Featured Founder: Ricky Schay of Pulse Company
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 Ricky Schay of Pulse Company, which helps people connect to others with context and intention, and builds relationships that spark creativity and opportunity.
What were you doing previously and what inspired you to launch your company?
Through most of my 20’s, I have been fortunate enough to be a freelance video producer. I noticed every opportunity I was landing came from making personal connections. I had a very good process for networking.
From making the first connection memorable, efficiently managing that information, to following up and closing the deal. A classic sales process right? But there wasn’t a user-friendly platform enabling me to do this. It was done the archaic way. So I created my own process. After traveling across the world, meeting people on the go, and building up my network, I knew there had to be a better way for our culture to share their information and manage the connections they made along the way.
Thus birthed Pulse. An easier way to connect, share, create, and follow up with like-minded people for productive relationships.
What pain point is your company solving? What gets you excited to go to work every day?
We are helping people capitalize on their connections. Giving them useful tools to help them best connect, create and maximize opportunities.
I get excited about work every day knowing I get to help solve one of the most archaic issues of the modern era.
Name the biggest challenge you faced in the process of launching the company. How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge for me has been being a "non-technical founder.”
I’m actively looking for a technical co-founder but I’d say I’m still overcoming this challenge. It’s incredibly hard to pitch investors as a tech company and convince them I’m the guy for the job - without having a technical co-founder. But I have been able to surround myself with tech advisors and consultants who have been able to guide me the last two years as much as they could. I also partnered with a development company that has been able to serve as our CTO arm until we fill that role.
Where do you see your company headed next?
Our company is headed towards its official product launch by the end of summer.
We’re excited to see any bit of results at this point, as covid delayed our plans to launch in 2020, the time is almost here.
Give us a tactical piece of advice that you'd share with another founder just starting out.
When you're raising money, know exactly how much you need for the next stage. You can close the smaller checks much quicker as angels will see a more manageable journey.
Why Tampa Bay?
Market Size + The People.
I moved away from Tampa when I was 18, but came back over 10 years later from LA because I saw my brother growing his business here and I wanted to be a part of a city with MAJOR upside. He built relationships here quickly and now has a very successful business. Cities like Los Angeles, SF, Miami, NYC, Chicago have already been established. Relationships run deep in those cities. They take years to nurture and there are A LOT of people to compete with. Although I did see success, I saw an opportunity to bring my unique experiences from a city like LA to a newer, younger, city. I was able to make a name for myself and do it at an accelerated pace. In LA, it took me 5 years to get properly started as a video producer. In Tampa, It took me 6 months. Tampa is the perfect size for anyone looking to bring their expertise from a big city to grow their own business and help share their knowledge with others. People in Tampa are open to advise and quick in wanting to collaborate with you.