How 4 strangers met at a local event and launched a startup 6 months later - Philly


Jan. 30, 2015 10:46 am

How 4 strangers met at a local event and launched a startup 6 months later

Staffluent is the first company to emerge from last fall's PSLU Bootcamp. The company aims to disrupt existing staffing systems in the healthcare space.

Staffing hospital workshifts is a complicated process. Staffluent sees opportunity in the space.

(Photo by Flickr user Christiana Care, used under a Creative Commons license)

This is a guest post by Michael Riley, cofounder of Boxter and a member of the Philly Startup Leaders leadership team.

Last fall, 75 people attended the PSLU Bootcamp to learn how to build a successful startup. Out of the 14 teams that were formed through the program, Staffluent is the first to incorporate as a company and build a working product.

Staffluent is a service that connects available workers to open shifts with an initial focus on hospitals. Its goal is to solve problems companies have scheduling shifts and communicating with staff. Kronos is a big player in this space, with a current valuation of $4.5 billion.

Staffluent’s plan is to disrupt the industry, however, like Uber is doing to taxis, by using new logistics and communications technology.

The four founders met for the first time at the Bootcamp in September, entering the program without an idea. Over the course of the 90-day bootcamp, while working side by side, they sowed the seeds of Staffluent and formed their team of cofounders.

The idea for Staffluent was developed using the ideation methodology taught to them by Curalate founder Nick Shiftan. And they are now acquiring customers using the Bullseye Framework created by DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg.

While they are all still employed at their day jobs, they have all committed to giving Staffluent at least 40 hours a week. Cofounders Ann Lee and Ernie Barber are focusing on marketing and business development. While cofounders Neeraj Bagga and Charlie Bowden are working on the app and technology stack.

Through their work together during the bootcamp, the founders of Staffluent found they were a good match — and that their business concept had significant potential. With the bootcamp completed, and the seeds of market validation planted, the next step was to launch a business and thoroughly test the idea’s market potential.


Staffluent has applied to the upcoming PSLU Accelerator — and has been accepted. The accelerator nurtures promising startups by pairing them with local startup leaders for focused guidance over 90 days.

Michael Riley

Michael Riley is a serial entrepreneur that also writes about tech and startups. He cofounded Boxter and founded the web content platform Simplpost. He is active in the local community working with Philly Startup Leaders and founded the Philly Startup Tech organization.

  • jmaj

    Awesome, the PSLU Bootcamp was great too. I’m very excited to see what Staffluent can do in 2015!

  • LBrackle

    StaffItIn is a strong competitor and has a complete advantage of having a nurse with an administrator background as the founder and president. Unless you have lived in the trenches of staffing an acute care facility you will be missing key components that will allow your technology to take flight. The trillion dollar analog hospital industry is a risky one that has success rates much higher for those that disrupt because they are on the inside looking out rather then the opposite.


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