Seed synergy

| Print |  Email
Articles - November 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
1111_SeedSynergy_05
Above: Sheetal Dube and Daniel Clancey participate in the regular roundtable of seed fund members. Dube founded AudioName and Clancey started Homeschool Snowboarding.
Below: The seed fund process has brought an infusion of money, ideas and connections. Another purpose of the fund is to develop a spirit of camaraderie and collaboration to invigorate the startup scene. 
// Photos by Anthony Pidgeon
1111_SeedSynergy_06
The market for these niche software businesses seems infinite when you consider how much inefficiency still exists in the business world. Hively CEO Jason Lander started his  first company in 2001 with his business partner Ross Barbieri after suffering through a job in the staffing industry based on “a horrible process centered around fax machines.” Their solution to that problem became ShiftWise, a Portland business that raised $10 million and employed 56 people at its peak. Their new business focuses on improving the clumsy attempts by businesses to gather feedback from customers.

“Customers don’t want to answer a whole bunch of questions,” Lander says. “Companies will send out surveys to 100 customers and maybe three fill them out.”

Hively simplifies the feedback process into a few clicks: a smiley face for good customer service, a frown for frustration. The customer can offer more information but doesn’t have to. Employees can compete for higher customer satisfaction rates and managers can get a clearer sense of performance levels.

Two weeks after launching the beta version of the Hively site, Lander signed up an early partner: Expedia. It was such a surprising win at that stage that he called to make sure it wasn’t a joke. It wasn’t. Hively’s 1.0 version came out in September, and the seed fund cash has led to further investor interest. But Lander, who served as a heavy machine gunner with the Marines before he got into software, says he will only accept investments on his terms.

“When I started ShiftWise, I was 28 years old,” Lander says. “I was raising money off PowerPoint slides. That was cool, but I didn’t realize how much of my company I was giving away.”

This time around he intends to keep control over what he builds.

 



 

More Articles

Emperor of the Sea

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

Pacific Seafood, one of the world’s largest processors, is rebranding as a more transparent and consumer-friendly operation. A controversial CEO and monopoly accusations from coastal fishermen complicate the tale.


Read more...

Footloose

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Founded 12 years ago, Keen Inc. likes to push the envelope, starting with the debut of the “Newport” closed toe sandal in 2003. Since then, the company has opened a factory on Swan Island and a sleek new headquarters in the Pearl District. The brand’s newest offering, UNEEK, is a sandal made from two woven cords and not much more.


Read more...

Epitaph for a Boondoggle

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The CRC is a cautionary tale about how we plan for, finance and invest in transportation infrastructure.


Read more...

Can small be large?

Linda Baker
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
040115-lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Leaders in Oregon's ag sector gathered this morning in Portland’s Coopers Hall winery/taproom to discuss the role of the region as an export gateway, impediments to exporting products and solutions to containerized shipping challenges.


Read more...

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


Read more...

Fighting Fire With Fire

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY BEN DEJARNETTE | INVESTIGATEWEST

Timber companies and environmental groups take a stab at collaboration to boost logging and restoration in Oregon fires.


Read more...

Bike Chic: 7 stylish options for cyclists

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cycling to work is all the rage. But not everyone wants to arrive at the office messy, sweaty — and unfashionable.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS