Two Amazing years in a startup’s life

Two Amazing years in a startup’s life

Jay Bhatia

CEO - Agilis Chemicals Inc

In picture, Agilis Team with Molly Fletcher, Key Note Speaker at 2018 NACD Annual Meeting.

From left, Doug Brown, Jay Bhatia, Molly Fletcher (KNS), Allie Meng and David Grimes.


This January, Agilis completed its first two years – arguably the most critical time in any startup’s life. It’s been an amazing journey, and it keeps getting better every day. In just 24 months, we evolved from a mere idea, to a viable business, complete with investors, customers, employees, and a great network of advisors, mentors, and subject matter experts.


Just as “it takes a village to raise a child”, building a startup from ground up is impossible without a community of supporters. Our network of mentors and advisors has been an incredible resource for helping us turn our ideas and plans into reality. The pivotal moment in our journey was joining the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator – a highly selective New York City based technology accelerator program that chooses only 12-14 startups from among 800+ applicants! We immediately felt connected to the startup ecosystem of NYC (2nd largest startup hub in the nation), as our mentors - serial entrepreneurs, expert investors, technologists, and marketers – helped us refine our business model, select the right technology stack, and polish our ideas to build a scalable technology business.


We took a classic “lean startup” approach and launched the first bootstrap version of the platform, Agilis 1.0, back in September 2017. This allowed us to engage customers and seek their feedback. The most important outcome of that initial launch was undeniable confirmation that the chemical industry is ready for a digital platform, but a standard open marketplace is not the right fit for it.  We also learned that producers and distributors who build their own digital portals don’t help solve the industry’s persistent challenge of complexity and high fragmentation. This industry needed a third-party solution.


A business that is built on relationships that have been nurtured over decades needs a solution that’s targeted and nuanced. Selling chemicals requires advanced technical knowledge, understanding of complex logistics, and familiarity with every-changing regulatory requirements. Distributors play a critical role in the chemical industry’s value chain, and a successful digital solution must provide value to them as well as producers and buyers, rather than try and disrupt long-standing partnerships.


Today, the Agilis platform has been revised and updated based on the feedback from early adopters and mentors and is ready for center stage. Agilis 2.0 seamlessly supports complex workflows, while providing an easy to use and secure interface for all players in the chemical value chain. Producers can configure workflows down to an SKU level. They can also leverage our ever-growing network of distributors. Distributors get ready access to a portfolio of global producers and new customers, while maintaining private access to their current customers. And customers benefit from ready access to a broad portfolio of global producers and leading regional distributors. We are proud to have gained the support and confidence of our early adopter customers and have several more global and regional players ready to come aboard.


Visit our redesigned website, see what’s new at Agilis, or contact us to learn more about what a specialized commerce platform can do to help take your digital strategy to the next level.

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