Perfect Pitch: Jocelyn Kang and Caroline Zhang
Founders, CEO + CTO, Musicians
Current City: San Francisco, CA.
Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Co-founder & CTO of Knowtex: Making doctors 2x more efficient through automated note-taking and charge capture (YC S22).
Notable Prior Jobs: Over 5 years experience at startups in Edtech, health tech, and sports tech such as AI/ML PM at Hudl to develop a machine learning algorithm for autonomously recording sports games, product designer/PM at Learn to Win, a micro-learning platform based on neuroscience-backed learning principles.
When I Started Performing: Technically age 5 on the piano (very bad) but became seriously involved with jazz clarinet and Chinese traditional dance at the age of 12.
Performing Arts Background: Selected to perform as a soloist at the Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference in Chicago, Overture Awards Finalist, William Mason High School Marching Band section leader (top 3 in the nation), Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra principal clarinetist (performed at Carnegie Hall), Stanford Symphony Orchestra, performed in the pit orchestras for Chicago and Cabaret. Was also a soloist at Bing Yang Chinese Performing Arts Center and performed across Ohio to spread cultural awareness about Chinese traditional dance such as fan and spear dancing.
How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? Music and dance taught me two lessons that I have found integral as an entrepreneur: 1) The importance of discipline and consistency. Being willing to work on something day in, day out, and not giving up when things don't progress in a linear fashion is what brings success in both performing arts and entrepreneurship. Being a performer taught me that behind the shining success moments is a lot of monotonous, unsexy work, and this is the same for building a business. Motivation will always inevitably fizzle out during tough periods of building a company. What will get you through those times is continuing to trust the process and the systems you have set for yourself, and repeatedly trying again and again until you succeed. Music and dance taught me to have a relentless dedication to my goals and to hold myself accountable for accomplishing what I set out to do. 2) How to be adaptable to constantly changing circumstances. Performing live for different audiences in different settings calibrates your mind and body to be hyper-aware of your actions and adjust whenever necessary. Running a startup requires the same awareness of what's going on at any moment with your company, product, and users, and being able to accept that things aren't always going to go your way. Continuous problem solving and trying different things until something works is key. My performing arts background taught me how to be flexible and learn to love working in uncertainty, which has been hugely valuable during my time founding Knowtex.
Favorite Performer: Artie Shaw.
Current City: San Diego, CA.
Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Co-founder & CEO of Knowtex; Knowtex automatically creates visit notes with billing codes from doctor-patient conversations to help save doctors time and capture revenue leakage.
Notable Prior Jobs: Biomedical Research at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies, Tech Policy at Schmidt Futures, Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley, Software Engineering at a global telecommunications company.
When I Started Performing: 5 -- my first piano recital!
Performing Arts Background: Piano -- Certificate of Merit Level 10 (2013) Violin -- CA Girls State Orchestra (2016), San Diego Youth Symphony Ovation Program (2009-2014), Carmel Valley Middle School Advanced Orchestra (2013-2014), Zhibay Community Spring Festival Soloist (2014), Resurrection Lutheran Church Chamber Group (2013), Peter Pan Musical Pit Orchestra (2010) Ukulele -- personal project starting 2020.
How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? Music has always been a part of my life since I was little and it's taught me discipline, personal expression, human connection, and to look at things with a different lens. I've had strong interest in STEM growing up, but even more so in STEAM, which I believe has been critically necessary for me to tackle problems successfully with both creative and analytical sides of my brain. One of my fondest memories is doing lab work during the day at the Salk Institute in San Diego, and then seeing the workplace transformed into a beautiful night they call Symphony at Salk, melding music and cutting-edge human health research together. In my entrepreneurial journey, I have found that the relentless practice and discipline it takes to master an instrument translates perfectly to the grit and tenacity you need as a founder to build your company. My favorite performer is Hilary Hahn, and I think she sums it up wonderfully in her 100 days of practice challenge, that "you always want to keep improving things." I also remember many happy days in orchestra and chamber group, being part of a larger whole to bring voice and reality to a musical piece. It was teamwork fundamentally, but I think music evoked a deeper human connection with my fellow musicians and the audience too. Working in health tech now, it's a reminder to look at the healthcare system as a whole, and how our startup can collaborate with the different players, but also to always have empathy for our users and treasure the human element of supporting doctors and patients. In particular, Knowtex focuses on the human voice and unique insights that can be unlocked within a conversation, so I've definitely applied lessons from my music background on how important it is to listen carefully for how people express themselves, whether as performers or doctors and patients.
Favorite Performer: Hilary Hahn.
Follow these Performers:
Instagram - @jocelyn_kang_
LinkedIn - /in/jocelynkang
Twitter - @CarolineCZhang
Instagram - @czhang12
Facebook - caroline.c.zhang
LinkedIn - /in/czhang21
Twitter - @knowtexai
Instagram - @knowtex
Facebook - knowtexai
LinkedIn - /company/knowtexai