Everything You Wanted to Know About Veristat but Were Afraid to Ask

By Robin Brodrick

Veristat-Puzzle

What’s a Veristat?

It’s not a mythological creature. Nor is it the name of a new over the counter drug. Veristat is a contract research organization (CRO) based in Holliston, MA.

How did Veristat get it’s name?

The origin of the company name is shrouded in mystery, as statistics itself usually is. One hypothesis is that the name is loosely derived from the word veritas, which is the Latin word for ‘truth’. Another theory is that the name is a combination of the words veritas and statistics, to illustrate Veristat’s emphasis on scientific integrity.

Veristat-JohnWhat is Veristat’s founding story?

Veristat is the brainchild of John Balser, PhD and Barbara Balser, VMD. Two decades ago they were both working at a small CRO in Needham, MA. While there, they just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was Veristat-Barbaramissing. After much thought, Barbara and John concluded that the CRO’s scientific approach wasn’t up to par. But it wasn’t just this company. It was a problem with the whole CRO industry. And so they decided to start their own CRO and Veristat was born.

Veristat’s infancy

John and Barbara considered the industry weaknesses and what they should do differently. The major industry weaknesses were (and may still be):

  • There was a lack of collaboration with clients.
  • The business was more marketing and sales driven than science and collaboration driven.
  • CRO’s wouldn’t make recommendations to clients if they were doing things inefficiently.
How Veristat is different from other CRO’s

John was driven to build a company that was driven by scientific integrity instead of by a financial bottom line. Logic dictated that if his company delivered solid science then financial success would follow.

How did Veristat get its first client?

John and Barbara didn’t spend any money on advertising their new company. Their first client heard abut them through word of mouth and came to them. This was a telling sign and foreshadowed Veristat’s organic growth from a company of two people working out of a small room to the company it is today.

Does the story have a happy ending?

Yes!

By 1999 the company had six employees and was still run out of a home office.  In 2003 it was finally time to move out of their hom eoffice and they purchased their first property in downtown Holliston. Fast-forward four years and Veristat had a total of about 30 employees and needed to relocate to a larger building in Holliston. During this time, John still spent no money on advertising. All of Veristat’s business was generated by word of mouth. In fact, about 90% of Veristat’s business still comes from word of mouth or repeat clients.

Veristat’s growth has prompted the opening of additional offices. In 2012 they opened an office in Montreal, Canada. The plan for 2015 is to open an office in San Francisco, CA and to relocate the home office to a building with a larger footprint in Southborough, MA.

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