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Made in Chicago.

Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is Power

By: Staci Chesler

414

It is often said that knowledge is power, and it’s true. Throughout our lives we are in a constant state of learning. We can sit inside of a thousand classrooms, but ultimately the greatest experience, and the most knowledgeable teacher is life. We learn from the people we meet, the risks we take, and the advice we receive. It is so important that we keep learning and growing, striving to not only teach ourselves, but to teach others through our own experiences, our own knowledge. Check out these six entrepreneurs, who made their own knowledge powerful:

1. Procurify 23

Procurify

What started as a more than successful school project, quickly escalated into an energetic startup. Co-Founder and COO, Kenneth Loi, and his two other Co-Founders were doing an internship at a company that had been suffering from poor spending management, when they decided they would create a platform that could solve their issue. Four years later Procurify is growing tremendously, has 32 employees, and is being utilized in 58 different countries. Their dedication to client success, has driven them to create useful, well designed, simple business software that is accessible to everyone. With Procurify, you can eliminate unnecessary delays, approve requests by joining the mobile procurement revolution, create a purchase order in just a few clicks, and collect, verify, and distribute faster than ever before. Wherever there is a need for a better business solution, Procurify comes in.

 

Procurify COO, Kenneth Loi shared, “Don’t be afraid to fail. Embrace failure, because failure is a way to learn.”


2. Listia 3

Listia

If you look around your home, there is no doubt that you’ll find plenty of things you could easily get rid of. Problem is, it’s not always that simple. You might wait weeks or months before anyone responds to your ad. In 2009, when CEO Gee Chuang and his friend James, were discussing the difficulty James was facing, while trying to give away free snowboarding boots online, the lightbulb went off. It was that frustration that inspired them to build a marketplace where people can get rid of things they no longer need, simply by snapping a photo and listing it for free on the site. With Listia you have the opportunity to give away unwanted items, earn credits for doing so, and the ability to find things you love in return. What was once just a project, is now a rapidly growing company with over eight million members.

 

Listia’s CEO, Gee Chuang, shared that, “When you come up with an idea for a project or something that you really want to build, stop everything, start building, and get feedback. Holding onto an idea and just talking about it, is a waste of time. When you're really passionate about an idea you have to start building it.”


3. ProLeads 1

ProLeads

In today’s day in age, everything is done online, especially communication. Writing an email can sometimes be difficult. You want to find the right words, give off the right tone, and often get the attention of the person on the other end. With just a few clicks, ProLeads will help you write the perfect email, leveraging your social graph so that your next business deal is in the bag. With ProLeads you can easily determine who in your company should reach out to certain leads, raising your response rates as high as 66%.

 

ProLeads CEO, Anders Fredriksson shared, “If you want to build a startup, you can’t focus on what the investors want you to be.”


4. Widen 0

Widen

CEO Matthew Gonnering believes that, “In order be an entrepreneur you have to be gutsy, you have to take risks.” It was the gutsiest move he had ever made when he told the former CEO of Widen that he wanted his job, and by all means he was going to take it. Today, Widen is a completely different company than it was back then. This innovative organization has been around for over 67 years, and they aren’t going anywhere but up. They work with an abundance of marketing and creative teams, helping them capture, create, organize, and share all of their marketing content. With years of quality service and expertise under their belt, they have built a truly sustainable company.

 

Widen’s CEO shared, “Getting to the destination isnt always a clear path from A to B. You’re going to do things that aren't part of the plan, and that’s okay. Its may feel like you’re taking the wrong path, but it's all one line.”


5. CrowdFlower 0

CrowdFlower

After spending too much valuable time collecting data instead of analyzing it, CEO Lukas Biewald set out to find others to collect for him. He quickly realized what a large number of people were interested. Since then, CrowdFlower has grown tremendously, and continues to do so. They have roughly 60 employees at their headquarters in San Francisco, California and a crowd of five million contributors all around the world. CrowdFlower is the world’s lead crowdsourcing service, creating a platform that anyone can use, and power that can’t be beat.  Their team has expertise in content moderation, search relevance, business data verification/correction, and more.




CrowdFlower CEO, Lukas Biewald shared, “When you're a CEO especially a young CEO, there's always people around that want to give you advice. Always ask for stories instead advice.”


6. Pixafy 0

Pixafy

After building a few successful projects, President Uri Foox soon realized the projects he most enjoyed and naturally understood were the ones that focused solely on eCommerce. Pixafy then moved forward with eCommerce specialization. This New York City based company has a 90% client retention rate, a special relationship with Magento, and has built strong partnerships with premier creative agencies. Their team of experts use an out of the box solution that allow companies to graduate from entry level platforms. With expertise business development and emphasis on technology, Pixafy helps companies reach an entirely new level of success by rebuilding their websites and offering the best service and support.


Pixafy President, Uri Foox shared, “Never take your eye off the people because they are just as important as the revenue, if not more important. Put people first, revenue second.”



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