At last year’s Techweek Chicago, a young and innovative company named WeDeliver won the top prize in the LAUNCH competition and received a tool that’s already changing the way they do business.
That tool is RENDER, our SaaS platform that provides insight into how the value proposition is the single most critical growth asset for any business. And I want nothing less than to make the Windy City a technology hub that rivals Silicon Valley.
No little plans
Here at Valkre, we’re Chicago people. We are prototypical Chicagoans. We’re engineers. We’re coming from B2B manufacturing kinds of families and backgrounds. We started this business from that heritage to solve what we see as a key challenge: In order to grow you need to know what your target value proposition is.
A value proposition is the reason a customer chooses to do business with a company instead of its competitors. This seemingly simple yet complex concept makes or breaks any business.
Although many business elements have been digitized, the key to growth hadn’t been. What is your value proposition, is it working for your customers and what are you doing to improve it? Valkre is built around that ideology.
As I've written here before, Valkre’s origin began by engineering RENDER for companies such as Owens Corning, General Electric and others. But any business can benefit from the software and services, as well, and that’s where Chicago comes in.
Chicago has a great opportunity to be a center of excellence for technology and manufacturing. This city can support a growing technology community because our history and our foundation are in B2B. I believe the ‘City of Big Shoulders’ can truly become the Silicon Prairie for B2B.
These plans can’t come together on their own, however. It’s all about creating community, and in order to create community you need success. What’s going to make the tech community go is success. The city already is off to a good start. With the achievements of such companies as Fieldglass, Groupon, SPSS and Morningstar, we have a good nucleus.
How WeDeliver can help drive change
When I think about WeDeliver, it’s about supporting an innovative leader in our start-up community. It’s about taking that piece of the puzzle we’ve built to help these other companies that kind of look like us take advantage of our thinking. That way, we’re all sharing successes.
We offered RENDER software and staff expertise as a prize at Techweek Chicago 2013 — and although we had no idea which company would win, we knew its owners and employees would benefit mightily.
The challenges are consistent for nascent companies. In business school, they teach you how to write a value proposition and business plan. They don’t teach you how to do a selling model. That’s what WeDeliver is experiencing. It’s one thing to have a nice presentation and a crisp pitch, but quite another to test it in the marketplace.
Above all, smart startups and businesses in B2B markets can’t afford to lose a customer. You lose a customer or two or three, and you’re in bad shape pretty quickly.
To succeed, you need to have a recurring relationship with your customers. You can’t just hunt them and sell them.
Come join us at next week's Techweek Chicago to learn more about the WeDeliver story. Lawrence Brown and Valkre's VP of Product Development Matt Cobb will speak during the Startup Summit on Friday June 27th.