Day Zero Diagnostics

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In a critical medical situation, time is everything. When a patient comes in with a life-threatening infection, a physician has a narrow window to figure out a course of antibiotic treatment, and with every second that passes, that window comes closer to slamming shut. Today, it can take a doctor between 2 to 5 days to diagnose an infection’s resistance to antibiotics, if they’re able to at all. A patient with sepsis can die in a matter of hours.

Day Zero Diagnostics is working to stem the tide of this public health crisis, combining genome sequencing, a large proprietary database, and machine learning to diagnose an infection’s antibiotic resistance profile within hours rather than days. With this information in hand, a doctor can treat a patient with a targeted antibiotic on the first day they are admitted to the hospital—day zero.

With a cause this important, the founding team at Day Zero Diagnostics needed a technology partner that would add real value and allow them to scale efficiently, without diverting key time or resources from their core mission. Shoobx was a natural fit: “There are very few things we go to outside companies to do,” explains Day Zero CEO Jong Lee. “We’re very efficient about the way we use outside resources. When we approach a company like Shoobx, it’s because the technical skillset is critical.”

In 2016, Day Zero was a team of 5 that used Shoobx to sell $500,000 in convertible notes to friends and family. By 2019, the company had nearly quadrupled in size and had closed a $8.6 million Series A round to bring its total fundraise to $12 million. Here’s how Shoobx helped make that growth possible.

Adopting the Shoobx Platform

Wet lab science is expensive, and the founders of Day Zero knew that if they were going to succeed in their mission, they’d have to spend their funds wisely. That meant doing as many things in-house as possible, and only engaging outside partners that were truly worth the money.

Shoobx was one of those key outside partners. Day Zero turned to Shoobx to execute its convertible round, grant equity, obtain board and stockholder consents, operate its data room, and manage all of its key human resources workflows, saving valuable time and allowing them to allocate legal spend to complex, high-value tasks. This decision allowed the company to successfully bootstrap in its early stages, and use its limited funds to tackle the challenge of executing a machine learning approach in a field that had never seen one.

Jong Lee

Using Shoobx demonstrated to investors a level of organization and controls in our process that felt professional and comprehensive.

-Jong Lee, Cofounder & CEO

Preparing for Equity Financing

The founders of Day Zero knew that their initial $500,000 investment could only go so far, even with their economical approach. If their mission was going to succeed, they would need an institutional investment. Using Shoobx meant that when the opportunity for an equity financing presented itself, they were in position to execute it efficiently.

Day Zero leveraged Shoobx as a go-to resource to populate a shared data room with investors, and to immediately download key historical documents. Because Day Zero had worked with Shoobx since its early stages, their employee agreements, advisory agreements, contracts, legal forms, NDAs, board approvals, and stock option grants were all fully executed and organized. Having all of the necessary documents readily accessible for investors made the equity financing process faster, easier, and more cost-effective.

“Using Shoobx demonstrated to investors a level of organization and controls in our process that felt professional and comprehensive,” says Lee. “Without Shoobx, I am absolutely certain it would have taken me an enormous amount of time or a lot of legal expense to organize all these documents and some would inevitably have been missed.”

Managing HR and IP for a Growing Company

As a life sciences startup, Day Zero requires employees with a high degree of technical and scientific sophistication. Shoobx is there to meet those human resource needs.

“The way I describe our company is that we’re a hard science company. I mean that in both ways: we’re doing the sort of deep, technical science that most startups don’t get engaged in, but I also mean hard in the other sense of the term, which is that almost everything we’re trying to do has never been done before,” explains Lee.

That Day Zero is tackling problems that are both difficult and novel means that the company needs to not just be able to attract, recruit, and manage highly-qualified employees, but also to oversee the intellectual property that they create. Using Shoobx, Day Zero has grown from a team from 5 to a team 19 without administrative burden, with a simple, streamlined process for hiring, sharing HR documents, and managing compensation, stock options, and promotions.

In addition, Day Zero uses Shoobx to protect its intellectual property via employee invention assignment agreements, employee confidentiality agreements, and non-disclosure agreements.

Shoobx: Helping Make the Day Zero Mission a Reality

Even after multiple successful fundraising rounds, Lee is no less attuned to how critical it is that his company spends its resources on the right things. “One of the core tenets of our culture is that we’re incredibly capital-efficient,” he says. “We treat as core the idea that investor money is something that needs to be shepherded, and we’re value oriented in how we spend our money.”

Day Zero has been focused from the beginning on leveraging technology to run an efficient professional business its investors can believe in. Standard processes and documentation allow companies to scale confidently and raise capital without fear of surprises. Shoobx provides that foundation for growth so the Day Zero team can invest in saving lives.

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