Bart Bohn and Philip Flesher are members of FounderDating who successfully matched and co-founded AuManil, a company that helps identify both top customers at risk of attrition and those who are likely to buy more.
Playing the field paid off for Bart and Philip. Here’s their story:
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELVES.
Bart – I am currently on an analytics entrepreneur kick, now working on my second analytics startup. My previous company, Ravel,was acquired by W20 Group. Another major area of passion for me is fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs; the largest effort for me is with 3 Day Startup.
Philip – I love to build software systems, lead teams, and joke around. If I get to do all three in one place, I’m pretty happy. I was previously Development Manager at BazaarVoice and Lead Software Engineer at Trion Worlds.
WHY DID YOU APPLY TO FOUNDERDATING?
Bart – I was a single founder for 8-10 months and knew I needed a technical co-founder. I wanted a curated way to find one and FounderDating was on my shortlist. I went to a co-founders meetup, but it was difficult to sift through all of the people and know who was actually legitimate.
Philip – I was working at Bazaarvoice and knew I wanted to start something. I knew I either wanted to be a tech co-founder somewhere or get in really early. Over the course of a month, I met about 10 co-founder prospects.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR “DATING” PROCESS.
Philip – I was meeting with a bunch of other people, but I talked to Bart 2-3 times in person over 3-4 weeks. I wanted to test to see if I really liked this guy. FounderDating was helpful because in addition to “dating” Bart, I was able to play the field a bit and get clarity on what I really wanted in a co-founder. Meeting a number of other pretty high caliber people who weren’t a fit made me more confident in Bart as a partner.
Bart – I had seen a lot of tech co-founders and wanted to be comfortable both intellectually and emotionally with bringing someone on. The process didn’t feel difficult. We had similar personalities and communicated very well. Honestly, the idea didn’t matter.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR COMPANY
Bart – Our company, AuManil, is focused on helping online retailers maximize the lifetime value of their shoppers. We’ve created software that predicts when customers are going to quit. The predictability drives insights which inform changes in retailer behavior. It actually originated as a big data company and focused on video games, but has since evolved.
WHAT’S YOUR HOPE FOR THE COMPANY?
Bart – I want this to be a solution that works really well for mid-size companies and I think it has a lot of potential for big retailers. AuManil has potential beyond online retailers and can expand to entertainment and other verticals.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FUTURE ENTREPRENEURS REGARDING CO-FOUNDERS?
Bart – Know yourself really well. Understand what type of person complements you given the nature of the business and where are you are in the business.
Philip – For a first-time entrepreneur, know that it’s not as scary as it’s made out to be a lot of times. Save up and you can figure it out. Even if it doesn’t work out you you will learn a ton. I suggest that people “play the field” in the beginning to better understand what they’re looking for and more importantly what they aren’t looking for.