Starting a Startup

Have you ever had a great idea that can improve someone’s life? What about a new tool that can save people or businesses time and money? Most startup entrepreneurs have a brilliant idea and Jeff Mason is no exception. Jeff created Groundspeed Analytics to help thousands of business grow their bottom line through automated data pulling processes.

Groundspeed is transforming how the commercial insurance industry operates by taking unstructured information and applying machine learning to collect the information and present it more clearly to customers. This process saves the organization the time it takes to pull all the information themselves or saves them from outsourcing the work to other countries.

Jeff started Groundspeed in early 2016 with angel money, but he needed more money to keep the daily operations running. To try and gain more traction, Jeff traveled around the country pitching his idea to investors. After many pitches, he received more funds to grow his business and is now putting the money to work to gain more clients and further feed Groundspeed’s growth.

Jeff accredits much of his success in his career to being good at networking.

“My career was built on the fact that I was able to walk up to anyone and start a conversation with them.” Said Jeff.

Other attributes such as a high level of experience in the industry, a sales background, and the love of building businesses also helped Jeff get to where he is now. Jeff left his position as Director of Sales and Marketing at Chelsea Rhone, LLC after over 14 years because he wanted to build his business by himself.

“It takes an insane amount of delusion,” said Jeff, “but I wanted to launch something really cool that I owned.

Jeff’s advice for students and professionals interested in starting their own business:

  • Read “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz because it is a good, short read that is in easily digestible sections and has a good amount of humor.
  • If you don’t like something, you’re not going to be as good at it as someone who really loves doing it. Do what you love.
  • Digital engagement is important to success
  • If you’re uncomfortable with talking to people, even if it doesn’t show, to join a group like Toastmasters to become familiar with speaking to the people around you.
  • Understand who your buyer is and what they want. Then use the marketing mix to figure out how to provide great value to your customers
  • Leverage your product to drive greater financial profits for yourself and the customers in your industry.

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