the biggest thing you can do is be as transparent as possible with your investors. It seems like common sense, but it is something you have to work at. You have to set up accessible reports and dashboards, and make sure the data is there, and then encourage people to look at it. We have tried to set up systems and dashboards, where every month you are getting an introduction back into the company. Having people on the board just helps ease the transition even more, getting data into the hands of the investors.

If you make the right information accessible to the investors, it really helps with the trust factor. Both the investment groups, Rev1 and QCA, they show matching support for that. When they feel like they understand what is going on, it is a lot easier for them to engage. The more they are engaged on a monthly basis, the more benefit it is back to the entrepreneur and the company.

THE: What would you say to other entrepreneurs considering funding through QCA?

Heerdt: It’s a highly worthwhile effort. All fundraising takes time and energy and effort. As you go through multiple groups, it gets more and more tiring. But there are two or three big important groups to hit in the state of Ohio, and QCA is one of them.