Featuring VisibleGains, Joppa Global Marketing Partners, & Accounting Management Solutions
IDEA provides ventures with coaching, connections to resources, and funding. One key aspect of IDEA, however, are our service providers. Our providers consist of public relations firms, financial and accounting groups, marketing and media strategy agencies, and legal offices. These professionals dedicate their time and services to assist our ventures throughout the business development process. And, as an added bonus, their services are free of charge for IDEA’s ventures to utilize!
Most of IDEA’s service providers have an affiliation with Northeastern. Regardless of whether they are a former graduate, professor, or parent of a student, they all share the hope of being able to give back to the entrepreneurial community at Northeastern. In the past year, Boston’s own VisibleGains, Joppa Global Marketing Partners, and Accounting Management Solutions were some of the service providers introduced into the program, each eager to start!
Cliff Pollan’s goal is to create better communication between the business and the client. As founder, president, and CEO of VisibleGains, Pollan joined IDEA over a year ago and was blown away with the concept of IDEA and by how involved the students are.
Two months ago, VisibleGains launched Postwire, a software which they call “a dead simple way to collect and share videos, photos, web links and documents on a private page you create for each client in a minute.” This program allows the business to virtually share projects and documents with the client to review and provide feedback – doing away with lengthy email chains and typical file sharing. Postwire was launched in April at New York City’s TechCrunch, where Pollan and his team finished in the top 30 out of 6,000 applicants.
Postwire will help IDEA ventures earn business, generate funding, and communicate internally, says Pollan. In addition, ventures will receive free access to the program.
Pollan is thrilled to be part of the service providers program and working with student entrepreneurs. “Having the service provider network is a huge asset,” explains Pollan. “But most importantly, the students are the best asset. And I think it’s a great opportunity for the service providers to learn from them.”
Joppa Global Marketing Partners
Joppa is a strategic marketing consulting firm, specializing in marketing technology products and services. Dick Andersen, a partner at Joppa, received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern (’71) and is a former adjunct faculty member in the Graduate School of Business (1975-1995). New to IDEA last year, Andersen and Joppa came on board to give back to the university and the students.
Joppa provides their clients guidance and operational oversight for their marketing strategy, plans and activities, beginning with an assessment and analysis of the company’s current marketing plan. Following that analysis, Joppa assists their clients with a full range of services to plan and execute marketing and product programs insuring they get the most out of their marketing investments.
Andersen has experience in running multiple startups and in the past, has held positions in marketing, product management, engineering, and operations. He uses his past venture knowledge to help clients establish business structure, evaluate finance alternatives, conduct market research, and build industry connections. With Joppa, Andersen will be working with IDEA ventures to provide these services, along with marketing planning and program execution.
Andersen explains that marketing plays a crucial role in the startup venture process. “Having a focused marketing plan, executing it, and adapting it to changing market conditions is critical for a company to establish itself in the market and grow. Our services can help ventures create the plan, put the right team in place to execute the programs, and fine tune the programs to maximize the results.”
Accounting Management Solutions
As a leading providers of outsourced account and financial management services, Accounting Management Solutions helps for-profit and nonprofit organizations with financial modeling, software selection, and account infrastructure. And as organizations grow, AMS can be the “financial eyes and ears” for their clients.
Jim Bourdon is CEO & founder of Accounting Management Solutions and a former Northeastern undergraduate (’73) and MBA student (’84). As the newest service provider to join IDEA, AMS has already had the opportunity to work with a student venture, KeeWee Listings. KeeWee is a social platform that allows college students to post and search for sublet openings. In April, KeeWee founders Brandon Beneduce and Andrew Rodriguez met with Bourdon to discuss their revenue strategy; Bourdon then assigned KeeWee with one of AMS’ senior consultants. From there, AMS worked to build an extensive financial model, develop a sustainable budget, and clarify financial assumptions.
“It’s hard enough coming up with a concept and by having service providers in different fields, it helps them come up with a better model,” explains Bourdon. “Particularly for students, it’s hard to have the answers and to have professionals available, it helps them make the best decisions.”
Beneduce says that without AMS’ help, KeeWee would not be where they are today. “When we had gone through the IDEA gap funding application rounds in the past, the investment committee had indicated to us that our [Profit & Loss], assumptions, and overall revenue model were not clear enough. AMS was able to help and improve our models so that we operated as a better business and were able to solve the errors that the investment committee had found.”
The service providers program plays a vital role in each venture’s success. Because all of IDEA’s service providers are distinguished in their individual fields, the program is immeasurably beneficial to ventures.
“No matter what kind of founder you are, you will not have expertise in every aspect of running a business,” says Beneduce. “At some point in your company’s lifespan, you will need help from someone with professional experience in that area you are not proficient in, which could run your company thousands of dollars. This is where our service providers step in, and I think they are an invaluable resource to its ventures.”
After all, each and every service provider has one common priority: to help IDEA’s student ventures succeed the best they can.
To view all of IDEA’s service providers, click here.