For RxResults, Innovate Arkansas' Network Is Key For Strategic Growth

by Erica Swallow February 19, 2016 Acceleration, Clients, Talent

From the time RxResults and Innovate Arkansas started working together in 2009, when the company was in its early founding days, to today when the bond is still strong, RxResults President and CEO Tery Baskin says the Innovate Arkansas network has been the biggest benefit.

"Innovate Arkansas is really good at creating networking opportunities for us," says Baskin. "Every time you sit down and talk with somebody about what they do and what you do, you get comments from them and learn new things about crucial areas, such as the financial sector or a specific operating function. They even hosted a series of CEO Forum meetings, which I took part in."

RxResults Principal and National Sales Director Chris Monroe agrees: "Innovate Arkansas' ability to put people with people in the appropriate environment, with the appropriate win-win needs, has been outstanding," he says. "Whether that's positioning us to speak at an investor conference or CEO roundtable in Tery's case, they have done an outstanding job of connecting us with relationships. This includes to capital sources, to exposure through speaking engagements -- that connectivity has been a big part of the relationship."

University Beginnings

RxResults, an evidence-based pharmacy risk management company, was founded in 2009 as a commercialization of the University of Arkansas for Medical Science's Evidence-Based Medicine Center (EBRx), which was created in 2004 to provide clinical strategies within the Pharmacy Benefit Programs for Arkansas Medicaid, Arkansas State employees, and Arkansas public school employees. "Those three entities were frustrated with the rising cost of prescription drugs and felt as if their Pharmacy Benefit Manager lacked clinical innovation," says Monroe. EBRx was created to provide recommendations within the plans of those three groups.

"Over the next four years, those groups experienced a dramatic reduction in prescription drug costs, based on the inclusion of EBRx and some unique clinical strategies they brought to the table," says Monroe. "Based on that success, UAMS had a vision to create a private-sector entity to offer this model to other employers in the marketplace, to take advantage of similar savings that the state of Arkansas had experienced."

And so, RxResults was founded, at the leadership of pharmacist Tery Baskin, alongside business development vet Chris Monroe, and operations lead Alan Gardner. The venture spun out of UAMS BioVentures, the university's life sciences business incubator and technology licensing office.

A Constant Sounding Board

Innovate Arkansas came into RxResult's picture early on in its founding. "As a BioVentures company, we were giving presentations at investor's conferences and to the BioVentures board, many meetings of which the Innovate Arkansas team was in or around," says Baskin. "We got acquainted with them, and it's worked out well for us." 

"They started providing us with consulting in the pre-revenue stage," says Monroe. "They assisted us with our PowerPoint before we ever went out for some of those early pitches." The advice came in the form of market research suggestions, capital resource introductions, competitive positioning, and contextual communications.

Baskin says beyond connecting his team to an active and helpful network, Innovate Arkansas provides RxResults with a constant sounding board for ideas and strategies:

"Tom Dalton, Mike Smith, and Ted Dickey have a wide variety of experiences themselves, and they don't ever take the stance of telling you what you should do, but they're really good about telling you things you may want to consider. They do that in a very supportive way; not a critical way. It's nice to have a place to go talk to people who it's not their first rodeo."

Monroe explains that a tangible example of the Innovate Arkansas network, on top of its advisors' sound suggestions, came in a recent lunch with advisors Mike Smith and Ted Dickey. "They explained that Innovate Arkansas has a whole host of companies in its network that provide services that could be of value to us," says Monroe. "We're in growth mode and expanding our salesforce, adding a couple of sales people. They put us in touch with TheBench, an Innovate Arkansas partner focused on tech talent recruiting, which we're now in talks with to potentially help us source some candidates for our open sales positions."

The RxResults team sees its relationship with Innovate Arkansas as one that will continue to flourish around the sharing of mutually beneficial relationships. "If Innovate Arkansas has a company that's in startup mode, and they can provide a resource to us, while we can provide a proof-of-concept for their value proposition, because we were able to use their service successfully, those links build bridges in Arkansas' entrepreneurship ecosystem," says Monroe.

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