Scholastica – the startup has six employees, headed to 10, in a River North space at the incubator Catapult– must also face well-established competitors in the management of manuscripts such as Aries Systems Corp. of Andover, Mass., with 5,600 customer reviews and 70 employees. Richard Wynne, vice president of sales and marketing, says she and a unit of Thomson Reuters control about 80 percent of the market.
An ironic hurdle arose last fall when the Chicago-based International Journal of Spine Surgery, preparing to drop Reed Elsevier, turned to Scholastica. Because the medical industry’s operating systems were so old, publisher Jonny Dover found Scholastica’s browser to be incompatible and said he had to find another publisher.
Mr. Cody, who grew up near the Georgian border in rural Florida with access to a television channel, was a University of Chicago doctoral candidate (in organizational decision-making) when the review process by the peer review and publication that sometimes lasted for years seemed foolish to him. . “The people who do all the work, creating the brand, have no control over distribution,” he says.
He teamed up with Rob Walsh and Cory Schires, then at the Chicago adware company LLC Center, whose CEO, Shawn Riegsecker, was an initial investor in Scholastica. Alain Matthieu from Tribal Ventures LLC contributed the most: $ 50,000. The rest came from Keith Bronstein, former managing director of TradeLink Holdings LLC in Chicago, and a fourth investor Mr. Cody did not identify.
Scholastica is raising an additional $ 550,000 from angel investors and, according to Mr. Riegsecker, could become a buyout target. As for management capacity, Mr. Matthieu admits: “Good question. They have to put on their jogging shoes. They are in a race. But they are well placed at the moment.