Teamly participated in the 500 Startups accelerator in 2012, and worked out of San Francisco for the rest of the year. But after a few visits to downtown Las Vegas, they decided to trade in their Bay Area office for a chance to be part of Vegas’s growing startup community.
Paradoxically, CEO Scott Allison finds the community in Las Vegas to be more tight-knit. “In Silicon Valley, it’s very easy to be isolated unless you’re in an accelerator,” he says. Although there are tons of meetups and events and conferences, you can fall in the habit of having transactional relationships with people you only meet once. In Vegas, where the community is smaller, it’s natural to form deeper connections that strengthen each time you see someone again. And the VegasTechFund hosts monthly CEO Circles where its founders share experiences and learn from each other.
Vegas may not be known for its tech talent, but that isn’t a problem for Allison. He plans to play to the city’s strengths, hiring business development and sales people. They will work to convince companies (many of whom make business trips to Vegas) to buy Teamly and gain something more than just efficiency: happy employees.
“For every company, their employees are their most important resource and their most important asset. What do big companies typically do? Well, they typically saddle their employees with crappy tools, crappy software, crappy HR products,” says Allison. “We think there’s a real opportunity … to build tools that are useful, that help people everyday, and that do just a better job.”
Teamly works inside tibbr, a social network for companies. Employees can flag a wall post so it becomes a task or a goal, turning lots of chatter into something meaningful. And employees can then comment on each other’s goals to give encouragement or praise.
Enterprise productivity software may not be the most exciting field to those on the outside, but Allison has seen how happy employees can transform an organization. The best moments at abica, the telecom company he cofounded before Teamly, were when the team came together as a family. Says Allison, “Building companies is one of the coolest, most fun things you can do. So if we can help companies in a small way improve how they organize their people, that’s a big win.”