Oklahoma City software company helps customers meet goals
By Scott Meacham
Copyright © 2016, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
Altimeter Software has a very straightforward elevator pitch: “Helping Your People Achieve Their Goals.”
The startup’s mobile application software was developed by the information technology group at Oklahoma Christian University to help OC students keep track of their spiritual development goals.
Using beacon-supported technology, students find and check into and out of events and monitor their progress against their goals. The app includes a comprehensive dashboard and tools for school administration to view progress and provide help and encouragement where it is needed.
The application worked so well that, with the guidance of Russ McGuire, OC’s entrepreneur-in-residence, OC formed its first Governor’s Cup team to create a business plan for Altimeter.
“I’ve always had a spirit for entrepreneurship from creating things to building things to selling things,” said Austin McRay, one member of the Governor’s Cup team and now Altimeter’s business development manager.
“I set up lemonade stands all day long,” he said, “and created duct tape wallets to sell to my friends. My sophomore year in college, I was a salesman for a roofing company. I fell in love with being on my own. My junior year, I created an online apparel business. I learned the process of forming a business, but there were a lot of bumps and it didn’t go as planned.”
Austin shut down the online apparel site and turned his passion to Altimeter. The team placed in the top six of the Governor’s Cup Small Business Division and Austin won the IBM Small Business Division pitch award.
“I was the one who was going to be an ongoing part of the business after graduation,” he said. “Practicing over and over refined my understanding of the business and prepared me for my current job, talking to customers, business professionals and investors.”
Early adopter program
Altimeter signed its first customer in March and has an early adopter program. The company is marketing the software primarily to deans of students at public and private universities and to principals and department heads in target high schools. Applications include community service, spiritual development, and sports loyalty programs.
Austin says the real world is different from the Governor’s Cup.
“I thought this was going to be easy,” he said. “I know there are so many schools and churches that could use our software, but the sales cycle isn’t that I just call on someone, and they say yes. Even when a startup has a great product, it requires a lot of work. But companies like ours that figure out how to make it past the hump, gain momentum. Being here in the OC incubator allows me to drown, but still breath.”
When Oklahoma promotes a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, great ideas and solutions can come from unexpected places. The Governor’s Cup is a catalyst for matching great ideas and passionate young entrepreneurs. This is how it’s supposed to work.
Scott Meacham is president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state’s technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state appropriations from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology and is an integral part of Oklahoma’s Innovation Model. Contact Meacham at i2E_Comments@i2E.org.