Team Focus: Allstacks!

The Innovators Program is chugging along, and I was excited to learn more about one of our awesome external teams last week, Allstacks. CEO Hersh Tapadia and CTO Jeremy Freeman have partnered together for 10 years, and after years of collaborating on project after project, they identified a hole in the project management market for a good analytics tool that gave useful data to drive decision-making.

Allstacks is business intelligence tool for engineering management in which they pul together all the data that is generated by the team and give them leading indicators of project health so they can better direct their attention and ship better quality products on time without having to spend a lot of time digging around trying to figure out what’s actually going on.

Dashboard of Allstacks

We had the chance to chat with Hersh and learn more about what drove their team to build Allstacks and how years of experience can groom you for building the perfect product! 

If you’d like to learn more about Allstacks and how it can transform your project management, learn more today!

Learn more about Allstacks!


Magdalyn: Why did you decide to apply for the Innovators Program?

Hersh: Primarily what made us want to apply was the partnership with Citrix and Red Hat. They’re two prototypical customers for our company, so it gave us the opportunity to work really closely with that type of customers to build a good product.

M: Awesome! What are you most looking forward to in this program?

H: We’ve been able to define some structure around working with our customers that allows us to recognize patterns and identify areas where we can make small changes that have large impact, and what really drove that was the tools that have been taught in the program. 

M: What skills or backgrounds do you each bring to your team?

H: It’s kind of an interesting story about me and my partner, we’ve been working together for over ten years, and this is our fourth company together. We met when we were in undergrad and i was spinning a company out of the university that was a medical device, and my partner jeremy was my first hire. that company was more bleeding-edge, and jeremy and the team wrote all the software for that. We ended up getting picked up and acqui-hired (before acqui-hiring was a thing) by a startup coming out of Johnson and Johnson. So I joined as a cofounder of that company and i was able to bring over the technology. I was able to hire back the critical parts of that team, so once again Jeremy was the first hire. We ran product there for 6 years, and we were ready to do something new, so we ended up building a business for 2 years looking for our next idea. We ended up working on a confluence of factors – data science projects, API development, and other algorithm development tools – we didn’t realize it then, but basically over the past 10 years we had trained ourselves in all the different components that allowed us to develop Allstacks really quickly. We built and launched the product in less than three months. 

M: What was the “ah-ha” moment that led to starting your company?

H: The idea came to us kind of two ways – my partner and i had actually had launched another data-based company, and when we actually ran the data, we found out that the data from the original product we had didn’t work out, but there was one slice of that product that was really interesting to our customers – people were interested in knowing what the productivity of their employees was inside of the tools that they’re paying for. So we started trying to understand that market and looked deeper into the productivity analytics market, and what we found is that there was a huge hole for engineering management. 

We then came at it from another angle in that we thought back to our experiences – because my partner and i both happen to be engineering and product managers for 10 years – and realized that it was actually a problem. We thought back to our own experiences working with senior management and how frustrating it was that we weren’t able to give good, quantitative answers to how things are going. We realized that the part of the problem was that there wasn’t good data available, and whatever data that was available is very siloed and not holistic. and by looking at that kind of data lead to blinded, partially-informed decision making which was really ineffective.

M: Short answer, what problem are you trying to solve?

H: Helping engineering build better products ahead of schedule and under budget.

M: What’s your biggest take-away from the Innovators Program so far?

H: It’s really important to be consistent in how you interact with your customers so you can identify patterns, and by doing that, it’s been really helpful. 

M:  When you are not working tirelessly to launch a company, how do you spend your time?

I think what’s really important for me is not losing the social connections that make life meaningful, so carving time out for that is really important so you don’t lose yourself in your business. My wife and I dedicate time to our friends and family every week so that’s really helpful.


Thanks Hersh for sharing your thoughts and progress with us, looking forward to seeing Allstacks grow and thrive!

If you’d like to learn more about Allstacks or the Innovators Program, check out more here.

Allstacks   Innovators Program

Visit us soon for more interviews with this year’s participants!

Cheers! -Magdalyn

 

Where are they now? Catching up with Innovators Program alum Michelle Harper

Raleigh-based Savii Care is a home care platform that simplifies the business of in-home care with web and mobile apps that replace paper with collaboration. The female-founded health-tech startup participated in the inaugural Raleigh Innovators Program in 2014 and has continued to scale since then. We caught up with Co-Founder and CEO, Michelle Harper, (now a program mentor) to get her reflections on the accelerator and to find out what’s in store for the company.

IP: When you think back on the Innovators Program two years ago, what’s the biggest impact you feel it had on you & your company?
MH: The program challenged us to be razor focused on the metrics that matter.

IP: Did you learn anything from your fellow participants or the program mentors that you still apply at your company today?
MH: Same as above, we still apply the lesson of focusing on the metrics that matter.

IP: Was there anything you learned or experienced during the program that surprised you?
MH: Yes, that as we did our stakeholder interviews, our marketing messages and value proposition became crystal clear.

IP: Teams in accelerators around the world are preparing for year-end Demo Days. How did you prepare for your Demo Day?
MH: Pray and breathe. I also made sure to go through my entire pitch out loud at least once that day, so my voice was warmed up.

IP: You transitioned from operating as Akili Software to Savii Care. How did you make that decision and what was the process like?
MH: The company is Savii, Inc. and one of our products in Savii Care. As we went through early market validation and even our weekly presentations during the Innovators Program, it became clear that we were creating an unnecessary challenge by naming the company something entirely different from our products. We rebranded our software platform as Savii and within a few short months it had become an easily identifiable brand. It just made sense to brand the organization as Savii.

IP: You have been a big player in the women’s entrepreneurship scene locally. What’s one piece of advice you would share for female technology entrepreneurs? Any resources they should check out?
MH: Find mentors, both men and women, who will be honest with you and challenge you, but mostly believe in you. Be prepared to often be the only female in the room or on the stage and be comfortable with that. Lastly, be true to yourself. If you can’t make your company/vision work while being true to your core values and convictions, do something else.

IP: You have raised over $750K to-date. How did the Innovators Program and other mentorship groups prepare you for investment?
MH: I would say that each program, from the Innovators, to SOAR, to CED and NC Idea, helped move me toward closing our seed round this past summer. As I stated at the CED Tech Venture Conference, the startup ecosystem in the Triangle is committed, beyond just words, to helping companies succeed as long as you are willing to listen to advice with an open mind.

IP: How do you celebrate your successes?
MH: At this stage, we high five and move forward. We try to take time to have fun together as a team especially after really big releases or signing a strategic client.

IP: What have you been up to lately and what’s on the horizon for Savii Care?
MH: I just got accepted to my first Board of Directors role with the Forest at Duke and am excited to contribute to this great organization. As for Savii, we continue to look for ways to make tech usable for end users, and will be keeping our heads down and focused, both on this and those metrics that matter. We expect to raise a Series A in 2017 as we start to scale Savii.

Make sure to follow along with Savii Care’s progress and meet the next generation of Innovators Program startups at the Raleigh Demo Day on December 12th!

Register here.