The eCenter@Lindenpointe is a business incubator based in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, committed to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship by providing a supportive environment, including infrastructure, education, training, mentorship, and a network of service providers. This infrastructure helps entrepreneurs from the regional service area and beyond to achieve success by encouraging technological innovation and economic growth and providing assistance in the development, management, and promotion of their ventures. Since its inception in 2010 the eCenter has coached and mentored 36 companies.
Onboarding of new board directors was cumbersome with standard email
Directors felt inundated with too many attachments to read, and too many email messages to sort through
Inconsistency in how documents were accessed via different cloudbased document storage solutions triggered confusion
Weak engagement with directors demonstrated by lack of responsiveness
One Ving that has several components for directors to view is far simpler to read and organize
Ability to share multiple files and assets in one Ving significantly reduced “information and message overload”
Capability to view and find documents has become much simpler, as everything is accessible through one platform with one solution
Ability to view data and track responsiveness shows a steady increase in engagement
Given its mission of incubating small companies from being simply one entrepreneur’s idea to a successful business that can stand on its own, the eCenter@Lindenpointe frequently has new companies and their respective directors joining its executive board. As part of its director onboarding process, the eCenter has numerous documents containing important information that must be shared with each board member. Unfortunately, the standard practice of sending emails with several large attachments was cumbersome, and caused recipients to feel overwhelmed, according to Ketaki Desai, executive director at eCenter@Lindenpointe.
“As the person running the organization, I can only send so many documents to people with whom I am working, especially board members, who are very busy and don’t have time to sort through multiple messages, download and read attachments,” said Desai. “I needed to find a solution which would allow me to bundle all of the documents together in one simple format, and that would be easy for the directors to find when they needed it. Until I found Ving, I was at a loss, as I didn’t think anything of that nature existed.”
In addition to using email to send documents to the incubator’s directors, Desai and her team also used cloudbased storage systems like DropBox and Google Docsforsharing and accessing files.
“These cloud solutions are great in that they allow you to create and share folders to organize files and share access,” she said. “The problem though isthat most people use a proxy email, which means everything gets sent to gmail. They will get a notification but then often forget – and people never know where to go to find certain items. It seemed to cause a lot of confusion for people who were not in our internal email system.”
Communications Engagement Platform Brings Multiple Benefits
Once Desai discovered Ving , she was very excited about the possibilities it presented – not only the ease with which she could share documents, but also the ability to track who accessed and viewed the information and who didn’t, as well as the ability to include surveys to get feedback from board members.
“I now use a standard onboarding template with Ving to send to new directors when they join eCenter. This makes it really simple to share the incubator’s bylaws, board member names and contact information, each committee member’s responsibility, and other items,” said Desai. “I also include a poll question so I can find out what else they need or what questions they still have. Ving makes it extremely easy for me to add or change items without having to change the whole communication.”
Among the increased efficiency benefits, Desai says that the board members love getting one Ving with multiple links to different assets. She explained that it makes it easy for them to refer back when they need the information, and it’s much less invasive and removes the feeling of information overload to just see all the assets in one Ving.
“The user experience is really smooth – and I’m now seeing board members respond within a few hours of receiving a Ving, which never happened before,” she said.
Desai said that in the near future, eCenter will look to Ving to share a new, well-developed business curriculum that her team is currently working on.
“We’re trying to figure out ways to assess which teams have actually read the curriculum by assigning follow-up tasks or asking questions,” she explained. “Ving is perfect for this type of communication as it makes so easy to see who read the information and who didn’t, so we don’t waste extra time trying to track down people’s responses.
“I consider myself fairly tech savvy – but I’m also impatient,” she said. “I’m the first person who would say, ‘never mind, this is too much effort’ – but it turns out I like Ving a lot! I’m a perfect example that once someone uses Ving once, they will most likely keep using it. It’s just that easy!”