This assembly of entrepreneurs, investors and interested parties was held on June 30th with Rick Rudman, current CEO of Tracx and Founder and CEO of Vocus, as our keynote speaker. During the fireside chat with Rudman, he shared his story about his decision to delay college, his successful military career, his change of heart about college and then his inspiration to create a PR software product. Rick spoke with the tenacity and grit of a true entrepreneur about days when meeting payroll was a challenge and the time when an offer to purchase Vocus came and went. The failed offer turned out to be a blessing in disguise but required chutzpah to persevere. Tien acknowledged that Rudman has what it takes and vowed not to play poker with him. Vocus ultimately went public in 2005 (NASDAQ: VOCS) and then was taken private in 2014.
Rudman recommended John Cullinane’s Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide written in 1993 but he says it’s still relevant today and chronicles the path of Cullinet Software.
- Anexio – Cloud-based IT infrastructure management to improve financial performance and cross selling
- AppTek – independent speech recognition converting spoken language into text
- IQYOU – an online personalized wellness solution that redefines how consumers manager their health and how clinicians practice
- Legal Decoder – analyzes legal spend data and empowers clients and law firms with greater predictability and transparency
- paykii – enables individuals living abroad to pay the expenses of those living back home
- Zoobean – facilitates reading programs and book clubs to engage young readers for organizations
- 5AMSunrise – provider of cloud-based solutions for live science and healthcare
My big take away: validation that brands have to invest in social media in order to be successful. Teams devoted to monitoring social media are a necessary part of customer service and engagement. Rudman suggested that it’s getting harder to be successful organically these days making boosting and sponsoring an imperative. Creativity in digital media has to be part of a company’s marketing strategy.