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Featured Founder: Shane Whitlatch of Threshold 360

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 Shane Whitlatch, CEO of Threshold 360, virtual tour software that enables prospects to quickly explore your location and qualify the space.

What were you doing previously and what inspired you to launch your company?

I had met with the Chairman of Threshold 360 several years ago when they had contacted me about leading their sales & marketing efforts, but we were deep into the process of selling FairWarning and the timing wasn’t right.  When they reached out in 2022, the timing was better as we were just selling Omnivore and I didn’t see myself staying with the larger acquirer.  I love the size of the Threshold 360 team (small), I love the potential in that the technology can solve problems for many industries, and it was based in Tampa Bay.

What pain point is your company solving? What gets you excited to go to work every day?

We help our customers convert online viewers to in-person visitors at a rate that is double to what they are currently using (static 2d images), and we do it fast and very affordably.  Excited to go to work?  It’s really 2 things: we have a chance to grow and with that comes the growth and success of the current (and future) team, and we are serving some really cool brands in our customer base ranging from KOA to Snowbird to Legoland, and even Embarc Collective!

Name the biggest challenge you faced in the process of launching the company. How did you overcome it?

Getting the team aligned to the right North Star goals.  This isn’t as simple as saying “We are going to grow 10x”.  I had to take time to learn about our Culture, the capabilities of our Team and the tech, listen to Customers, and set those goals that the Team can believe in and also stretch us a bit.  It also means that not everyone makes it through the journey.

Where do you see your company headed next?

We dominate in our core market (160 customers in the Destination Marketing industry – think Visit Tampa Bay and VSPC), and we can solve those same problems in many other industries and in many countries.  Technically there is a play in AR and video that I am excited to see us execute on.

Give us a tactical piece of advice that you’d share with another founder just starting out.

It’s hard, but you really have to humble yourself and listen to what your customers are saying in voice or in their actions.  If you can solve a problem better than anyone else can – and it is a problem worth solving – the rest is execution.  Founders and leaders are smart and it is hard for us to close our mouths and truly open our minds and be empathetic.  Doing so uncovers opportunity and also builds trust – and that is immensely valuable.

Why Tampa Bay?

My wife and I met while I was in Grad School at USF and Tampa Bay has been home for us for our 29 years of marriage.  I have been a part of 5 Tampa-based tech companies since 1996 (MTS, OpenNetwork, FairWarning, Omnivore, and now Threshold 360), and it probably sounds silly but I can’t imagine being anywhere else or working for a Company not based here.  It hasn’t always been easy growing tech companies based here and I sure haven’t done it to the scale of Arnie or Brian, but I learned from Kurt Long in the 17 years or so that I worked for him of the value in building a business based in Tampa Bay.  We can live outdoors year-round, our new grad hires can have a shot at living on their own (getting harder though), our Universities are producing better and better graduates, and c’mon – I live in St. Pete and my office is in downtown Tampa.  Is that really a question?
Embarc Collective
Embarc Collective helps Tampa Bay’s startup talent build bold, scalable, thriving companies. Our staff of executive advisors and function-specific experts deliver individualized support to startups inside of Embarc Collective’s state-of-the-art 32,000 square foot hub.