docstoc positioned to be the largest repository for professional documents

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Kathrien Ahn, Community Manager at docstoc first reached out to us to see if we’d feature their innovative software that “provide bloggers with the ability to embed any document (word, pdf).

Then, they announced some really exciting news.

So, I thought it’d be great if we ran a quick interview with Kathrien so she can to share their news herself.

So, Kathrien, besides developing an innovative program, what’s your Great New News?

Sure, I’d be glad to share.

On April 29th, we secured our Series B round of financing for $3.25 million which was led by Rustic Canyon Ventures. It was a crazy day for the entire team and we were all over the blogosphere from Techcrunch, Mashable, GigaOm, and many more

But, now the REAL hard work begins as we’re working to continually innovate docstoc, something that we believe, can touch the lives of all people via their documents.

We’ve also launched our Content Partnership Program (CPP) that allows organizations and professionals with either a vast quantity of content or a set of premium content, to share their documents on docstoc and include advertising and promotion built into each of the document pages free of charge. This will allow you to monetize your content and use your docs as valuable marketing and self- promotion, whether you’re a service-based professional, small business, or large organization.

Since you’re a *very* young and new company can you share any empowering words to our readers (entrepreneurs and small business owners) who’d LOVE to be able to express the same incredible news one day?

Yes!

First of all, anyone can be an entrepreneur.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the quiet, bookish type or someone who can “work” a room. All that matters is that you have a great idea, the passion to pursue it, and the work ethic to have it come to fruition. Oh, and having the ability to raise capital is definitely a plus. (tongue in cheek) But seriously, what it comes down to is doing the work, implementing your idea. Action. Late-nights. Luckily, when you have a great team, It’s definitely easier. [I’m all about Quality Team work!]


What’s so unique about docstoc and why do you think it’s crucial for us busy entrepreneurs and small business owners?

Docstoc is the “youtube” for professional documents where you can find and share any document for free, with categories ranging from legal, business, financial, educational and creative. Granted, we’re not saying that having a document will take the place of a lawyer, but it does allow the consumer to have access to legal and business documents that would enable him/her to be better informed about their business/legal needs.

Also, in the state of the current Economy, free advertising is widely sought after, as we’re pinching pennies in the midst of rising food and gas costs. docstoc proves useful for free advertising because when you upload your professional documents, you are essentially allowing them to be highly indexed in search engines because docstoc is looked upon as a reliable source. This is why it’s important to have specific tags and titles when you upload your documents. Also here are ways that docstoc has helped users:

Entrepreneur Gets Multi-Million Dollar Term Sheet from Using docstoc

Local LA Entrepreneur finds business plan templates and spreadsheets on docstoc for his business, customizes it for his potential Financiers, and receives Multi-million dollar Term Sheet

Stay-At Home Mom Starts a Successful Business At Home using Business docs from docstoc

One user took various documents from docstoc and started a jewelry design business. Then she uploaded documents promoting her business, her bio, and several local press clippings. And traffic to her business website increased by 25%.

docstsoc Levels the Playing Field for Small Firm Attorneys

Many Small firm attorneys, who do not have access to Westlaw or Lexis Nexis, have been visiting docstoc on a regular basis to find documents such as operating agreements, real estate deal docs, and sample contracts.

Administrative Assistant Finds Legal Templates on docstoc for free.

An admin at a fast-paced law firm was frustrated because she couldn’t find the right legal template for her boss. She went to several other sites but was discouraged by the fees for paying for documents. Luckily, she came across docstoc and was able to download several versions of legal templates for free.

Graphic Designers Get Opinions from Strangers on their Work

Fashion designers, shoe designers, graphic designers, or fashion bloggers can upload their articles, press clippings, portfolios, and work to their docstoc profile, and hear what people REALLY have to say.

Authors Sharing their Books Across the Web

A number of authors are using docstoc to promote their books. They upload a couple chapters of their published work. Then 1) It gets indexed at the top of search engines on docstoc, 2) we promote some of their work in our featured section and 3) They use the embed feature on their blogs to have their content virally spread all around the internet.

Professionals Getting Business Leads by Sharing Documents.

We have numerous examples of attorneys, accountants, and consultants who have posted documents with all of their contact information. Those documents get thousands of views, and in turn they have had people who visit their document on docstoc, contact them through our site and turn into paying clients.

docstoc is Where Students Find/Share Notes

docstoc has become a popular source for MBA students, Graduate, and Law School students to share their outlines, class presentations, case write-ups, and financial spreadsheets.

Dude! Those are impressive testimonials—and some great publicity tips too ;-) !

BTW, I literally *hate* attaching docs to email, or zipping files, or making sure I updated my latest file into my flash-drive. Will docstoc save me from all these hassles of daily livin’?

Yes!

Attaching docs to e-mail and zipping files are definitely annoying which is why the docstoc embed feature is so useful. You can embed everything from powerpoint presentations to PDF’s on to your webpage, allowing your readers to stay on your page instead of going to an outbound link. Or if you just need to e-mail a doc to someone, just use the URL of the document on docstoc, so that it eliminates the need for you to “attach” documents.

How would you categorize docstoc? Like a social-media-user-generated-document-sharing community? With an optional revenue-sharing-model built in? Talk about Web 2.0 biz-application. ;-)

Our goal is to be the largest repository for professional documents on the web including legal forms, business presentations, financial templates and technical white papers. We’re also the premier online community for professional content, facilitating the sharing and promotion of docs as well as being the platform for processing, storing, and indexing documents that can be viewed anywhere as embedded objects.

And going back to our Content Partnership Program, you will be able to easily embed your documents across the Web, get referral traffic, more customers, subscription and sales, get indexed in search engines, and sell premium content. (in select cases) Here is more info. once again.

Well, this has been great Kathrien. Anything else you’d like to share? Closing remarks? Empowering tips? Instructions? Contact info?

Yes, well, first of all, thanks for taking the time to interview me and giving docstoc a shout-out on “Empower Women Now.” I think your blog is a tremendous resource to women entrepreneurs and just anyone who is looking for inspirational tips as well as important business related information. [Aww…you’re too kind, Kat]

And I’d just like to say that we have an really hard-working team, Jason Nazar, our CEO, Alon Shwartz, our CTO, and our amazing developers, Ilya Tchak and Andrew Belous [Don’t see you’re name there chickie…you’re too modest ;-) ]

…but now that we’ve gotten the Series B, we’re looking to hire several Front End .Net developers and Flex developers, so if you’re interested or know anyone, feel free to submit a resume at www.docstoc.com/jobs

[What a wonderful opportunity for anyone qualified to jump in.]

As for empowering tips, I’d just say that the thing about tech is that people are open about sharing helpful information and advice to the newbies. They’re not afraid to admit their mistakes because it’s kind of a rite of passage here because when you screw up, you learn from it and you move forward. So I’d say that if you’re an entrepreneur or small-business owner who is looking for advice on how to start or grow your business, read A LOT, from blogs to top magazines, get advice from anyone you can, get a business plan (you can get a template from docstoc…I needed to get another plug in. Sorry! :-) [No apologies necessary ;-) ], and then the most important things: Take Action. Stay Pro-Active. Be positive. [Here, here!]

And if you have any questions, feel free to message me on docstoc, as I usually respond to all user mail. Here is my profile.

And thanks again, Ponn! Your story, in general, is an inspiration to female entrepreneurs everywhere.

Thanks so much Kat, the honor is all mine!

I really look forward to reading our community’s experiences and thoughts below.

[At the time of this interview, this cute and funny blogpost shares the kind of entrepreneurial atmosphere surrounds docstoc! hee hee. ]

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