sophicus meet academia

Transforming research: Sophicus meets Academia & Microryza in San Francisco

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It is not every day that you meet people like Richard Price. The founder and CEO of, Richard is the kind of extremely passionate yet firm entrepreneur, who has the ability to inspire just about everyone for just about everything – and push towards the potential to achieve.

While in San Francisco during this year’s Metavallon US mission, the Sophicus team reached out and arranged to meet with Richard Price. In the spirit of exchange and collaboration that defines the Silicon Valley ecosystem, the team’s request for a discussion on growth strategies and potential synergies was welcomed by the esteemed founder.

Growth – Something everyone wishes for, but only few achieve

Richard Price created back in 2008 to assist academics sharing research papers and thus help the world accelerate research. His personal academic background is in philosophy, politics and economics. Today, more than 4 million academics are using this platform, with approximately 1.6 million papers and 862.000 research interests, while -fresh from the press- the company just raised $11.1 million in funding led by the renowned Khosla Ventures.

Growth for a company never happens by chance. It is always the result of careful research and planning, which lead to successful steps and decisions by the founders”. This was one of the most compelling arguments Richard Price made, reports the team. Growth is always the result of careful planning and strategy implementation. In fact, a most valuable suggestion was to look into the growth strategies of large companies and study their tactics. “It is like working on a research”, Richard Price told the Sophicus team.

For the team at Sophicus, this meeting indeed brought a perspective shift. Launching and gaining initial traction is what most startups focus on, believing that once this is achieved then growth is just a few intuitive steps away. However, a company’s growth is in fact something a lot more methodical and complex; it requires enormous planning effort, continuous evaluation of processes, and a very passionate approach towards results.

Academic and field research on the path to revolution

A week later, the Sophicus founders were on their way to visit Microryza, not yet another startup but a Y-Combinator participant that believes as well in the Sophicus vision. Microryza provides a crowdfunding platform for researchers to present their work in progress and seek funds from the public.

The encounter was a revelation for the Sophicus founders. “Meeting the Microryza team was like meeting cause soul mates! Most of us come from the field of research, where we soon realized that our potential is being limited and challenging research in not encouraged. So we naturally started to seek ways to change this”. Researchers face demanding work and at the same time a breadth of logistical and financial issues in their path to progress and breakthrough. It is not a glamorous field, nor a popular market. Yet two bright teams, from opposite sides of the world, are taking on the dare.

The Sophicus founders are currently focusing on market traction, yet we should expect to hear more about their growth plans based on their numerous meetings in the Bay Area. “We have agreed on cooperation with several of the inspiring people we met in the wondrous Metavallon US mission 2013, so we encourage you to stay tuned. All will soon be revealed!”


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