Exxat: A compelling Startup Story

Why do so many startups that seem to have all— potential investors, customers, and a promising outlook fail when they reach the fifth or the tenth year? The reasons are not quite a few. From finding an appropriate market fit to formulating a strategy for growth and funding decisions, many startups fail to consider the consistent set of factors that make startup companies successful. This is where a resilient leader with the ability to empower, collaborate, and innovate becomes inevitable for a company. Aarti Vaishnav, CEO, Exxat is one such leader who has succeeded in the startup world.

For Exxat, “our challenges were compounded by the complexity of the clinical education landscape. We first needed to develop a complete understanding of clinical education in the Allied Health Sciences, which varied greatly from field to field and school to school,” says Aarti Vaishnav, CEO, Exxat. After developing a complete understanding of clinical education space Aarti along with her co-founder Vaibhav Bora decided to employ agile development methodology to get the control and customization they needed to meet the specific needs of clients. With the implementation of agile development methodology, today, Exxat is able to serve clients across various domains including Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and caters to the unique needs of each of its school partners.

Exxat started its journey in 2011 in LA with three members serving one department. Now the team consists of 75 of them serving over 150 departments across two countries. With the willingness to customize and understanding of the clinical education space, the company has grown so quickly in a short time frame supporting innovations across the clinical education industry. “Beyond the highly customizable product, we also needed to address the needs of the many stakeholders in clinical education within a fast-changing, ever-evolving healthcare landscape. Taking that into account, we created modules for schools, students, and sites,”adds Aarti.

Today, enterprises are faced with a lot of regulatory scrutinizes for not enacting their corporate social corporate responsibilities. But Exxat was not ready to be with that list of organizations. Exxat Cares, the charitable arm of the company, provides traditional financial contributions to employee-chosen organizations both in India and the U.S. This year the company has also sponsored over 20 health professionals to support communities in need in India. While the company’s customizable platform has helped its clients to optimize next set of innovations in the clinical education space, Exxat’s ability to quickly develop new products and services in response to client needs has become its core strength in the market. “As a successful startup, never being satisfied must be part of your business plan. So far, we have bootstrapped our way to over a 150 clients. However, we are now seeking additional funding to spur future growth,” says Aarti.

As a mentor and a resilient leader, Aarti also believes that finding the right balance between work and life is very important for both organization and team members’ success. To this end, the company offers flexible working hours and gives the privilege to work from home. Exxat also provides initial training and offers ongoing professional development opportunities via retreats, workshops, and conferences.

When Exxat was incepted in 2011, it was just a software company. But as the company obtained the domain specific knowledge to be successful, it became so easy for universities working with Exxat to optimize clinical education process. Today, the company offers business solutions such as Approve and Assist services to support universities in the increasingly specialized and time-consuming administrative aspects of health sciences education. Also, the company draws upon the knowledge of the clinical education space to perform the key administrative tasks such as managing student compliance for their school partners.

The company also provides some of the most exciting products and services that are available in the market. It includes STEPS—a flagship clinical education management platform that helps clients accomplish their goals more effectively and efficiently, PLAN— a curriculum planning and accreditation tool, and CCS—centralized contract system. While PLAN provides schools with curriculum mapping tools and robust reporting functionality to help ensure accreditation and facilitate faculty collaboration, CCS allows clients to track site contracts across departments throughout the contract lifecycle.

Although there were competitors when Exxat entered the market in 2011, many of them lacked the deep understanding of the clinical education space. Over the last six years, through research—Exxat developed that knowledge, and listened to the school partners to exclusively tailor the products based on their needs. “This responsiveness led to the micro-disruption of a comprehensive, user-friendly platform. Our single platform allows efficient, effective workflows for our school partners. We’ve gone beyond just the clinical education space and created solutions for didactic education and accreditation planning,” explains Aarti.

In the coming years, Exxat intends to improve its existing products to keep pace with the changing needs while investing in new products. “We will also foster strategic alliances with vendor partners to help expand the ecosystem. We will not change the core of Exxat: we listen to our customers, take care of our team, and give back to our community,” concludes Aarti