Startups to Watch: SavvyDox puts everyone on the same page

Mark Brownlee
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Hans Downer wants to put the days of having to piece together dozens of track changes on Microsoft Word behind him.

Hans Downer is the CEO of SavvyDox.

His company, SavvyDox, has developed a cloud-based solution that allows busy employees to track the changes a document has been through since it left their hands.

Mr. Downer illustrates its usefulness with the example of a contract that a company has developed. The document has likely been through multiple people, making it easy for the original author to mix up changes that have already been made to those that still need to be corrected.

“If you happen to miss one that’s really important, then you’ve got a problem,” he said. “With our solution, we have a viable alternative to track changes so that you don’t miss the changes.”

The program, which SavvyDox can tailor to whichever content management system a company is using, has two other principal benefits: ensuring everyone who needs to read a document has checked it over and helping authors save time by quickly bringing them up to speed on changes.

Mr. Downer said they are primarily targeting the product to health care providers (since doctors and nurses often need to get quickly up to date on changing protocols) and manufacturers (a sector where quality assurance and safety procedures change regularly).

Governments are also a primary market, he said, since so much of what bureaucrats do involves documentation. Helping companies that deal with contracts, another main function of the solution, is applicable across sectors.

Since there’s no specifically defined market, it’s going to be tough to sell the product because you’re not selling into a well-defined market. Hans Downer, CEO of SavvyDox

The company still has some work to do to become profitable, however. The problem with growing the product’s appeal, said Mr. Downer, is that SavvyDox isn’t currently selling into a well-defined market. As it stands now, the solution stands somewhere between a content management system and a file-sharing program like Dropbox.

That’s why he’s trying to reach agreements with businesses like OpenText to build the program into the products that they sell, rather than try to sell to individual companies.

SavvyDox currently has revenues of less than $100,000. The company needs to grow that to $3 million to become revenue neutral, which Mr. Downer anticipates will take place in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year.

Founded: 2011

Local head count: Six

Funding: $2.5 million total. $1.5 million from angel visitors (including Capital Angel Network, Angel One Investor Network and the Golden Triangle Angel Network) and a $1-million loan from the federal government’s Invest in Business Innovation program

Client list: Pallium Canada, Xerox (United States), CGI

Product: Cloud-based document management system

Organizations: Xerox, CGI

Geographic location: Canada, United States

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