21 May NOLABA Small Business Spotlight: Align
NOLABA connects New Orleanians with the support and resources they need to achieve economic prosperity. This includes providing information for small businesses like local resource providers and certification opportunities. In our newest Small Business Spotlight, NOLABA interviewed Align CEO Doug Walner, who plans to hire 35 people over the next 18 months after securing more than $2 million in a recent round of early stage financing.
NOLABA: What stands out to you most about New Orleans’ tech community?
“I am most encouraged by the mutual respect and support the startups have for each other in New Orleans. We root for one another and take pride in each other’s success. Whether it’s raising capital, growing business in terms of employees or revenue, or getting accolades at the national level, we are all always proud that it was done by a local New Orleans tech business.”
NOLABA: Tell me about your experience tapping into the New Orleans talent pool to hire at Align.
“We’re in the early stages of tapping into the local market, but so far it feels like the right level of talent on the sales and marketing side exists here in New Orleans, specifically around the tech industry. We would like to see more development of talent here in New Orleans, as it seems like there are fewer folks with those job skills.”
NOLABA: What resources in New Orleans’ small business/entrepreneurial ecosystem have you utilized to help Align grow?
“We’ve been working with a variety of local resources from WorkNOLA, GNO Inc., NOLABA, and Operation Spark.”
NOLABA: What have been the keys to Align’s success raising more than $2 million in funding?
“Several factors contributed to our successful capital raise. The fact that we have over 800 companies and over 8,000 users currently on the platform demonstrates the clear market need we fill. We’re delivering a solution that helps companies focus on and work toward their highest level strategic goals vs. a project or task management software, so that’s unique. We call it software for ‘working on your business’ vs. software for ‘working in your business.’
NOLABA: What is your pitch to a prospective customer to get them to use Align?
“Align helps companies execute against their company goals and initiatives by providing provide transparency, accountability and effective communication around them. It’s a simple and easy framework for companies to identify and manage their key business priorities and visually track how their organization is performing against achieving those priorities in real time.”
NOLABA: What are your goals for Align moving forward?
“Our goal is to grow to over $15 million in revenue in 5 years, by helping thousands of companies reach their own business goals. At our core, we exist to grow our customers’ businesses, and our core metrics are aligned with that. If our customers succeed, so do we.”