The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 6 months ago

Ep 173: Building a Tech Business Without VCs w/ Danielle Amatulli

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 173: Building a Tech Business Without VCs w/ Danielle Amatulli

Part of the "Is This A Good Time?" series hosted by Brandon Barton.

Hello, everyone. And welcome back to the pavilion podcast. I'm your host, Brandon Martin. And you're listening to Is this a good time? The show where I put pavilion members on the hot seat for 15 minutes. We hear their incredible stories. Shows her out Tuesdays and Thursdays. So please hit. Subscribe, and you will not miss hearing from our experts. Our guest today is Danielle. Um, actually, she's the CEO and founder of technically creative. And we talk about building a tech business over 17 years without VC help. This one sponsors Sandoz. So Sandoz. So the leading sending platform is the most effective way for revenue generating teams to stand out with new ways to engage in strategic points throughout the customer journey. By connecting digital and physical strategies, companies can engage, acquire and retain customers easier than ever before. All right, let's do this. Episode 86. Is this a good time? All right, everybody, I am here with Danielle. Um, actually, she is the CEO. Technically creative. Daniel's so great to have you on the show. Thank you. Thanks for having me. Yeah, great. Well, look all me no filler. We like to jump right in Why don't you give us a little background on a technically creative? You obviously founded the company. And you know, you've been now doing this. It seems like for almost two decades give us a sense of the company that you built and maybe even go back to. Why did you choose to start your own business and take the entrepreneurial path as opposed to working for others and so forth? Well, I've just always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I literally I love telling the story. I literally grew up selling seashells on the seashore and differentiating myself among lemonade stands. I would have different sized cups. I always had the best marketing I would do cross promotional stuff to local church cake sales that were going on the following week. So I was always moving and shaking and always selling or starting different businesses. I actually started and incorporated. Technically creative in 2000 and four, that was Oh...

...my gosh, 17 years ago, during my final yeah, during my final semester business school, and I just never looked back. I just kept going forward. I was the CEO or still on the CEO, and I finally convinced my husband about seven years in So around 2011 to join technically creative. And he became my partner and our cto. So he reports to you then Well, is he going to listen to this podcast? We are definitely a partnership, right? He is a brilliant technologist and has really helped steer the direction of what the company does. From a technological standpoint, I have always been very business driven and have been very passionate about the whole process of business operations. So we really do make a perfect team in this, right? Right now, we're focused on engineering technology solutions geared towards unifying governance in the financial services firms, global investment banks and insurance companies worldwide. So basically, we automate and integrate compliance risk surveillance, discovery DLP processes through managed services. And we have a fairly newish products TC oversight controls. And so help me understand is that you know, when you are working in this capacity for somebody, are you building essentially software for them that they own? Or is that software that you're building that you know that that is a sass more of a SAS model or something like that? Right now it's more of a SAS model. So you know the different financial firms. They need additional support services for their surveillance processes, and it's within our platform. TC oversight controls. So, for example, that they need to get additional data sources Twitter slack teams. Those data points...

...into their surveillance platform. This is a simple, you know, one. But we were able to get those different data points in there for them or if they're trying to. The big thing going on right now is you have all these different divisions, so you have, you know, your info SEC team, your legal team, compliance team surveillance team. They're all using different platforms, and they all have data. Some people are going around and building big data lakes, which definitely is important for other processes. But if you're trying to keep the information where it is, we're able to tie those data sources together. So, for example, insider trading. That's a big thing for investigations. They want to make sure that they're catching that so they'll have code names for different deals that they're doing. And we're able to take that information from their investigation management solution, write a policy that feeds into their surveillance platform, and they just have to update code names and now their surveillance looking company wide for that. So it's just tying those little pieces together so they're still operating how they like to operate. They don't have to change everything that they're doing. But now we're just getting their data to work. Smarter for them sure makes so much sense. I mean, you mentioned insider trading. What are what are some of the things that your your platform catches right? Like obviously, you know, this is a This is a hygiene thing, right? You want to make sure that there's oversight, but, like, what are some examples of the things that your software is kind of trying to look for? If you will, there's Oh my gosh, well, and you know, I'll get into this a little bit later. But it's mainly what is the client trying to find, and that's that's the beauty of it, the flexibility behind the product. So the firms, especially at the size that we're working with, they have specific requirements. They have decided within their own compliance teams what they are looking for, and then they tell us, and then we're able to identify those data points and feed it into their surveillance platforms. So you know the options are limitless. I don't want to...

