“The HR outsourcers need a different and brand new platform to do business with. And all the service providers are being asked by their clients to do more for them because they want to buy best of breed solutions, but they want them on an integrated basis today. And that’s exactly what Insynctive does."
Alan: Welcome Back, I’m visiting here today with Gary Goldstien. Gary is the co-founder of Insynctive. Gary welcome to today’s show.
Gary: Hey, thanks, Alan. I appreciate you having me here today.
Alan: So Gary for the listeners, can you give me your background. How you got to where you are today?
Gary: Well, I was born in St. Louis, so I’ve always had to live by the show me state motto and I went around the country with my Father who was in the military. He was an obstetrician gynecologist went to UCLA in the San Francisco. He was at Moffat and San Francisco general and I went to Junior High school at Joaquin Moraga, Campa Linda high school and then cal. And I traveled the United States cause I helped found the chapter of Phi Kappa Psi at Berkley and so now I’m the house court president of the Cal gamma chapter of Phi Kappa Psi.
Alan: So coming out of school was your ambition to immediately say I’m just going to start a business and move into it or did you have a transition into this?
Gary: Well, when I came out of school, when we were in school, they didn’t have the entrepreneur programs that they do today. So I really didn’t know I was an entrepreneur until you find out that you really are. And I come from a long line of entrepreneurs, my grandfather was an entrepreneur, my mom was an entrepreneur and my brother’s an entrepreneur. So, we found out along the way after we worked together as a family. And then I started my own business in the insurance business and worked my way up. In 1997, I started a company called Bisnet that allowed for benefits communication, enrollment, administration, and transactions to over a hundred insurance companies. We had clients like eBay, eTrade, Sony PlayStation, Dreyer's Ice Cream, and Blue shield in California not only for their own employees, but they would pay for any blue shield enrollee on our system. So we sold that company in 2005 and then again, unfortunately, in 2008. And it still alive today. So it’s kinda incredible. Having the opportunity to get back in to the same business again where you’ve been very successful through Insynctive is a tremendous opportunity.
Alan: And let’s go around, when you founded Insynctive, how old is the company first?
Gary: It’s about three years old. And I came and met the original founder three and a half years ago. Myself and the vice president of product took over the company June 1st.
Alan: And this is an insurance based company?
Gary: Well, no. We support the benefit brokers and the HR outsourcers and the up Harel service bureaus, third party administrators and accounting and text groups and we are the platform that allows them to transform their clients from paper-based environments to electronic environments and a lot of the employers today, up to 1500 employees like to buy best of breed solutions for HR and benefits of administration, payroll, time and attendance, background checks, performance reviews, talon management, online learning, etc. And what Insynctive does is allows for us to offer our core product which is on boarding life cycle management, HR, and benefits of administration for small groups and large groups. And then partner and integrate into these third party product services. So it’s an app store for business products, back office business products.
Alan: You know, Gary, as you’ve ventured out into Insynctive and you’ve said you came across a person that had started this and really what you were there for was to help them scale and get it organized and ready for the next level.
Alan: What drives you? You know, in other words, when you see something how do you know when you step in to the quadrants I’m gonna spend time in this. How do you capture that vision of this is what I need to do to drive this company to the next level?
Gary: Well, you know I’ve had a lot of successes and nonsuccesses in working with businesses of all types, hi-tech, lo-tech, no-tech businesses and so through that process, and it was a real learning process. You really kinda understand what it takes and when I was introduced to Insynctive three and a half years ago I knew immediately that it had the components of being what we are today, but it was going to take a lot of work to get where we were and I proved to the business owner that we had to change the business model and how to change how we are gonna do business and how we are gonna leverage into this market place instead of winning one new business at a time.
Alan: So this go around Insynctive is really scaling on technology versus people. Is that right?
Gary: Correct, exactly. And it’s a platform that allows our service providers the distributors of Insynctive to actually onboard their clients and manage their clients electronically going forward.
Alan: Okay, how is business doing now?
Gary: Its great! I mean, you know, as I mentioned, we are just getting going and we have 8 distributors that represent 650 client companies and 26,000 employees and 35 of those 650 client companies are on the system and we are growing every month. So we are coming out with some new features and functionalities that are going allow us to really scale. We are in four different states right now and we are coming live in Virginia and Missouri and then next Colorado.
Alan: I’m visiting here today with Gary Goldstein; he is the CEO of Insynctive. Gary, I need to take a quick break and I’ll be right back after these messages.
