Jeff Cianciola of Accupoint Software
Meet Jeff Cianciola, founder of Accupoint Software, a web-based tool designed to improve management systems effectiveness.
What is Accupoint Software?
designs tools that reduce the cost of overlapping regulations, audits, and manual processes for environmental, health and safety, and quality programs. Our InterLink platform is a simple, secure and effective web based solution to administer quality, environmental and safety programs. InterLink is designed for use in manufacturing, distribution and service organizations.
How did you come up with the idea?
Five years ago, we were searching for an integrated IT system to manage multi-site ISO certifications, and after extensive research, we could not find a system that offered the required features at a justifiable price point. We thought we could do better, so we set out to build it.
From the beginning, our goal was simple. We wanted to design a powerful, cost effective and easy to use application for all team members, even the technologically challenged. As a result, we developed a web-based solution that is designed to improve management systems effectiveness.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
The amount of support we have had from the tech community in Northeastern Ohio has really surprised us and given us a tremendous foundation on which to build a great, growing company.
Where did you find your first employee?
I cannot stress the value of networking enough. I met our first employee while shopping for Christmas gifts at a local bookstore. Years later when we were looking to expand our staff, she was the first one we ended up hiring.
What does a typical day in your business look like?
The typical business day starts with answering emails from overseas customers and prospects. This is followed by non-stop phone calls, meetings, questions, decisions and related craziness. If I am lucky, I occasionally get to do a little programming. And if I’m really lucky, sometimes I get to eat lunch.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Youngstown
Ohio and Youngstown in particular offers a number of unique advantages. With access to a variety of entertainment and cultural offerings all within an hour’s drive, Youngstown offers a unique setting for businesses of all sizes, especially those drawing new customers to the area. Secondly, the region has a tremendous support network, including our many great universities, entrepreneurial organizations and a depth of general business knowledge. Finally, Youngstown offers a great cost of living, ample human resources and overall is a great place to raise a family.
What resources or organizations in Youngstown did you take advantage of and how did they help?
The Youngstown Business Incubator
was instrumental in helping us to bring our application to market. They have provided a variety of support services to help facilitate our growth. I simply cannot say enough about the great things the team at YBI are accomplishing.
Jumpstart Ohio recently accepted Accupoint Software into the JumpStart Mentoring Program. And while we are relatively new to the program, the support and counsel provided by our team of talented individuals cannot be understated.
What inspires you?
I am most inspired by creative people and hearing the story they have to tell. I think the following quote from the late Steve Jobs sums it up best: "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things."
What founders do you admire and why?
The founder I admire most is my father. My father started his adult life with very little, and through sheer determination, hard work and more than a little bit of luck was able to build and grow a successful business. He was instrumental in teaching me the many lessons that continue to guide me forward.
What’s next for you?
Currently our team is working diligently on the development and testing of the next generation of our InterLink compliance management framework, which we expect to deploy in the fourth quarter of 2012. Long-term we will be focusing on expanding our product offerings, adding additional capabilities to our current framework as well as building a truly world class development and support team.
Interview by Joe Baur