E11 | Dell for Startups Pitch, Neighborly Software, Hazlnut, Mailchimp
Welcome to Five & Thrive: a weekly podcast highlighting the Southeast’s most interesting news, entrepreneurs, and information of the week, all under 5 minutes.
My name is Jon Birdsong and I’m with Atlanta Ventures.
Event on the Calendar:
This week’s Event to put on your calendar is the Dell for Startups Pitch Event. Look I know there is a lot of startup theater out there with pitch events nearly every week. This one is a touch different because they are handing out a very real prize and that is $15k in Dell Rewards for the best 3 minute pitch. I wondered what Dell Rewards were so I put a link in the show notes to a more detailed description but you get $15k into select products and services without any catch. If you’ve got a dialed in Pitch, which I know several listeners do because they go to Friday’s Pitch Practice with Jacey Lucus, put August 25th on your cal from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Atlanta Tech Village. A few minutes on stage could yield some sweet hardware.
This week’s quiet giant is called Neighborly Software. Co-founders, Jason and Chris, of Neighborly Software have built a tremendous bootstrapped business with software designed for Housing, Economic, and Community Development program management.
In the vicissitudes of political climates, Neighborly Software provides backbone sturdy software for municipalities, cities, counties, and states to manage and allocate community resources in a paper-less, secure, and efficient solution. They just posted #72 on Inc 5000’s fastest growing companies so you know they are hiring. This week’s Quiet Giant may not be so quiet any more.
Blog of the Week:
This week’s blog of the week comes from the Godfather of SaaS himself Jason Lemkin who is gearing up for his major conference, SaaStr next month. The blog title is like a Dear Abbey but instead it’s a Dear SaaStr and the question is: Is a big market really better than a niche market? The answer is always yes but with a few caveats. First, one may think if it’s a small market, that’s better because there will be less competition and while that’s true, you’re have 12-16 hours a day to work on a business and so you might as well be working on one in a massive market as that will be a key defining factor or growth and success. Let’s get to the caveats. First, small markets can grow into large markets. I touched on this in last week’s episode in our “Market Ready for a Startup” segment. Pick a niche to get rich is true, but if you can get niche but a rapidly growing market, bingo. The article’s other two buts include that small markets don’t always mean there is less competition. And lastly, most entrepreneurs start in a small segment of a large market. Overall, study the market and trends just as much if not more than anything else before committing.
Product of the Week:
Hazlnut - this company is out of Jacksonville, Florida is making a major evolution in their products and services as they navigate the ever-changing demands of restaurants. While their core product of providing beautiful and dynamic mobile experiences for food franchises continues to grow, they’ve discovered through customer feedback, that the unanswered phone order is a major area of opportunity for many restaurants to drive additional revenue. Approximately 30% of calls into restaurants don’t get answered. Enter HazlVoiceLite. If a restaurant doesn’t pick up the phone, there is an option to have the menu texted to the consumer to limit the number of missed orders. HazlVoice Pro is in the works which will include automated phone ordering all through voice, but for now check out Hazlnut and their rapidly growing suite of products in the restaurant industry. Shout out to co-founders Dick and Steven for driving stellar innovation.
Raise a Glass:
Ben Chestnut announced this week he is stepping down as CEO of Mailchimp after founding the company 21 years ago and recently selling it for $12B. For me and several other Atlantans, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend fascinating talks they’ve held over the years, use their product, and watched and respected how they built and scaled their way with their rules, on their time frame. Congratulations Ben! What a legacy and excited for what’s ahead!
Annnnd, that’s 5 minutes.
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Resources discussed in this episode:
Event on the Calendar:
Blog of the Week
Product of the Week:
Raise a Glass: Mailchimp