Year over year, Ohio’s startup businesses continue to expand rapidly throughout the state—especially in technology. In today’s day and age, simplicity is key when it comes to customers and businesses adopting technology. The platforms must be seamless and adaptable—that’s where SaaS comes in.
What exactly is SaaS?
SaaS, or Software as a Service, is software housed on an external service (or, over the internet) and provided to customers through a licensed, subscription-based model. Some common examples of SaaS companies and products are Cisco WebEx Meetings, Box, Inc., and Salesforce.
Founded in Dayton, Ohio, Carely provides caregivers and families digital tools to better communicate and provide for loved ones through their platform. The goal of Carely’s software service is to simplify care communication and coordination and provide support throughout the caregiving journey. In 2020, Carely acquired caregiving.org, an online community for family caregivers, expanding their product and entering into a new phase of growth. So, what can we learn from Carely? Technology is adaptable in almost any type of business, and can seamlessly provide connectivity.
DataRobot + Nexosis
Enterprise AI leader, Nexosis, was founded in 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. Nexosis provides developers with API access to their platform in order to build more robust solutions. Their cloud products can be applied to almost any industry, including banking, oil and gas, insurance, marketing, and telecommunications. In 2018, DataRobot and Nexosis joined forces to harness their powers in AI machine learning. What is their secret to SaaS? Get machine learning in the hands of different types of users.
Segmint of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio offers a marketing automation solution to help companies make data-driven decisions and convert potential clients. They partner and integrate with over 80% of the financial market, with partners including FIS, CIS, and Fiserve. Their point of differentiation in the SaaS market is simple: use data analytics to tell real stories.
Innago, located in the Cincinnati area, is an automated property management software that simplifies the business of rental properties for landlords. Users can manage their tenant accounts and incoming maintenance requests while utilizing Innago’s accessible security and support team through the platform. Their trick to the trade? Help users put their tedious tasks on autopilot using SaaS.
Popcom, founded in Columbus, creates software to help build intelligent brands. Their automated system helps retail clients learn exactly who they’re serving. So, how do they do it? Popcom equips entrepreneurs and brands with retail solutions that allow rapid expansion, excellent customer experiences, and useful sales data.
Ohio continues to lead in business growth, especially in SaaS. With these key tips, you can learn from some of the startups located in the Buckeye state, and entrepreneurs can feel confident they’ll provide a service that is necessary to the rapidly evolving tech field.
For the past year, it’s been clear that business and entrepreneurship have evolved to becoming more digital and accessible. With that has come new ways and resources to access information for business growth and scale. From funding to software, the tools are at our fingertips to reach new levels of success in the expansion. Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled some of the top resources in 2021 to help grow your business.
An incredibly valuable benefit of any resource in today’s business environment is virtual, personalized coaching. SCORE, a nonprofit resource founded in 1964 by the U.S. Small Business Administration has more than 10,000 business experts and funding from the government. SCORE provides free mentoring programs and workshops at more than 250 locations across the country. Whether your preference is in person or online, you can request a business mentor to help start growing your business: www.score.org/find-mentor. You can also ask score to match you with a mentor.
The Starting Idea
Startup Growth Magazine’s blog, The Starting Idea, has an extensive library of free, online resources to help you skyrocket your startup or blog. As seen in Business Insider, Inc. Magazine, Influencive, and more, this blog offers actionable info for personal branding, a “growth toolbox”, and marketing and productivity guides. If you need more apps and software than advice, they’ve combined over 450 free business tools to help you in a wide range of areas.
Startup Grind Global Conference
Passionate entrepreneurs everywhere need to add this premier, now 100% virtual conference to their agendas. Startup Grind will be held February 22-25, 2021, joining tech startups around the world in conversation, thought leadership, workshops, and collaboration. The “choose-what-you-pay” model for attendance (with a pay $0 option) now makes the conference more accessible than ever. The iconic lineup of speakers is the icing on the cake.
Small Business Development Centers
America’s SBDC is the most comprehensive resource for small businesses in the U.S. and surrounding territories. Like SCORE, SBDCs are in part funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, along with leading universities, state development agencies and private partners. Small and aspiring business owners can receive free business training to start and grow your business.
Is your business women-owned? SMB Compass provides a comprehensive guide to grants for women in business. According to the site, studies show that female entrepreneurs find it more challenging to secure funding compared to male business owners. These grants help women reach their business goals and minimize any debt they may incur. Conveniently, SMB Compass combined a list of grant resources encompassing both private and government-funded grants. They’ve also provided in-depth information on each grant and info on how to start your searching process.
Ready to hit the books and learn more about your craft? Coursera is a free, online platform with access to courses, certificates and degrees from universities and companies around the world. Founded by Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, the platform partners with universities and companies globally, including Google, Duke University, and IBM to deliver over 3,800 courses in a variety of topics.
The right resource is out there for you
Your secret to success is just that – yours. While this list is very helpful, it’s not the end-all-be-all, and you should be continually seeking what works for your success. If you add to your resources, make sure to share them with other entrepreneurs like yourself.
Budding startups and entrepreneurs in Ohio: this one’s for you. If you’re a business owner or founder with a brilliant idea that has sustainability, now’s the time to consider your business’ funding for the future. There are many ways to go about funding options–crowdfunding, angel investors, venture capital firms, and more. In this article, we’ll explore Venture Growth Valley as a micro venture capital firm, and how such firms are star choices for business funding.
Founded in 2017 by five Mahoning Valley organizations, Valley Growth Ventures targets high growth, new startups across Ohio–primarily Mahoning Valley. Our double bottom-line mission is simple: generate positive ROI for investors while driving local wealth and job creation. We seek to assist local companies with expansion, creating and building value, and to bring businesses outside of our region to the Mahoning Valley area.
Our team consists of experts in the technology space, including IT, B2B software, energy, healthcare, additive manufacturing, and advanced materials, working with tech companies across Ohio. Outside of tech, we also invest and partner with high growth startups in other areas. We aim to help businesses grow faster while staying in the local Mahoning Valley area. To get a better glimpse of the companies we partner with, reference our portfolio.
Why a micro venture capital firm over other funding sources? Micro firms can often be underestimated. Going “small” brings a much more intimate partnership and gives startup entrepreneurs the ability to focus on their craft while the micro-VC focuses on outbound growth. Micro VC fund managers tend to lead by experience having backgrounds in business, and are more willing to “get their hands dirty”, getting into the trenches of growing the business. Simply put, nobody wins unless the startup wins, and partnering with a micro-VC generates equal interest in the performance and success of the company.
Micro VCs fill a necessary gap some startups see when seeking funding from traditional VC firms. According to Small Biz Trends, startups now require less capital to achieve product market fit – as compared to what traditional VCs can offer in order to see mutual success between company and funding firm. Micro VCs can offer smaller investment rounds to startups for mutual benefit – something that larger firms and other sourcing options can’t easily do.
Interested in learning more about how our firm can help your company grow? If you’re a tech startup or small organization in Ohio, and particularly northeast Ohio, reach out to us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about creating scalable growth with Valley Growth Ventures.