Featured Founder: Rachel Carpenter of Intrinio
Welcome to our Featured Founder series, where you’ll meet startup founders from Tampa-St. Petersburg who are building and scaling their ventures to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. We interviewed Rachel Carpenter, Founder of Intrinio, an accessible and affordable marketplace for financial data.
Welcome to our Featured Founder series, where you’ll meet startup founders from Tampa-St. Pete who are scaling their ventures to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
What were you doing previously and what inspired you to launch your company?
In 2012 I met my co-founder Joey French, and our mission was to build a valuation engine online (for startups, small businesses, even public companies). We graduated from UW-Madison, taught ourselves to program, and built it. Unfortunately, it required lots of data to run. The large data vendors quoted us $60,000+ per month for the data we needed. We couldn't move forward. At that moment, we knew there was a huge problem. Data is the lifeblood of finance - if it's inaccessible, nobody can innovate. We made it our mission to change that.
What pain point is your company solving? What gets you excited to go to work every day?
Early stage fintech entrepreneurs have brilliant ideas but low budgets. We make data affordable and accessible so they can get to work building the industry's next innovations. Our data feeds power mobile apps, banking software, trading dashboards, AI bots, algorithms, & more. Every day I get to see Intrinio data come alive inside finance and banking's next generation of apps - and we get to grow alongside those innovators.
Name the biggest challenge you faced in the process of launching the company. How did you overcome it?
Alongside fintech programmers, we've gotten a lot of interest in our platform from hedge funds and institutional investors. We help them save money too, and get access to the most modern data technology. Unfortunately, the industry we're in isn't very susceptible to change. Changing your data provider is like taking your oxygen mask off and hoping the next one works. This isn't unique to finance - most entrepreneurs are working to change entire industries, and it's not easy. We stayed committed to building high-quality technology, and we offered free trials. What we found was that once these professional investors tried it - they loved it. This confidence isn't unique to Wall Street, but the quality, authenticity, and genuineness are.
Where do you see your company headed next?
Watching the fintech developer community grow around us is so much fun. We're going to expand in 2019 to offer hundreds of new types of data, broadening the number and types of fintech firms we can assist. We're going to continue highlighting the developers who build game-changing tech on top of our data, and we're going to continuously invest in our infrastructure and platform to deliver them the best experience.
Give us a tactical piece of advice that you'd share with another founder just starting out.
Everything is incremental. You won't get the biggest customer in a day. You won't convince an investor in a week. You won't build the best platform in a month. You won't learn to be an effective CEO in the first year. You have to be unyielding, resilient, and persistent. In my experience, those traits are more powerful than any others. Your commitment to the company, belief in what you're building, passion for the process, willingness to sit through the pain, respect for your team - that's what will carry you through.