Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint, usually! Persistence pays, as Henry’s story beautifully illustrates!
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your story. Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of circumstances? What is the backstory to the Limeade story?
Henry Albrecht: I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. I’m the youngest of four boys. I think that probably says a lot about my personality, competitiveness, and desire to be heard. I had two wonderful parents who embodied the Midwestern work ethic. My dad was raised on a farm in Iowa. He was the man of the family at age 10 when his father passed away. He was driving a tractor before he could reach the pedals. He brought that into the way that we were raised, which was to work hard and be successful. As the youngest, I was always trying to beat my older brothers even though they beat me a lot more often than I beat them. >>>
This feature on hackathons from New York Times looks at how hackathons have become commonplace among professional developers, especially in booming tech centers like San Francisco and New York, and have emerged as prime places for networking, job recruiting, entrepreneurial pitching and, in many cases, winning cash. For this week’s posts, click on the paragraph links. >>>
Joe LeCompte: We are starting to enter a new market in the business process automation where we’re actually going head to head against the BPM players. These are large-scale business management platforms that typically are in the order of seven figure license deals, five to ten person consultant deals for one to two years. What we’re seeing is that we can provide 95% of that functionality but without that same amount of labor. Frankly, that 5% of functionality might be a 5% that nobody uses or cares about. I liken that to Microsoft Word. You can do amazing things with Microsoft Word, but I typically limit my use to underline, bold, and italics. When I’m really feeling crazy, I’ll indent. That’s about it. That’s where we’re seeing our competitive landscape.
Sramana Mitra: Is there anything else you want to share in your company building process? >>>
Sramana Mitra: Are you building the whole organization in Utah?
Dave Elkington: Yes. Here’s why. I’m maniacal about that. I drive everybody crazy. So much of a business, especially in hyper growth, happens ad hoc. It happens in the hallway. It happens in ad hoc meetings. If you distribute your leadership team, you impair them. That strategy is so fluid. It’s so quickly evolving that if you don’t cluster your key strategic leaders, you can’t be successful.
Sramana Mitra: I don’t want to get into this discussion but we have a completely global organization because of the nature of what we do. It works perfectly for us.
Dave Elkington: There are scenarios where it doesn’t work. There will be a day when I don’t need all of those key leaders here in Utah.
Sramana Mitra: I think the downside of building a startup at Silicon Valley these days is the talent war is crazy. That is not an easy game to play. >>>
Sramana Mitra: In terms of your own customer acquisition, is it all direct selling? Do you have a field sales force?
Bill Moschella: Yes, we have field sales and partner channel as well. We have an awesome partner channel team who are from Cloudera, Microsoft, and Oracle. They are now on-board and doing an amazing job.
Sramana Mitra: In terms of your organization, are you still headquartered in Connecticut?
Bill Moschella: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: How big is the company in terms of team?
Bill Moschella: At this point, we’re probably around 200 people all over the country. >>>
Joe LeCompte: We have always been self-funded. It’s been a strategic decision because we feel that we didn’t need any funding. Also, we feel that if we did potentially accelerate growth, it would take our eye off the ball. It would take our focus from providing value to our customers to a different cycle.
We were now looking at our next financing move. Do we need to take on growth for growth’s sake so they can maximize their revenue? It has always been funded by customers and ensuring that is our focus. Robert can probably speak to you a little bit on how our customers drive our product roadmap.
Sramana Mitra: So you’re building the company organically.
Joe LeCompte: Absolutely.
Sramana Mitra: You would like to continue to build organically? >>>
Dave Elkington: Everybody who was willing to give us term sheets were great firms but what mattered to me was the cultural fit. Ultimately, we did $35 million from US Venture Partners. It was because I had Steve Krausz and Dafina, who were one of the newer partners. They were the right people. I loved their experience. I liked their engagement. They weren’t the highest valuation by a significant amount but they were the right people. They gave me the exact same terms that Mark Gorenberg gave me.
It allowed me to put much more fuel into the fire. By this point, I was surrounding myself with a lot of advisors that have done this before. >>>
Sramana Mitra: Let’s say you do that segmentation and figure out where the gap is. Do you also handle stuff like Google PPC campaigns for them?
Bill Moschella: Yes. They can either use their own agency, do it internally, or use our media-as-a-service where they pay a subscription cost to the media and then we give them the projected lead generation. If you put this money, the Evariant engine will give you more predictable results because we’re using analytics from past campaigns and current campaigns. By the way, we already have the templates ready in our engine, so just pick the campaign, select the target market you want to go after, and we’ll start pointing them towards call centre web forms, mobile, etc.
Sramana Mitra: Very interesting, actually. What does a typical deal size look like for you when you’re working with a hospital? Is it a $100,000 recurring revenue in an annual account or is this a million dollar recurring account? >>>