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Revenue Conduit, Blu-Board are seeking startup spotlight: Tech Czar Talk

Northeast Ohio
Revenue Conduit, Blu-Board are seeking startup spotlight: Tech Czar Talk

There are two new Cleveland startups that are changing the entrepreneurial landscape in Northeast Ohio.

Cleveland-based Revenue Conduit and Blu-Board are crafting new platforms that are disrupting markets globally.

And for those companies seeking a revenue jolt for their e-commerce properties there is a Cleveland-based company that offers a solution to generating solid revenue streams. Revenue Conduit helps online stores grow automatically by attracting, converting and retaining more customers.

The company is the brainchild of Daniel Kurt and Parag Jagdale. Both were students at the Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business. While in college Kurt and his wife were operating an online store, and having difficulty in automating data extraction from e-commerce store to its customer management system. So, Kurt learned how to create a custom integration tool from the shopping cart to true market automation. In more technical terms, Kurt created a date extraction tool from Magento, a popular e-commerce platform, to Infusionsoft, an email marketing platform.

Automating an online store to marketing automation platforms is, in essence, one of the holy grails of Internet-based commerce.

The key to the company's success was rebuilding the data extraction plug-in into a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. It was immediately after building the SaaS tool, Revenue Conduit successfully secured $100,000 from the Innovation Fund and JumpStart investment.

Now, Revenue Conduit is working on a second round of financing. Kurt and Jagdale are currently building the sales and marketing team for continued sales success. Also, the company is seeking to create its own software development team.

According to Kurt, "JumpStart has been a tremendous partner. We work with EIR (Entrepreneur in Residence) Jon Grimm. It has been a great experience." After bootstrapping the company as long as they could, it has been reassuring to be able to get the growth capital most companies in this region starve for, he said.

In addition, the company is hiring, seeking "natural athletes" in the e-commerce space. Revenue Conduit also is looking to add new e-commerce platforms, especially at the middle-market and enterprise level retailer. Both co-founders said they are excited to build a world-class tech company in the Midwest. The company is being met with great enthusiasm in the market place and has quickly amassed a healthy monthly recurring revenue (MRR) level.

The Cleveland "Blu's." Cleveland ingenuity and innovation is now finding its way into signage and displays. Local company LorkTech, Inc. is creating disruptive wirelessly-connected low power displays. The company had started out as a small team of college students seeking a new technology for electronic shelf labeling systems but pivoted to launch BluBoard. The BluBoard, paired with BluBoard.io as its CMS, is a large format (18" ) blue/white ePaper display. Think of a giant "Kindle."

The result is a low-power, e-paper platform with a long-range wireless tech base and a cloud-controlled infrastructure. Signs now can change on demand to signal consumers, users or just passers-by of new, pertinent information. Common uses of the BluBoard include retail queue stands, wall signs and outdoor kiosks.

The Midtown based enterprise, located at the Baker Electric Building, 7100 Euclid Ave., is at the forefront of the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution.

The product was created 20 months ago by Mark Lorkowski, Alex Brickner, Michael Gamble and Peter DeCapua. The company completed a seed round of financing successfully securing $165,000 in convertible notes. BluBoard is in the process of raising a new round of financing and is a finalist in the "Hardwire Cup" competition as sponsored by the Alpha Lab accelerator in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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