Ray Meiring and two other technology consultants, Lee Child and Stephanie Laurent, were helping a large retailer in Cape Town, South Africa create a system for generating business documents when they saw an opportunity.
All companies need critical documents — like contracts, statements of work, pitches, and proposals — at their fingertips. Perhaps they could create a software solution that would generate those documents instantly.
That was the inspiration for Qorus, a Bellevue, Wash.-based company that helps businesses create documents quickly and accurately using Microsoft products. Meiring moved Qorus to Bellevue to be closer to the Microsoft ecosystem.
“Over the years we have created and refined solutions that accelerate the process of creating business critical documents like pitches, proposals, and contracts,” he said. “Essentially, we make sure that your best content is only a click away.”
We caught up with Meiring for this Startup Spotlight, a regular GeekWire feature. Continue reading for his answers to our questionnaire.
Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: “We save you time and make you more accurate when creating, locating or collaborating on critical documents like contracts, proposals, and pitches.”
Inspiration hit us when: “We saw our SharePoint customers spending hours pulling documents together from pieces of content they had written before. It was clear that there was a better way to do this by allowing them to re-use content they had written before. We just needed to give the tools that would make them more productive.”
VC, Angel or Bootstrap: “Initially bootstrap and then VC. We bootstrapped until we believed we had product market match, thereafter we used VC funds to scale. In hindsight, this was a good move as it gave us the freedom to do the pivots and iterations that were required to find the market fit.”
Our ‘secret sauce’ is: “Our products tightly integrate with Microsoft Office. We have also developed an extensive XML document generation engine and a unique approach to document collaboration.”
The smartest move we’ve made so far: “Identifying the legal industry as a key beachhead and focusing all proactive marketing and sales efforts on this industry until we had a dominant market share. Then move on to the closest related industry and dominated there.”
The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: “Initially, we under invested in marketing, choking sales efforts and making traction difficult. An increase in marketing spend helped us with building our brand and applying an aggressive approach to inbound marketing strategies.”
Would you rather have Gates, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: “Bezos. He has an unrivaled eye for identifying new opportunities but he backs that up with a ruthless focus on making it a highly-efficient reality.”
Our favorite team-building activity is: “We have done team amazing races twice and each time it has truly bonded the team, helped us to identify unexpected leaders and resourceful players, and been a heck of a fun time.”
The biggest thing we look for when hiring is: “In startup mode, we looked for resourceful, gritty people who are prepared to extend themselves beyond their job titles. These people get things done even if it means they need to get scrappy.”
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: “Bootstrap your genesis, get to the market as quickly as possible, iterate with your early customers then expand through aggressive marketing and sales techniques. Once you are convinced that you have a valuable product, move forward decisively.”