Inspired Entrepreneur – A Short Story That Led to Collective Supplier Intelligence
tealbook Founder and CEO, Stephany Lapierre, was recently featured on the global entrepreneurial networking site beeleev. Read her thoughts on the entrepreneurial process:
I’ve founded two companies in the last 9 years. And while it is not necessarily a pace I would recommend for everyone (especially if you have young kids!), the entrepreneurial process is so exciting and satisfying that I would not choose to do anything else.
Like all great ideas, each of my companies started as a real challenge without a good solution. In my case it was the painful and time consuming process of finding qualified suppliers that met my requirements as a client. After watching other companies and colleagues face the same issues as me, I founded Matchbook (a strategic services hub for companies with limited or no sourcing and procurement resources) in 2008. The success of that idea led me to the realization that all companies were facing challenges accessing and sharing supplier information. They were stuck using static tools and time consuming (and at times expensive) sources of supply intelligence to search and identify qualified suppliers, although at the end of the day, they mostly trusted their peers’ opinion. While asking peers for their recommendations is ‘free’ it can be inefficient. I wanted to find a way to combine collective internal supplier information, aggregated industry peers’ intelligence and intuitive technology to increase the speed and improve the supplier discovery and knowledge management process. And so tealbook was ‘born’ in 2014.
Choosing people: The obstacles we face at tealbook are the same that many other growing teams are up against: intense timelines, steep learning curve, and a vision that seems so clear and yet not easy to reach. I am a believer in the power of smart, agile teams, and so bringing together the right people has been key. I find self-starters – whether they come on board as full time staff, contractors, or consultants – and let them do what they do best.
Innovative Feature: One of the most innovative features of tealbook is that we use collective industry and peer intelligence to help our clients make better, faster supplier decisions. In other words, we take the most trusted sources of supplier intelligence, and make it available in a fast, intuitive way that is easily accessible by all stakeholders without sharing proprietary information. The collective aggregated supplier intelligence allows teams to instantly identify trusted qualified suppliers prior to initiating an RFP.
Tip to entrepreneurs: Starting a new company can be a lonely journey. When talking to new entrepreneurs, I always encourage them to surround themselves with good advisors. Find people with various area of expertise that believe in your idea (and you!) and want you to succeed. Experience and perspective goes a long way towards success!
Also don’t underestimate the power of partnerships. Our recent relationship with Dun & Bradstreet is opening endless opportunities and is allowing tealbook to be the most instant and trusted source of supplier intelligence. That’s exciting!