A Q&A with VoteIt co-founder and CEO Taylor Beery. The New Orleans–based company was founded in March of this year and recently secured $800K in Seed funding.
SUB: Please describe what VoteIt is, and the value proposition you bring to group collaboration.
Beery: VoteIt is a mobile and web platform that helps groups make decisions by integrating discussion with voting to build consensus and take action.
With a simple and engaging interface, innovative commenting, voting and rewards, VoteIt will deliver the collaborative potential of three people making a decision around a table to scale, and provide it to every device in real-time.
SUB: Who are your target markets?
Beery: VoteIt will aid in decision-making for corporate and non-profit boards of directors for governance, small to large businesses for internal strategic development and consumer outreach, colleges and universities for student organizations, faculty, and administration and faculty interaction, and healthcare providers for comprehensive and efficient consultations.
We’re not limiting our platform to those industries, though. Anyone can create a vote on VoteIt, which will be free to casual users.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Beery: In the online decision-making space, one can choose a survey or poll, such as Surveymonkey, which scales well but completely eliminates collaboration, or email. Anyone who’s ever been on an email with more than 6 people trying to make a decision have seen the impact of completely disorganized collaboration and what it can do to our inboxes.
SUB: What differentiates VoteIt from the competition?
Beery: Collaboration is essential for the best decisions and group “buy-in”—from three person groups to 300,000 person groups. We deliver the collaborative potential of three people making a decision around a table to scale, and providing it to every device in real-time.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took to establishing it?
Beery: The company was founded in March 2011. After testing out the concept with a variety of groups, we built a basic voting widget and put in people’s hands. The overwhelming responses convinced us we were onto something.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for VoteIt? Was there an “aha” moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Beery: There have been a series of “aha” moments. Our seed idea and seed funder, Matt Wisdom, began developing the general concept for this product almost ten years ago. The overwhelming number of recent examples of breakdowns in decision-making and frustration at all levels for the current crude tools for engagement led us to believe that now is the time to bring this tool to the market.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Beery: Like other startup tech companies, we’re seeing the shortage of quality developers. One of the most time-consuming parts of building VoteIt has been seeking out the best developers available to work. We have an amazing, growing team so far, though, and it’s all been worth it.
SUB: You recently raised an $800K seed funding round—how do you plan to use the funds?
Beery: We’re developing our mobile and web applications and increasing awareness of the VoteIt platform.
SUB: Why was this a particularly good time to raise outside funding?
Beery: Our management team has built a reputation for execution. Our investors understood our business. There is a great deal of interest in what is going on in New Orleans right now, including the tax benefits of investing in this region.
SUB: Do you plan to raise additional funding in the near future?
SUB: What are your goals for VoteIt over the next year or so?
Beery: We will execute on our strategy to continue developing our platform, expand our partner network, raise additional capital and establish VoteIt as the way that all groups make decisions.
VoteIt – www.voteit.com