Surviving 2020 | James Armijo from Vanco

James Amrijo was the founding member of Smartcare, a startup bringing technology to daycare centers—a sector in dire need of computer management solutions to track children and manage payments.

Though target customers were a challenge to reach, the company was making excellent traction. And then nearly every daycare center in America was forced to close. When they gradually reopened, their enrollments were decimated. Many shuttered permanently. So how do you cater to an industry that’s barely surviving?

In this edition of Founders Journey, James tells the story of how he weathered one of the greatest storms in a century and came out on the other side stronger than ever, positioning the company for a major acquisitions deal by Vanco, a company that offers a nonprofit payment network.

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James Armijo is Senior Vice President of Vanco Childcare.  James joined Vanco following Vanco’s acquisition of Smartcare where James was CEO.  In James’ role, he oversees the functional integration of Smartcare into Vanco as well as Vanco’s product and go-to-market strategy.

Prior to Vanco, James was CEO of SmartCare, the leading cloud platform for childcare providers to modernize the management of their operations and education of young children.  In his role, James directed the company’s strategy and manages operations.

James joined Smartcare as President in April 2016.  In that role, he led the product management team, moving the product from its beta launch to a product that is widely accepted by thousands of customers. 

He also led finance, closing two rounds of funding while providing recurring financial analyst and insights.  He also led M&A, integrating the acquisition of Persoft (Childcare Manager and Rapid Tuition) and Preschool2Me (including KidKiosk).

Prior to joining SmartCare, James was the Chief Operating Officer at PatientPop, the first company to provide a single SaaS platform to integrate all aspects of local marketing for healthcare practices.  He joined the company in 2015.  During his time with the company, he helped the company complete a $13 million Series A, increase bookings and revenue by over 400%, and grew headcount to over 100 people in locations throughout the US.



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