Written by Barb Consiglio.
Any publicly listed company relies on financial support from investors, and it’s critical that companies keep their investors informed by communicating business success and growth opportunities. This information often comes in the form of lengthy reports that can be difficult to read, and distributed infrequently. Reginald Cash, founder and CEO of Markers, wanted to create a more effective, timely way for businesses to relay investor information as it happens.
“Markers’ software saves investor relations professionals hundreds of hours they used to spend creating and organizing endless reports, documents and spreadsheets,” said Cash. “Markers can be used to aggregate and find information relevant to investors and quickly distribute it to them in a form that’s easy to digest.”
The company, based in Cleveland, Ohio, modernizes the conversation between a company and its investors. It helps information flow more freely, while ensuring compliance with federal laws regulating public companies.
Cash has worked in the financial industry in cities all over the world for more than a decade, including as the head of investor relations for UBS and Deutsche Bank. It was his own frustrations with the disjointed reporting process that led him to develop this solution. After speaking with others in the field, the unanimous response was that new technology was needed to improve investor relations.
Cash moved back to his hometown of Cleveland to start Markers, utilizing many of the city’s entrepreneurial resources to get his business started. Flashstarts, a northeast Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier, was among the first to invest in Markers. Cash says Flashstarts’ mentors were instrumental in helping him shape the business and build the software platform. Markers also received investments from the GLIDE Innovation Fund and Jumpstart, two other partners of Ohio Third Frontier, to create new versions of the software and advance the technology. Markers is currently housed in the Flashstarts Labs at StartMart, a startup and coworking community in downtown Cleveland.
“When starting a business there are so many things you don’t know, so it can be difficult to ask the right questions,” said Cash. “Being at Flashstarts helps the conversation, because I’m talking with experts and other startups on a daily basis about things like accounting and legal compliance. I’ve been able to use the wealth of information that I gather here and apply it to Markers to build a solid business foundation.”
Prior to moving back to Cleveland, Cash was working and living in New York City. He says the access to capital in northeast Ohio has been exceptional when compared to his experience on the east coast, and the funding goes much further due to the low cost of living. He knew that Cleveland would be a less expensive city for starting a business, but says he didn’t realize what great assets he’d find in Ohio’s many entrepreneurial resources and large corporations.
“Some of the largest publicly-traded companies in the country are in Ohio, and many of them are now using Markers to manage investor relations content,” said Cash. “We are building a global product, and we’re fortunate that companies in Ohio have embraced the technology and have not only adopted our product, but have given us valuable feedback to make it even better.”