...say, you know, but that's really what it is. It's helping them do their job better. So what are you looking for? What your major concerns. So insider trading has been a big one. Customer complaints has been a big one. So you know what they're looking for. Got it? Got it. Alright, cool. Well, look, we talk about luck and hard work as being the things that get you to these high lofty places in your career. Clearly, 17 year old owner of your own business here would love to dive into any luck or hard work along the way. That's kind of really contributed to your success. Hard work. I mean, those beginning years. And when I think of hard work, I think of those beginning years, right? It's just a complete world wind. I remember going to school full time, working full time, commuting to Queens from Long Island, starting the business and starting the business completely bootstrapped from the ground up. So it was literally I was creating the logo and researching how I was going to have medical insurance for myself and making sure the business had liability insurance and coming up with a marketing strategy. Um, honestly, I've loved every single second of it. I you know, I I just love growing it the way that I have. I'll never forget my manager at the time. She was just so supportive and flexible while I was going to school and doing all of this. And, um, I try and carry that with me to my team and, you know, at different times by different team members will need different support along the way, and I'll never forget how kind. And because of her, I was able to have that flexibility to do the things that I wanted to do, and she supported my passion. She supported my growth, and I hope I do that for my team. So hard work, definitely those beginning years. Not that it's easy now, but those beginning years were a world one. Yeah, experience does wonders for taking things that used to be hard and making them feel easier. So absolutely,...

...absolutely, and and luck. And he strokes of luck along the way. Well, I always say I'm very lucky. I'm very lucky and grateful for all the cheerleaders that we had along the way on our journey, the people that have shared their stories and have shared their lessons and the advice that they have given, you know, being bootstrapped from the ground up, I often feel like I didn't have the insider guidance of investors right to people who have done it before and, you know, can give you a very clear past. I kind of just learned along the way. And that's why I find it so important to take care of our clients and have great communication with their clients. What are their pain points? What restraints are they working within and then delivering on whatever the solution is that we come up with as promised and always being honest with them? It took me a while to realize that not every customer is for me In the beginning, I think you know, you just you just want to grow and so whoever you can support and and sometimes I was, you know, working with people that they just not that you have to have the same vision, but I guess the same integrity, almost. And I'm just not willing to do something that I think is morally wrong, especially when we're working in this surveillance compliancy space, right? And I think that's reflective of the customers, the vendors and the clients that we work with. They have that same level of integrity, that they want to move forward, doing things right and correctly in turn, that's built an amazing reputation for us. Clients know we're going to do the work for them. We're going to do it, you know, within budget, in within the time frame that we said we're going to do it best possible way to get them their outcome. And still to this day, our biggest sales channel is referrals from our existing clients, which I always take as a huge compliment. Of course, of course, it's very cool. All right, well, look, you know, you obviously mentioned having a passion for for building the...

