You know howW to tell that startup culture is going mainstream? There are now businesses whose sole focus is providing services for entrepreneurs.
It used to be that companies built their businesses on corporate clients (you know, the kind that can pay), but founders with good connections could get a lot of work done for free or cheap. Companies didn’t advertise their services specifically for startups but were often happy to help out friends or acquaintances.
Now, though, plenty of businesses are more than happy to advertise their services specifically for startups. Sometimes they provide services in exchange for equity or sponsorships, but sometimes they also have a payment structure in place that makes it beneficial for a startup to spend some money.
Veteran tech guy Alex Brown saw this kind of need in Chicago three years ago. He founded 10th Magnitude to help founders build out some of the cloud applications they might need. The company also helps big companies jump into the 21st century by facilitating a move to the cloud, but Alex and 10th Magnitude are really excited about startups and founders.
Check out our Q&A with CEO Alex Brown:
1. What is your startup called?
2. What does your company do?
10th Magnitude is a cloud software and services firm. We help clients of all sizes build and run cloud-based applications, as well as migrate existing applications and infrastructure to the cloud. We specialize in Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, and we are one of Microsoft’s leading Azure partners in the US.
3. Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds?
10th Magnitude was founded in 2010 by tech industry veteran Alex Brown, who combines decades in tech—both on the solutions side and the data center side—with an undergrad degree from Oberlin in economics and an MBA from Yale. His experience includes:
- Executive Vice President, Arrowstream, cloud based supply chain management technology
- Vice President and General Manager, Univa, Datacenter automation and Cloud Management
- Director, Dell Inc. (US and Asia-Pacific), Consulting Services, Global Solutions
- Managing Director, Plural, one of the largest .net developers in the country (acquired by Dell, 2002)
4. What’s the startup scene like where you are based?
Chicago is a pretty vibrant startup scene, not only in tech but also in a variety other industries. It’s pretty collaborative, which is great and encouraging to all the entrepreneurs. And, from 10th Magnitude’s perspective it’s incredibly valuable since a lot of our clients on the application development side of our business are also startups.
5. What problem do you solve?
10th Magnitude solves the problem of organizational stagnation. Our services allow organizations to innovate without taking on the risk of the capital expense normally associated with that type of initiative.
6. Why now?
I started the company because I saw the writing on the wall. The technology was just coming into focus and has been on a rapid adoption curve ever since. Cloud technology is available now, and we jumped on the opportunity and our clients have as well.
7. What are some of the milestones your company has already reached?
o We are 3 years old with no external funding and we have grown consistently.
o We’ve continued to acquire larger and larger (i.e., over $1B clients on a regular basis)
o We are acknowledged as an industry leader; seated on advisory boards at Microsoft and Channel Company.
8. What are your next milestones?
Our immediate goal is to doubling staff and revenue over the next year.
9. Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?
Twitter: @alex10thmag; @10thmagnitude