The BizSpark startup of the day is Artesian Solutions, based in the UK. You will find below an interview with Andrew Yates, CEO of Artesian Solutions. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Andrew Yates, CEO of Artesian Solutions
Tell us who you are and your role in the company.
CEO – articulating direction, executing sales and marketing strategy, influencing product direction, managing strategic relationships and making it happen!
What did you do before creating your company?
As a CEO built another successful start-up which we sold to the market leader in an all cash deal – also senior management roles in Aprimo, Eyretel, Cognos and Misys where I learned the ropes in Enterprise sales.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
Energized and thrilled – THANKS! – It’s a great accolade for our team and their vision and of course our visionary customers!
What is your company’s mission?
To make the web a great big sales opportunity for the B2B sales professional.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
Artesian automates the search for sales intelligence from the web finding *highly relevant* insight about your prospects, customers, and competitors so you never miss a sales opportunity or threat.
How did you get the idea for your company?
We came from the BI space and had an idea that the web was a valuable and un-tapped source of business intelligence for the B2B sector. A customer helped us understand that our service was most valuable in the hands of sales-people.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
Artesian is privately funded – we may consider a Series A round next year when the VC market recovers! Always interested to chat.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
20+ with about half in R&D.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?
Currently hiring inside-sales people and always looking for talented developers especially with the UI / Silverlight .NET skills.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Microsoft .NET because this allows us to build and monetize our vision in the fastest and most cost effective way. Our Partnership with Microsoft and the BizsparkOne program is also paying huge dividends.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?
Search in the B2B sector is under-exploited as an accelerant to improving sales productivity as are social applications for the Enterprise – Artesian play in these two spaces.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
It’s a great way to quickly build your start-up and not have to worry about upfront software costs for your development team. The network is also a great way to connect and learn from other peoples experience – we are like one great big family!
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
A great idea is only 20% of what it takes to succeed – to scale you need great sales and marketing process and people who understand how to deliver customer success. Collect your cash inside 30 days and try not to pay your bills inside 30 days. Rely on no help from the banks and try to remain independent as long as you can. Finally surround yourself with great people both in terms of your team and the advice you get from outside. Don’t be afraid to hire people who are better than you!
Who’s your role model?
Dr. Steve Garnett currently with Salesforce.com – a great technologist, salesman, business professional and philanthropist. Nick Discombe ditto the same and Peter Beard – all fabulous communicators and REAL PEOPLE.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview
If you have a dream go for it – you won’t win the lottery unless you buy a ticket – better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all etc. That said 99% of start-ups fail due to lack of attention to their finances – revenue gives you the fuel to flex your creative wings so ask yourself ‘Who’s going to buy it? Why? What will they pay? (What alternative do they have?)’ – And if all of that checks out give me your number and I might invest!