October 2015 STEM Focus: What Contributes to Local STEM Startup's Success? Spotlight on Forcura

 Craig Mandeville, Founder/CEO  Matt Challberg, Dir. Marketing & Business Development

Craig Mandeville, Founder/CEO

Matt Challberg, Dir. Marketing & Business Development

Not only is Forcura one of the fastest growing healthcare tech companies, it’s also a great place to work. The Jacksonville Business Journal awarded Forcura as one of 2015’s “Best Places to Work” in June. Last week, founder/CEO Craig Mandeville was recognized as one of the city’s ultimate CEO’s. According to the JBJ, recipients of this award “have demonstrated a strong record of innovation, outstanding performance, and leadership both inside and outside of their respective businesses.”

JaxCoE wondered what Forcura and its leadership can teach us all about startup success. Here's what we learned.

To get the perspective of a STEM graduate, we talked to Matt Challberg, Director of Marketing & Business Development. (Scroll down for video interview with Craig Mandeville.)

Tell us about the company and your role.

Forcura is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company located in Jacksonville, FL. Our company focuses on improving the communication, workflow, and automation of protected health information for healthcare providers. We currently focus specifically on the Healthcare at Home industry. I currently lead the marketing and sales department to grow the organization and improve awareness of our company. My goal is to help build our sales and marketing infrastructure to capitalize on the opportunity we have ahead of ourselves.

What do you believe has contributed to Forcura's success?

I believe it has been our ability to constantly adapt to a variety of challenges and to continually innovate. Since the beginning our team has been extremely adaptive and been able to listen and identify unique business process challenges which has allowed us to build products that provide a significant impact for our clients.

What training, skills, and personal qualities help you to add value as a director of a STEM-based company?

I’ve always been an analytical person. My educational background is in Industrial Engineering and I use the principles that I learned to improve processes within our own back office and within our client’s. Having a diverse background with some technical experience, marketing, sales, and operations has helped me handle everyday challenges that are a part of building a technology company.

Is Jax a good place for a person with your technical background? Why or why not?

I believe Jacksonville is an up and coming city for startup businesses that have a focus on innovation and use of technology. Now is a great time to be in Jacksonville for people who have technical backgrounds, or who are looking to create something relating to technology or innovation. There is a growing demand for technical talent in Jacksonville, as well as people who have skills to support that talent in the form of product management, sales, marketing, and operations.

Tell us about your vision for Jacksonville's future. What do you believe needs to happen for our region to become an innovation hub?

I feel that Jacksonville’s future is extremely bright. Jacksonville has many of the right elements grow into an innovation hub like Silicon Valley or Austin Texas. We have a growing population of young talent, a city that is going through significant improvements and change, as well as a community interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. I feel that there are a lot of entrepreneurial activity within Jacksonville, but it is challenged by fragmentation. The city has always been fragmented geographically and I feel it impacts the amount of conversations and connections people have. The most successful cities have a high volume of interactions between various people discussing ideas, entrepreneurship, and innovation. If Jacksonville can improve the rate at which these interactions happen and improve the awareness of startups in Jacksonville I believe it can become a significant city in the startup and innovation scene.

What do you do when you're not directing a successful STEM startup?

I enjoy spending time with my wife and family. I'm a fitness and outdoors enthusiast. Typically I'll be on the water, playing sports, or traveling on the weekends. I'm also always looking to learn, grow, or give back in some way. I'm usually reading a good book and looking for opportunities for community service through Rotaract of Jacksonville Beach. 


Founder/CEO Craig Mandeville discusses factors leading to the success of his healthcare tech startup and the future of Jacksonville, Florida as an innovation hub.