To keep this biotech start-up's lean yet mighty team focused on their mission, their CEO sought to outsource HR functions from their inception.
Working with TriNet significantly decreases the time they dedicate to HR tasks and employment compliance, in addition to providing a professional first impression on new hires.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a remarkably prevalent gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, causing significant discomfort and pain for nearly 15% of the global population, yet it’s historically been misunderstood. While IBS has traditionally been diagnosed with tests that “rule out” the possibility of other diseases, recent guidelines have flipped that process of elimination on its head, allowing a specialty biotech company to pave the way with up-front tests to “rule in” an IBS diagnosis.
Since its inception in 2018, “Gemelli Biotech’s mission is to bring microbiome-based assets, such as GI diagnostic tests, to market to help patients get answers more quickly, less expensively and without invasive procedures like colonoscopies so they can get symptom resolution and back to a more fulfilling life,” said Matt Mitcho, CEO of Gemelli Biotech. Their first offering, a blood test for IBS called ibs-smart®, looks for elevated levels of antibodies in a patient’s blood to diagnose IBS and identify a past event that caused an infection, such as water contamination or food poisoning. Their second offering, a breath test called trio-smart®, is designed to measure specific gases in a patient’s breath to identify bacterial overgrowth and other GI illnesses. This data can help to guide clinicians towards the most appropriate treatment.
While diagnostic test development was well underway prior to launching Gemelli Biotech, Matt recognized the need to outsource some crucial business functions and infrastructure, including HR, to support their lean team. The search proved simple as Matt followed the recommendation of another small business owner to use TriNet. “We were looking for a nimble company to work with that represented our culture so that I can operate the HR functions at an early-stage startup, which we believe TriNet does,” acknowledged Matt.
“As the CEO, I still do payroll—it's very easy with TriNet. It sounds like a huge, burdensome task, but it's really about 15 minutes every two weeks for me to make sure that our payroll is tight and commissions and expenses are paid,” acknowledged Matt. TriNet’s simple and accurate payroll services include direct deposit of wages, payroll and employment tax withholdings processing, electronic Form W-2 delivery, R&D tax credit processing, PTO and leave, and payroll submittal—all through TriNet’s secure platform. As Gemelli Biotech grows, Matt hopes to eventually hire a corporate affairs person who will be the contact with TriNet and oversee payroll, “but even if we bring someone on, you still need a platform. And for us, this is working really well,” he says.
As a multistate employer, TriNet also helps them navigate each state’s payroll tax requirements. TriNet's HR software is designed to automatically put applicable processes in place to help with a particular state’s or locality’s employment and tax requirements, freeing Matt up from endless internet searches and expensive legal spends to receive accurate payroll processing and HR guidance. “Between TriNet, our accounting firm and the CFO, it's been pretty uneventful with navigating all of these complicated things from a state payroll perspective and tax perspective. It's exactly the solution that we needed from the beginning, and fortunately, we made a really good decision early on.”
The TriNet technology platform is complemented by a service team who helps Gemelli Biotech stay focused on discovering novel diagnostics. “Every contact that we've had at TriNet has been a really thoughtful person who is responsive and cares about our business as much as we do. Whenever we have HR concerns or opportunities, we know who to reach out to and we get thoughtful answers very quickly,” said Matt. “The culture within TriNet seems to align with what we have built here. It’s warm, people care about one another and they’re excited about the clients that they have on board. It seems like more than just a software or HR relationship. It’s more personal. It almost feels like TriNet is part of our organization and it’s been wonderful.”
A team of HR professionals with expertise in benefits, HR compliance, payroll processing and more, help Matt tackle the day-to-day and complex employment related challenges, while the TriNet Solution Center provides direct, immediate support for their employees. “There are a lot of questions about benefits, 401(k) plans, PTO—that type of stuff. With TriNet, it's really easy for us to get answers, allowing us to be efficient and not get down in the weeds. We don't have a whole lot of time to waste,” said Matt.
Gemelli also leverages TriNet as part of their talent recruitment value proposition. This provides their job candidates and new employees with a strong first impression as well as peace of mind that they’ll be supported. “At this stage of a company, we’ve really found that you can't miss on people. Some of these folks coming into an organization like this have never worked at such a small or early-stage company,” said Matt. “I think they're happily surprised to see the infrastructure that we have in place with our relationship with TriNet.”
Matt also admits that he doesn’t have to think about or worry when hiring someone in a new state. Currently, most of their employees are located on the West Coast but they’ll have people all over the country as they expand. Gemelli Biotech doesn’t have to be geographically confined when trying to hire highly sought after, experienced talent. As a comprehensive HR solution, TriNet helps Gemelli Biotech comply with varying employment requirements spanning wages, benefits, paid leave and unemployment insurance claims, to name a few, across every state. “Working with TriNet has allowed me to focus on the business rather than focusing on things that aren't overly exciting in my mind yet are necessary to comply with requirements. I know that there's HR infrastructure in place that will allow us to scale efficiently without worry,” said Matt.
“We're in the process of a Series A raise which will allow us to expand our sales and marketing infrastructure. We're building out additional capacity in order to process more samples to help more people. After the Series A financing, we will hire a significant number of people in a very short period of time. Based on the infrastructure already in place with TriNet, I'm not overly concerned about making sure that benefits and payroll is set up properly. As you get bigger and you have more people involved, there's probably going to be more employment-related things that pop up over time. TriNet is a scalable solution that gives me confidence in being able to handle those situations. The harder part is finding the right talent and personalities to bring on with the culture that we're trying to build.” Between TriNet’s HR expertise and powerful platform that can flex with their expanding team wherever they’re located, Matt and Gemelli Biotech can remain committed to improving global health by developing and providing novel diagnostics and therapeutics tools to help treat IBS.