Gary: Great, thank you.
Alan: Welcome back, I’m visiting here today with Gary Goldstein, he’s the CEO of Insynctive. And Gary, in the last segment we were talking about how you stepped in and saw this vision for Insynctive and helping it to scale in to the next level. When you are looking though at the competition, because right now as things are moving to the cloud and technology, how do you differentiate yourself?
Gary: We differentiate ourselves because we have a tremendously flexible onboarding solution for employers that encompass the unique forms that every employer uses. So for instance, one of our clients has 21 onboarding forms. You have your I-9s and you have your W-4s, but after that you have a lot of unique forms that are for every employer group that are needed and in the paper world it’s very difficult and electronically it’s very easy to manage and we have the ability to manage forms in a number of different ways. We also have an extremely flexible benefits of administration solution that handles the benefits of administration for small groups up to 100 employees and then over 100 employees. So for the small groups whether it be here in California or across the united states, the insurance company still needs their application. So we have the ability to populate those applications at the end of the open enrollment process, bundle them together and send them HIPAA compliant and secure to the insurance companies on the pre-addressed envelope. And so we have the ability to handle lots of different ways of communicating with the third party administrators, insurance companies, and other entities that need forms and documents and information.
Alan: You know, Gary, in this day and age of information flow and you talked about HIPAA requirements just the compliance is overwhelming. How are you using technology in what you do to really, are you involved in machine learning with Insynctive? You know, helping people come to easier decisions and directions they need to go?
Gary: Absolutely, in part we would partner with a decision making tool to help employees understand what is a PPO versus an HMO. Help them understand what is a better insurance company versus one that’s not paying as many claims. But at our core, we are the database of record and so as we get information about employees into the system from an applicant tracking system through a spreadsheet or through administrator, the employees are asked at every chance that we get to validate information about themselves and about their dependents and that way that information is then passed to our forms and other systems accurately, timely, securely, and correct. So that’s our main function in the ecosystem.
Alan: So when an individual comes to you and says “Gary, I’d like to sign up for the services.” Where do they find Insynctive?
Gary: People are finding us through the web. Right now we have a very small sales force and so they’re potentially 650,000 different types of distributors that would use our system for their clients and so they’re coming to us through the web. We have the ability for them to go to our website and fill in a form and we get right back to them.
Alan: So Gary, when we are looking at Insynctive, who are you really targeting? What is the ideal client for you?
Gary: Well, we work with our service providers; the benefit brokers, HR outsourcers, accounting and tax groups, payroll service bureaus, that have clients from 2 employees up to 1,500 employees.
Alan: Okay, and so typically to enroll they’ll come find you on the website?
Gary: Well, the service providers come find us on the website. Then we work with them, we help them set up their first 15 accounts. After that, they can set up their own accounts themselves or continue to have us set it up for a nominal fee. Then we support them throughout the process. Part of what we wanna do is continue to listen to what their needs are, continue to listen to what their clients’ needs are. And as they want to change service providers, we have the ability to go out and partner with those service providers whether they be in a payroll group, background check, accounting and tax group, whatever it might be and preintegrate with these services. And then we can configure the system to the unique needs of that employer group.
Alan: I’m visiting today here with Gary Goldstein. He’s the CEO of Insynctive and Gary, I need to take another break. We will be right back after these messages.
Alan: Welcome back, I’m visiting here today with Gary Goldstein, he is the CEO of insynctive. And Gary, running a company is never easy and you know, this show at American Dreams talks about pathways in life. And I had a guest come on once and say “In life there is no path, but it’s really the path is created by the series of choices that we make and the consequences that follow.” And so I wanna step back into the mind of the entrepreneur specifically when you stepped in and became part of Insynctive, you know, there was a transition that that involved. From the founder and you taking the reigns as the CEO, but in the process of scaling a company, what are some of the biggest challenges that the entrepreneur faces?
Gary: Well, I look at it as it’s not a straight line to success. And that success or nonsuccess is determined by the quality and number of people you have surrounding yourself. And having been in this business, that was one of the components that was really key and critical for me in order to take on this opportunity with the entrepreneur. And having the mindset of putting together a series of milestones that achieve your goal is what’s critical so that you have measurable results that you need to achieve. And every time you hit those results, you know you’re on track to get to where you need to go. And one of the things I’ve learned in the past is that you’ve got to get the company to break even in order to have a real company.
Alan: You know; I like that measurable goals for building accountability into that.
