MESA sat down with Evan Carothers, CEO of Docalytics, to ask him about his experience working with MESA.
Tell us a bit about your background, your career history, and your business. What prompted you to get involved with MESA?
Docalytics is marketing analytics software. Target customer is B2B companies. At its core, Docalytics is analytics for downloadable content. It is a web-based viewer tool that allows for better visitor analytics collection. We were acquired in January 2016, and the 3 founders are now employees of Contently based in NY. The growth of Contently has been great. Contently also believes in MN software ecosystem (talented, hard working, loyal, less expensive employees) – so looking to invest more in Minnesota as a Product hub for Contently.
How did you find out about MESA?
I was networking and going to events, trying to get Docalytics off the ground; knew Chad Halvorson from these events and he had good things to say about MESA (word-of-mouth Marketing working at its best).
What was your biggest business challenge before working with MESA? Has MESA been able to help you work through it, and if not, what happened instead?
Docalytics had been bouncing around its value prop against a variety of markets (primarily SMB) and was struggling with repeatable success. Docalytics was also getting to a point of needing addition funding.
We started to see interest from large Enterprise prospects (e.g. PwC) but realized we had sales process challenges with Enterprise (i.e. messaging, value prop, proof points, sales enablement tools); So when initially engaging MESA, we were struggling with which segments to focus on and how to sell to large enterprises;
Docalytics had 2 WIGs:
1) Get XX number of Enterprise Customers to sign by Certain date (based on pipeline); would demonstrate to investors that they had a viable product for Enterprise market
2) Hone in on messages for Investor pitch (based on what more sophisticated investors would care about; e.g. lots of data to support predictability of the business model)
Ultimately, Docalytics needed help with fundraising message/proof points – needed to be much more sophisticated given level of funding Docalytics was looking to raise (and investors involved).
What, specifically, is your favorite part about working with MESA, and why?
Best value from Todd & Rob – they did not come in as investor or advisor trying to steer direction of the business; Todd & Rob were willing to just listen and share insights (they understood the founders’ goals and didn’t want to change them); one of few advisors that were truly unbiased; had entrepreneurs interests at heart.
If you were going to recommend MESA to a colleague, what would you say?
I have not done much “selling” of MESA to others as I was burned out on networking after all the business pitches. Locally, MESA is known, but it is significantly “under the radar” vs. other “accelerator” programs given the quality of counsel it can provide to Entrepreneurs. The caliber of MESA mentors was amazing (rich pool of people).
What three words would you use to describe your experience with MESA?
Unbiased/impartial, Open/Transparent, Knowledge/Expertise.
Did you consider any alternatives to MESA?
I did seek counsel from some friends and family as we first got Docalytics off the ground. As we grew, I found that most people willing to offer advice were investors or had some ulterior motive and wouldn’t offer impartial advice.