Founder spotlight

Cultivating patience to move fast.

Scribenote team working at Velocity

Alina Pavel (BASc ’21) and Ryan Gallagher (BASc ’21) both say that running a startup takes patience. They are co-founders of Scribenote, a startup that automates documentation for veterinarians, saving them up to two hours a day and allowing them to focus on direct care instead of paperwork.

“Founders need to figure out how to work hard, sustainably, for a long period of time,” said Gallagher, Scribenote’s CEO. “It’s good to be impatient, but the reality is it’s going to take some time before you hit that stride.”

But “some time” can mean different things to different people. In Scribenote’s case, since joining Velocity in October 2022, the startup has increased its revenue by a factor of a hundred and tripled its staff. In fact, it has grown so fast that Scribenote is moving to its own space. Not just to grow operations, but to be one step closer to realizing its vision.

“The best recipe is really caring about what you are working on and working with people who care equally. That makes it hard to quit.”

“Our 100-year vision is for Scribenote to be embedded into every veterinary clinic and work side-by-side with vets to pioneer our greatest innovation together,” said Pavel, who is chief product officer. “This means working hard but remaining patient.”

It took the founders and their team time and four product launches to get to where they are today: venture capital backed with more than 350,000 transcript automations. And Velocity has been instrumental, the co-founders said.

“Velocity invested in us, both financially and in its commitment to helping us, when no one else did,” Gallagher said. “Entrepreneurship can be lonely, but Velocity makes that easier because you are surrounded by other founders, your peers. And the business support around strategy and encouragement to hit the gas. That has all been critical to Scribenote’s success so far.”

Scribenote sprouted out of Pavel’s and Gallagher’s fourth year nanotechnology engineering design project at the University of Waterloo. At that time, Gallagher had already started working with Velocity on campus on a previous startup.

Both co-founders said that while it’s important to work hard, there is a lot of learning that takes place running a startup. It is a steep learning curve that could throw you off track without endurance and support.

“Odds are you are going to bump into the walls of your idea and skillset. Being a founder requires learning over a long period of time, while doing so aggressively,” Gallagher said. “The best recipe is really caring about what you are working on and working with people who care equally. That makes it hard to quit.”