Featured Founder: Reuben Pressman of Presence
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 Reuben Pressman, Founder of Presence, a co-curricular engagement and learning software that helps universities increase graduation rates and workforce readiness.
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?
Well, I started programming at age 10, so I've always had a tech background and have started many other companies in the past. Just before this, I was running an agency that would brand, design, develop, and help launch others' startups. I was inspired to dive into this through the pain points I experienced as a student leader and staff member at my alma mater.
What pain point is your company solving? What gets you excited to go to work every day?
There are honestly 100s of pain points we're solving for higher education institutions, but it all comes down to data, the ability to collect it, understand it, and take action with it. We've a built a 5 product enterprise platform that now covers their day to day work, the data, and the student success portion.
It sounds cliche, but going to work and getting excited is definitely the team and partners. Seeing everyone in the office everyday, all here with fire and passion to make higher ed better for students and professionals, and seeing the successes of our partners.
Name the biggest challenge you faced in the process of launching the company. How did you overcome it?
In the process of launching? It was definitely our industry, behind cautious with new technology, especially with the type of data about students they're sharing with us. It took us almost a year to land our first paying partner, once we passed 10 it got much easier.
Where do you see your company headed next?
We've built a very strong foundation and have already started making the data we're helping institutions understand that much more meaningful. We'll be focusing on how to continue to make the data work for the institutions to continue our missing.
Give us a tactical piece of advice that you'd share with another founder just starting out.
My goto is always "Nobody knows what they're doing", and neither should you.