You can only win and grow if you relentlessly implement your strategy
Today’s entrepreneur is Laurent Schockmel, CEO of clinical trial recruitment company Antidote, a free clinical trial search engine that serves both sides of the clinical trial market: patients and projects looking for participants.
When a patient searches on Antidote Match, the company uses this information to create a database of patient and health information that serves as the foundation for the company to work on specific recruitment projects for its pharmaceutical, biotech and CRO clients .
Schockmel is a 30-year veteran of the life sciences, technology, data, and services industries. He has extensive clinical, business, data and technology experience and has held leadership positions at companies such as Truveris, IMS Health, Cegedim and Gemini Consulting in both Europe and the United States. He has a track record of delivering dramatic improvements in customer innovation, quality, efficiency and overall company performance.
In his role as CEO of Antidote, Schockmel is responsible for defining corporate strategy and overseeing our global business model that maximizes value for both patients and customers by bridging the gap between medical research and the people who work on it most urgent need. He will work with the senior management team to identify high impact opportunities and effectively manage our global technology platform, services and assets to achieve significant and sustainable growth.
Schockmel holds a PhD in Veterinary Medicine from the Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort, France and an MBA ESSEC Business School in Paris. He began his career as a veterinarian and spent his early years in the pharmaceutical industry in clinical research, regulatory affairs and product marketing.
Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur?
I like the atmosphere and energy in building a company. And I find that it is easier to influence – you have the opportunity to make decisions independently without getting bogged down in bureaucratic paperwork. We can innovate much faster because we try harder, fail faster, and correct faster. I have spent a good part of my career in large established companies where this has not been the case.
What are your favorite startups?
My favorite startups include the big disruptors like Salesforce, whose technology has transformed the CRM market, and companies like Veeva, which have used the Salesforce platform to achieve constant growth and deliver for their shareholders. In the world of Antidote medical research, I am keeping an eye on some existing innovative technologies that are helping patients connect differently to clinical trials. I’m especially excited about companies that are bringing laboratory services into people’s homes and those that are streamlining the screening process by making blood draws and biopsies less stressful for patients, especially in oncology.
Why did you start your company or do you want to be innovative in your company?
I chose to lead the Antidote team because I saw in everyone I was interviewed a real passion and dedication to the company’s mission – this is a team that is entirely dedicated to helping patients with medical research has prescribed. This was the first time in my career that I met a team that was so motivated to accomplish the company’s mission and frankly it was refreshing. In business terms, I found that Antidote is sitting on a goldmine of real-world data from patients using our clinical trial search platform, and that data has not been touched. Coming from my background in data companies, I saw value and great potential there.
What is the most frustrating and rewarding thing about entrepreneurship / innovation?
The most frustrating part of building and growing businesses is that big ambitions don’t always match funding, which directly affects the ability to execute the plan and accelerate growth. But at some point, if you get it right, the money will come. The most rewarding part is developing a vision for your business and a path to get there, and then being able to execute that plan. I was brought in as CEO of Antidote to help the company grow. I had my doubts, but we endured a tough first year and then a global pandemic in 2020 – but the breakthrough came. We are doing it and it is very rewarding to see how the hard work of my team has a huge impact on the business.
What’s the # 1 mistake made by entrepreneurs / innovators?
I think the biggest mistake entrepreneurs and business leaders make is believing that they can solve everything by themselves. It’s so important to choose the right team and then trust them to do their job. You can’t build a business on your own!
What are the three most important lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
- It is crucial to be very transparent with your board of directors and your investors about the state of the company. When you include them as part of your vision, strategy, and plan, they can feel part of your work so that they can support you when you need them.
- As I mentioned earlier, trusting your team is so important. Building a company is a team sport. Therefore, it is important to empower your team to share ideas, try new strategies, and achieve their goals.
- Execution is the most important thing. Of course you need ideas – but a lot of people have ideas. Focus and implementation will deliver. You can only win and grow if you relentlessly implement your strategy.