While I might not own a traditional tech startup, I still a love/love relationship with the tech world. Maybe it’s because of the huge role tech now plays in the American Dream. Or maybe the whole tech building process just fascinates me. It’s simple, right? All you have to do is come up with a solution to a pain point, build a model, and put a bunch of cool tech stuff into motion. And voila– just like that, you’re a millionaire. Or maybe it’s not as easy as all that….
Anyway, some version of this story– building a life that’s somehow magically different than the one you have now– has captured the American imagination since the nation’s infancy. In a sense, the tech dream tells the same story as immigration did over a century ago. Ditto the Industrial Revolution. And currently, it’s the transition from our Ataris and our Commodore 64s to the podcast you’re listening to right now. Whatever form the story takes, we all want to believe the magic can happen.
So I do love talking with tech entrepreneurs. I like hearing about the pain point they’re trying to solve. I also love digging into the nuts and bolts of how to raise huge sums of money, a process which is often based on little more than a founder’s vision and a compelling deck of powerpoint slides. Then building the thing, launching the thing, raising more money and watching the subsequent growth. Or, conversely, to fail miserably, perhaps because you misjudge a single important point, fall short of a fundraising goal, or by not pinpointing your ideal client.
The tech world is the wild west and I love every chance I get to be a part of it. So today, we dig deep into one specific issue that every tech business that actually gets to launch their product eventually has to face: how to budget for the first few years after a product officially goes live.
Today’s guest is one of Bloomington’s favorite tech entrepreneurs. Her business serves a very specific purpose– to help honey farmers create happy, productive lives for their bees. Her business is called Beecorp. Their products monitor the farmer’s beehives and organize the data obtained to measure their strength, productivity, and safety. Beecorp has won awards across both the tech and the agriculture sectors, and they continue to grow staff and products every year.
Ellie Symes is the founder and CEO of Beecorp, and she shares a crossroads with us today.
And as always, we’re glad you joined us today.
Topics discussed in this episode include:
- The current state of Ellie’s business (5:20)
- Should Ellie hire for sales? (11:35)
- How many customers does Beecorp need? (14:30)
- The cutbacks she’s made for the upcoming year (23:00)
- Which factors are driving her budget equation? (28:00)
- Preparing the Pitch (35:00)
- Modeling what you can and how to recognize overstaffing (37:15)
- The Vision Value Pull (40:45)
- Building the magnet (45:00)
Special thanks to Ellie Symes of Beecorp for pulling back the curtain and sharing this business crossroads.
And of course, a huge thank you to David Quick for giving his time and expertise. You can find David and many of his resources at HELPINGBULLS.COM.
Contributors to this episode include:
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