what's in a name plaque

We continue our What’s in a Name? series with tech companies Bioz, Datical and Vena Solutions

One claims it can be the Google of the life sciences research arena. Another was named by Gartner as a cool vendor in IT automation. The other is coming off a $30 million funding round last year for its cloud-based corporate performance management solution.

Bioz

Year founded: 2013

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

Co-founders: Karin Lachmi (president and chief scientific officer) and Daniel Levitt (CEO). Lachmi won a silver Stevie Award last fall for Female Entrepreneur of the Year for in business products category for businesses with less than 10 employees. 

Karin Lachmi
Karin Lachmi

Specializes in: Bioz offers a search engine for life science experimentation. The patent-pending software platform combines the work of scientists with advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning to help life scientists in academia and biopharma make experimentation decisions.

Was this the original company name? No, the original name was PTENlab.

Who named the company? Naming the company was the result of a team effort and brainstorm session where the founding employees came into agreement that Bioz best reflected our company values and mission.

How and why did the company take on this name? We wanted something short and catchy, that was easy to remember and also related to biology and life sciences, since that is the space our technology serves.

Additionally, we wanted the name to easily be turned into a verb. If a user wants to look up an antibody on our search engine for their research, they can go to the website and “bioz it,” much like how people use the term “Google” when saying they want to look something up online. 

Bioz is also a simple enough name that it is easily built upon for future products and offerings. Additionally, we’ve found that companies with a “z” in the name makes it stand out and easier to remember from the rest of the pack, so Bioz seemed like the perfect choice.

What names did you consider before choosing your company name, and why were they not chosen? Our original company name was PTENLab, inspired by the PTEN protein. However, for a company name it was too long and hard to pronounce, and didn’t evoke the same catchiness as Bioz.

What tech companies do you admire or envy, and why? As stated, we were inspired by companies like Google that were able to inspire users to turn the name into a verb, which reflects its dominance in the industry and how widespread its influence is.

Datical

Year founded: 2012

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Number of employees: 50

Specializes in: Datical’s mission is to simplify the application release process by automating database deployments. It specializes in providing solutions that deliver database automation capabilities for agile, DevOps and continuous delivery investments. 

CEO: Derek Hutson

Derek Hutson
Derek Hutson
Was this the original name? Absolutely.

Who named the company? Robert Reeves, CTO. 

How and why did the company take on this name? We absolutely needed something that referred to data and our approach. So, we found something that started with “dat” and rhymed with “radical.”

What names did you consider before choosing your company’s name, and why were they not chosen? “I was really pulling for ReevesSoft, but the other co-founders didn’t like it. I don’t know why,” Reeves said.  Other options were YourDatabaseIsGoingToDie.com and WhyCantYouSpendMoreTimeWithYourFamily.com. Seriously, early startups tend to be a bit edgier.

What tech company names do you admire or envy and why? We don’t envy at Datical. If we see others doing something we like, we simply duplicate it. “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” 

A company we admire is Amazon, specifically how they built AWS. They started it by using it internally; they had no intentions to sell it. It was just the right thing to do. Driven by Jeff Bezos’ API mandate memo (which Amazon CTO Werner Vogels demanded), Amazon had a huge improvement in time-to-market and stability. 

Once that was in place, they needed extra capacity to handle spikes, but they realized that other companies would buy that capacity when they didn’t need it. Brilliant. Amazon avoided being Uber’d by Uber’ing themselves before Uber. Super meta.

Vena Solutions

Year founded: 2011

Headquarters: New York and Toronto

Number of employees: 200

Specializes in: Vena Solutions, which raised $30 million in funding last year, turns Excel into an enterprise-class business solution with a centralized database, workflow, audit trail and more. Our technology is used for corporate performance management (CPM) applications, including budgeting, financial close management, reporting and automating other spreadsheet-driven processes across and beyond finance. 

George Papayiannis
George Papayiannis

We were founded on the belief that the technologies people know and love should always play a vital role in the way companies plan and measure the way they do business. We’ve turned loved products like Excel, Office 365 and Google Docs into an enterprise-class business solution with workflow, data warehousing and more.

Co-founders: Rishi GroverDon Mal and George Papayiannis

CEO: Don Mal.

Was this the original name? Yes, Vena Solutions was the original and only name for the company.

Who named the company? Vena was named by co-founders Papayiannis and Grover. 

How and why did the company take on this name? We sought a name reflecting the value propositions of our core solutions, without being so direct. To achieve this, we made a list of our solution’s benefits in a generic sense, and looked for names that we thought represented us well as a company. The keywords we searched included: process improvement, streamline, workflow and high data integrity. 

We settled on “Vena,” from Greek and Latin, which translates to “stream” in English. Our solution helps companies streamline their most critical business processes, so the name was perfect. Vena also means “vein,” which fits perfectly with the way our solution handles data (the lifeblood of business), ensuring its effective flow.

What tech company names do you admire or envy and why? Company names that we admire are those that are simple, yet non-direct regarding the market they are in. Names that are easily pronounced and can be marketed well. 

But also names that are intriguing to make you want to understand the story behind the name. Apple is a great example, an apple as the perfect fruit, in a perfect package and delivering high nutrients. Very inspiring and definitely thinking outside the box.