Alan: When you find that you’re not meeting goals, typically, how do you step back and re-evaluate?
Gary: Well, part of being a leader you have to surround yourself with people who have their own opinions. Many of the time they are gonna have a diverse opinion then you do. And so if you’re not on track to meet your goal, you have to reevaluate. You have to take in to consideration what the clients’ needs are, what the distributors’ needs are, what your employees are suggesting, what your network of advisors are suggesting, and then you come together and you put together a new path. And ultimately, it’s always a bunch of checks and balances along the way.
Alan: So what keeps you motivated to drive the company?
Gary: Well, you know, it’s exciting to build something, it’s exciting to see that it’s actually working. And it’s exciting to see that it’s actually helping people do things better, faster, and more efficiently, more effectively. It’s great to see us being compared against some of the other groups out there that have raised, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars.
Alan: Have you taken on outside financing? Or do you intend to?
Gary: Well, we will take on outside financing. Right now, we have raised about 2.75 million dollars from angel investors, from myself, and from the original founder. And we are looking for an additional million dollars of convertible nodes to a series A of 8 million dollars, 6 of it would be new money.
Alan: Okay, so when you are thinking about how you’ve come so far, are there any lessons that you’ve learned or experiences you can look back on and say, “you know that was a great experience in my life”?
Gary: Yeah! Even the ones that aren’t such great experiences add up to the sum and total. At the end of the day, as you mentioned, we are a sum of all of our experiences, both good and bad. And you have to take both into consideration to help motivate you as an entrepreneur. Cause there’s a lot of days, there’s a lot of nights where you’re making decisions you’re taking everything in to consideration, but at the end of the day, it’s your decision. And you know, we either win or lose on those decisions. By having more experience, you have the ability to make better decisions along the way.
Alan: Would you consider yourself with Insynctive to be a disruptor in the industry?
Gary: We are absolutely a disruptor! We are a disruptor to paper, we are a disruptor of the spiraling downside that benefit brokers are going through right now. Their commissions have been cut by ten percent to six percent or less. The value of how the play in the market place going forward is really critical and important. The HR outsourcers need a different and brand new platform to do business with. And all the service providers are being asked by their clients to do more for them because they wanna buy best of breed solutions, but they want them on an integrated basis today. And that’s exactly what Insynctive does.
Alan: You know, people are looking at the healthcare, the affordable care act and they are saying, “How do we best take advantage of making sure that our service doesn’t go down while our premiums are skyrocketing.”
Alan: And do you help guide people through the process for the best solutions for keeping healthcare cost down?
Gary: Uh, no. The benefit brokers and the HR outsourcers do that. But what we are is a platform that helps them implement those decisions. And then at renewal we help them get out in the market place, see what’s available, and then implement those new plans from new carriers and new rates that are being put forth and we handle any documentation and updating of rates and plans on the backend.
Alan: As you look across the united states, and go from state to state things aren’t always the same in terms of what’s required for compliance.
Alan: How do you handle that?
Gary: Well, that’s part of what we do on the backside. We work with the different vendors, the different insurance companies, etc. and we internalize all their forms, their rates, and their uniqueness’s. And so that when an employee is going through open enrollment or as a new hire going through enrollment for the first time we show them all the different products that are specifically available to them, based on their role, based on their class, and allow them to enroll in those plans. And then our system passes that data a number of different ways through to the carriers and third party administrators, etc.
Alan: Are there any lessons of leadership that have had great impact on your life?
Gary: Well, you know, it’s more people who have had a great impact on my life. And you know, obviously, it starts with my mom’s parents who are entrepreneurs themselves and ran a company up into $30-40 million in value, which was great back then. My mom was an entrepreneur, my brother and sister have been a big influence on my life. And of course, I can’t forget my wife of 34 years and my son of 22 years. Where I created the phrase, “it’s not a straight line to success, is it?” And then I’ve got a lot of other people who have been really important in my life too, both from a mentor, like a friend of mine, Norman Smith, for the last 18 years has been a really influential person in my life. I’ve got a guy named Neal Bronstein, who was an important investor in Bisnet. And then also some other key people who are fraternity brothers of mine. And being the house core president of Berkeley Chapters is a great way for me to give back and by next week we will be a hundred members strong. So it’s pretty incredible the path that I’ve taken and where we are today, but the future looks bright.
Alan: Excellent, once again for the listeners, how do they find Insynctive?
Alan: Okay, Gary, thanks for being on today’s show.
Gary: Thank you, Alan, I appreciate it.