A platform for scientific process automation

Laura Diez

Startup Stories

Steve McCoy, Head of Sales at LabVoice participated in February 2022 in the 5-HT X-linker “Lab of the future” and presented their virtual assistant for laboratory workflows.  Co-Founder and CEO of LabVoice, Fred Bost, claims to “enable a self-service, democratized approach to building tailored virtual assistants” with the LabVoice platform. Find out more about LabVoice in the following interview. 

What problem motivated you to start the company?

In June 2018, my co-founder (Matt Hahn, founder of SciTegic and its tool Pipeline Pilot) and I launched LabVoice. LabVoice was meant to address the ever-present problem of working in a modern laboratory: a reliance on paper-based data collection. Despite the advances, we've seen in technology over the past several decades of biotech and pharma research and manufacturing, we still see scientists using paper as a means to create temporary records and document their processes. The dependence on paper has resulted in productivity issues (scientists often have to re-record their notes into an electronic database or worse, another piece of paper), handwriting and human error, and putting their day-to-day safety at risk.

How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a professional colleague in a chemical company?

LabVoice is a virtual assistant for laboratory workflows. We look to introduce scientific process automation: where there is human interaction in lab workflows, we then leverage emerging tools such as voice, and others like mobile technology and OCR, to minimize the rote, error-prone aspects of labwork. There are three components of this platform: a low-code design tool to define your workflows; a scientific app that enables guided process execution and hands-free data collection; and a new generation of metrics for better insights to actual lab execution.


How do you convince a chemical company to set up a pilot project with you?

We have found that many chemical companies already evaluated digitalization technologies like ours. Solvay, for instance, recently completed a POC with us, which was an internal initiative. Their focus was threefold: improve operational efficiency, make a safer environment for their employees, and move further along with their digitalization goals, which were all realized.

Who are your current customer (groups) and who should be the potential customers? 

We work with any lab-based industry, although our current customer base largely draws from the life sciences crowd: pharma & biotech companies. We recently have engaged with companies outside of Chemicals and Pharma/Biotech, such as Food & Bev, Oil & Gas, and Fragrances. We are even working with marine biologists looking to work with lobsters in a hands-free fashion way.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you? 

Our goal at LabVoice has been to create a new generation of laboratory workflows. We believe this will be done, and continuously improved, by the tools we have developed and will develop in the future. With our platform, we enable a self-service, democratized approach to building tailored virtual assistants. Further, we will support metrics, providing insights into process optimization, utilization, and other areas to streamline the lab.


What were your expectations of the 5-HT X-linker "Lab of the Future" and how do you rate the event overall?

We had never participated in the event before, and so we had guarded, yet high expectations. We believe these expectations were surpassed and would gladly participate in 5-HT's future events. 

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