After pitching their business to our experienced panel of judges at the Spring 2017 Showcase, Raj Sultanian and Carl P. Evans, the founding team of Predictive Ops, were chosen to receive a no-strings-attached cash prize of $10,000. Headquartered in Atlanta, Predictive Ops is changing the way accounting and finance professionals can monitor filing changes.
With their latest SaaS app DisclosureTrack, Predictive Ops automates the discovery, retrieval, and analysis of changes in public form ADV filings. By compiling important data regarding funds, advisors, individuals, and vendors, DisclosureTrack provides custom reporting based on each user’s personalized guidelines. DisclosureTrack by Predictive Ops saves people time, and firms money.
We caught up with Sultanian and Evans and discussed their thoughts, advice, and plans for the future:
Being a fintech company dealing with the SEC, what were the biggest challenges with developing and delivering your pitch?
The biggest challenge is honing in on what the audience will connect with. This issue affects everyone because everyone has savings and retirement accounts, but it’s disconnected from their everyday lives. We struggled in making it engaging at first. With the initial pitch, we focused on the 2008 financial crisis and how not really knowing and not having any transparency affected a lot of people’s lives.
What do you think a good FinTech pitch looks like?
- Finding the pain point.
- Figuring out how your solution simplifies the problem.
- Know your audience, but speak to more than your audience.
- Talking about competition and being open about who the competitors are.
- Figure out how to differentiate yourself.
Did the mock board meetings confirm your business plan or encourage a change?
The mock board meeting was a highlight of the whole experience. We had 3 board members who were all in different places with different backgrounds. Raj put together an agenda regarding a specific issue we were facing, and the board gave us really meaningful feedback. It felt like we got $10,000 worth of advice for free. We’re no strangers to board meetings, but this was an incredibly helpful experience. We’re taking their advice to heart and changing the direction we’re going to take.
The judges saw your vision and agreed that it has potential. How does it feel to receive that kind of support?
Getting that validation from the judges was amazing because it took us a while to get to this point. We pivoted a few times since the beginning of our business. We initially identified a problem and tried a few approaches, but this one stuck because it generated revenue. Getting good feedback from our customers is great, but our customers are familiar with this space. To have people who weren’t super-knowledgeable about regulatory technology appreciate what we’re doing really says a lot.
Any advice to other early-stage startups in Atlanta looking for funding?
- Stay lean & develop your product/service yourself
- Reach your own personal threshold then seek funding.
- Don’t get caught up in the idealized version of what a startup is supposed to look like.
- Be tenacious— growth hacking is key.
What’s next for Predictive Ops?
We hope to get our flagship app out in the next 6-8 weeks, and it’s all about sales for the next 6-12 months. We’ve reached that point of initial validation, we’ve got a product on the market, so now our job is to start ramping up sales. We’ve got a great salesperson in New York with connections in the industry who’s joining us in June. We’re keeping our heads down and paying attention to what our customers need. We’ve got a pretty good plan laid out, so it’s all about execution.
The Startup Runway Foundation is proud to shed a light on diversity in all aspects of tech entrepreneurship. Applications are now open for the Fall 2017 Showcase on November 2nd. Apply today!