Continuing our series on Leaders & Influencers, we chatted with IT industry veteran Liz Eversoll, CEO at SOLOMO Technology, Inc., a platform as a service that provides location and identity services to brands. She is also currently involved in bringing Austin-based tech accelerator Capital Factory to Madison.
Tell us about Capital Factory, and why you decided to bring it to Madison.
I connected with Capital Factory through Patrick Vogt, who is the chairman of the board at SOLOMO and had previously worked with Joshua Baer, the executive director at Capital Factory. I had been having conversations with Madison business owners and investors, and we all felt that there’s a need for place in Madison for tech entrepreneurs to foster relationships, build connections with investors and strategic partners, and be introduced to new technologies. Capital Factory has a nice model as a long-term accelerator for tech startups; they help with initial seed funding, matching funds, bringing in mentors and advisors. We’re still in the planning stages with them, but hope to have it up and running here in Madison in about four months.
What’s the single most important change you’d like to see to encourage more innovation and entrepreneurship in our community?
Everyone says capital is the most important thing you need for a startup, but it’s really more about interest from customers. If you have customers and revenue, that validates your product. We have great, established companies here in Wisconsin, but I’d like to see stronger partnerships with them. Startups would benefit from the expertise, guidance, and investment of established companies, while established companies would advance their digital capabilities through the use of startup technologies and services.
What book do you think every aspiring entrepreneur should read and why?
Drucker, Gladwell, Godin, The Speed of Trust (and all Covey books), The Lean Startup. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen was actually the book that spurred me to leave my career at CDW, which did great things, had great growth, and was a great company. But it was a traditional model, and Christensen’s book really got me thinking about disruptive technology, cloud and mobile, and I wanted to do the next thing with my own business.
What do you find most interesting and rewarding in your position as founder and CEO at SOLOMO?
We’re located in downtown Madison, so we’re right in the middle of the tech scene here. I love meeting all the startups, investors, companies, and stakeholders that are working to build the Madison/Wisconsin startup ecosystem. People come to us, and we get to stay involved in the many questions of tech entrepreneurship.
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