...business and building the marketing plan. What's a marketing or sales tactic outside of referrals? Let's say right and doing the doing the right thing that has helped you grow the business along the way, I would say, Just create content, something that the clients can relate to. We started this monthly newsletter. We call it the innovation Report, right. It's providing real world use cases on how we leverage TC oversight controls our product to solve issues that clients. So that way, if the client you know, this is how we solve this issue around customer complaints, this is how we solve this issue of legal holds. The legal team needs to put these different cases on a legal hold. How can they go about doing that without the paper trail and talking to the surveillance and the archive vendors? How we can streamline that? All of them. So we have these innovation reports that showcase those details and hopefully they can relate to it. And if they can relate to it, then you know they can resonate. Very cool. Very cool. Alright. Many positions are hiring for yes, SR Software engineer. I think everybody right, everybody in the world needs senior engineers, right? It's the new housing market. That's literally what the recruiter told me. He's like its the new housing market right now, So yes, we have a great team. If you're looking for something where you're not pigeonholed, where you have the opportunity to grow your voices heard lots of responsibility around the development tasks and this product that we're building. So definitely you can go on our website technically creative dot com The requirements on there and you can submit your resume directly from the website, love it, love it and give some shout outs. You know, either up and comers or folks that have really inspired you and you learn from, I mean, my inspiration, Dr Joe Dispenser. He literally is the one that I was introduced to when I started studying mindset. Right. He comes from a science background, does a ton of research on...

...the physical effects of meditation and uses neuroscience to explain mind body connection because it can get a little Woo woo, right? Like, uh, no, But he comes from a science background, and it's really cool to see, you know, he does MRIs and study of the brains and the synapses and how really mindset can affect you physically. So stay here for a second. Give me give me to, you know, give me a couple of seconds on this. This is This is I mean, as a as a CEO as well. Like I'm starting to understand this whole thing of, like, you know, speaking it. And then, you know, then it happening, right? Of course. Right. Give me your two minute take on the power of Of what led to his practices or what you do in your daily life for weekly life to kind of prepare yourself to lead. Well, you know, this is much bigger than a two second. No, I believe in it. I've been studying for about four or five years now. I'm nowhere near an expert, but I definitely have seen the positive effects of it. I mean, to the point of even bringing me right here. I have been on a search to find a CEO group. Right? And that led me on my journey to, uh, you know, I was working with Sam in the past years ago, and then he started this whole CEO pavilion and which introduced me to you and it just it was all a vision started with meeting like minded leaders, and it really has productive me. So I try and do that. Always reach for a higher frequency. Stay in the frequency. We don't let other people bring you to their frequency. Stay in your goals and your vision, and I try and bring that wherever I go. I like I like it. Well, for folks interested in this stuff, you know? Look up, Dr. Joe Dispenser. Be probably interesting for people to dive into. Last but not least, my the most important question me. Besides mindset, I have a stomach mindset. Give me Give me a spot to eat. Maybe up near you in...

...the Hudson Valley or wherever you want. Okay, Well, I have to give a shout out to Irish eyes And New Windsor. That's our favorite lunch spot down the road from the office. Great Irish Pub. And you're actually the receiver of the barstool fund in the middle of the pandemic. That was cool. That went on from the pizza guy. I can't get the one slice guy. Big porn. Oy. Yes, Controversial guy. All right. I think that that being said has helped some restaurants with some money on the good side of things. Yeah, well goes back to mindset. I don't pay attention to any of that. I just paid attention to positive of what happened with these business owners, and she's just an amazing person. Hard worker. She's got an inspirational story that's not mine to tell herself. So that's our, you know, my lunch spot. And then my favorite night out is Blue point on Newburg on the water. Just beautiful views of the River Mount Beacon. You go inside, there's a big open fireplace, comfortable couches, a big mahogany bar. The lighting's perfect. They got vibe music in the background. I'm excited. We actually are doing. I think this is our It's our third or fourth holiday party will be there in two weeks. I can't wait. Just a nice, classy night out. I love it. Well, we're going to have to get up to the Hudson Valley and go, go eat in these places way super cool to hear your story, Really? Especially loving all this stuff on the mindset. Just kind of starting to dig into that myself. And I can't wait to keep keep keep in touch and see all your continued success. Great. Thank you so much. All right, that's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, please rate and review in the apple podcast Spotify have sent it to some friends. Make sure to smash that subscribe button. A reminder this episode is brought to you by sin does so they deliver modern direct mail, personalized gifts and other physical impressions and make your outreach more personal. I had fun. I hope you did too. Now get out there and crush your numbers. You see some and they say mhm,...

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