Note: This blog was originally written by David Billson.
Orca is a new member of London’s technology community, incorporating in June of 2016. “If you can measure it, you can manage it,” is the mantra of Matt Grossi, founder of Orca Intelligence Inc. Orca provides freight intelligence software and advanced audit services for North American shippers and distributors.”
Matt attended Western University and did not initially plan to stay in London. However, an opportunity came up to start something new. “London’s a great community to start a business,” explains Matt. “As a startup there is a tonne of resources available.” Matt cites the Western Accelerator as an example – they were able to provide him money, space, advisors and a key to any start up – potential customers.
As an example of some of the benefits that Orca’s customers receive, the software helps to monitor and optimize cost per unit, cost per kilometer, locations and storage of physical assets. Before implementing Orca’s software customers have to either work blindly without data or do expensive regression analysis to figure out their costs. In the case of the latter, it can be months or years before the key information surfaces and at that point, the opportunity to pivot has passed.
Getting connected to customers quickly has allowed Orca to grow. After graduating from the Western Accelerator, Matt credits TechAlliance for the networking and advice to power through the early stages of his start up. “In particular the connections to the OCE funding was helpful to us getting started,” Matt highlighted in his comments about the networking. “Everyone is so committed to London and your success here – my experience is it’s a great entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
By using the capabilities of TechAlliance and OCE Matt was able to build his company faster, farther and better. “We were able to de-risk the business within the confines of our local community. It was critical to us to gain the initial funding to build the scalability and efficiency into the system. The stability of our platform gave us the confidence to generate new sales and scale quickly.”
Now up and running as a business, Matt is planning to give back into the ecosystem. “You yourself change and participate by giving back to the community,” expands Matt. “It’s important to give back. As with any good network, you tend to get back more than what you give. The connections we make continue to build our business.”
Orca presently has three team members and is exploring expansion into the US. As he builds the US side of the business Matt is focused on building his sales and marketing. He has simple advice for anyone on campus looking to start a business in London: “Start out with Propel (or other incubators). Use the environment and ecosystem to your advantage. Once you have proven your business model TechAlliance is networked with ‘cool’ programs to help you grow.”
One of the most exciting developments in the past several years is the emergence and prominence of several government and private incubators in the city to help entrepreneurs start and grow their business. You can find a list of some of the community partners on FindYourAnswers.biz.