Written by Kevin Volz.
Successful businesses in 2015 need to keep up with what their customers want, and quickly deliver a product. Andrew Konya, founder of <remesh, has developed a solution that cuts down on the time spent doing customer research, and allows companies to harness the collective wisdom of their customers in real time.
“<remesh allows you to quickly understand what large groups of customers are thinking,” said Konya. “The faster businesses can get this information, the faster they can innovate to improve products and ultimately increase revenue. We can get information to companies in minutes, rather than days or weeks.”
The <remesh app lets businesses tap into groups of customers using one-on-one, text-based conversations. Companies hold a conversation using the app, where customers suggest and vote on responses. Using the algorithm Konya developed, <remesh can then compile all submitted answers, identify the one which best represents the group, and send it on behalf of the customers. For each response, the company can dig deeper to see a breakdown of customer opinions by demographic.
“The system makes an entire group of people appear as one person in a text message,” said Konya. “That one message represents all customers participating in the conversation.”
Konya worked with multiple Ohio Third Frontier partners in northeast Ohio to grow his business. He developed the algorithm for <remesh in 2012 while he was a PhD student at Kent State University, where he worked with the university’s Blackstone LaunchPad to start the commercialization process. He secured a $25,000 seed round of funding from the Innovation Fund, which was used to build a prototype of the app. This prototype enabled the company to join Flashstarts, an accelerator in Cleveland focused on software and technology.
“I went into Flashstarts with no business knowledge. I really just wanted to learn how a business worked and how to build revenue,” said Konya. “They helped raise our next round of funding, showed us how to frame our business to investors and gave us free office space for a year.”
<remesh recently secured its second round of funding from the Innovation Fund, totaling $100,000, which will be used to attract more investors to the company. The company currently has five full-time and three part-time employees, with expansion expected later this year. Konya’s short term goal is to generate revenue for his company, with a long term goal of using the <remesh technology to help Fortune 500 companies better serve their customers.
Born in Bedford and raised in Medina, Konya chose to grow <remesh in northeast Ohio because of the low overhead cost of running a business. The company joined Flashstarts specifically for the access to excellent talent and interns.
“What makes Ohio different is the mentality that you don’t already have to be a thriving company in order to succeed,” said Konya. “There are resources here that can take you from zero to 100. No company is too small to have access to these tools, and the different accelerators and incubators act like stepping stones to get you from idea to funding.”