Nathan Smith of ETA Computing Talks about His Startup
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota and moved to Austin back in 2005.
What university did you go to?
I have a Computer Science degree from Brown College in Mendota Heights, MN and a Business Management degree from Northwestern College in Roseville, MN.
What brought you to Austin?
I moved south to get away from the cold temperatures in MN.
What is the idea behind your startup?
We want to help small businesses get more from their IT investment. By providing our services and experience with flat-rate a pricing model we are positioned to help these businesses really do more with less.
What need does it fulfill?
Many small companies today need help with creating a unified branding image, operational costs, and they need assistance with reducing capital costs around purchasing equipment and software. We want to help these companies by being their virtual Chief Technology Officer for their business.
What exactly does your product do?
We manage every aspect of a company’s Technology infrastructure from their phone system, web domain image, and IT support all the way through to auditing their phone and ISP bills to make sure they are getting the best services for their dollar.
Who is it for?
This service is really for any company that wants to cut down on the expense with supporting their network and save money with their operational costs. Currently most of our customers are in the 10- 150 seat range and this is where we really get to shine with helping to reduce costs. We also have a few customers that are 1-man shops with their website and email imaging to leverage a unified branding process they use to grow their business.
What was the most challenging aspect of starting up a business?
For us the most challenging part of starting the company has really been on the Sales and Marketing side of things. Both owners here have an extensive IT support background so we have gone through many of the tougher steps in getting the business going when it comes to these areas. With all that we have gone through we believe we have identified a few different avenues that businesses can use to grow their business without breaking the bank and wasting a lot of time and money.
What is the next step for you and your startup?
Our next phase for us is actually in hiring qualified Sales Personnel and continuing to work on growing the business. We have spent the time to get all our processes in place to make sure we can take care of our customers and now are looking to grow and gain market share.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
New entrepreneurs need to make sure they really know what it is you want to do and make sure you research how best to reach people when starting your business. The better an idea you have in what you want to do and how to reach people will be a great asset in creating the marketing pieces you need to actually get people attention and interest in what you do.
What Austin-based resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?
I would have to say that the best Austin based resources we have found are the Central Texas Angel Network and local networking groups. The reason I say Central Texas Angel Network is because Hall really knows quality people that can help you in the areas you need help with, and the local networking groups such as Your Local City and NetworkingAustin are great for meeting potential clients and building relationships that really helps to grow your business through referrals.