Steve Weber of nChannel
Meet Steve Weber, founder of nChannel
, a cloud-based system that links small retailers' sales channels.
What is nChannel?
It’s a technology that allows small retailers to take advantage of multiple sales opportunities on the web and other market places without increasing their overhead dramatically. We offer a cloud-based service that links existing systems to any other sales channels they choose without having to replace any of their current software.
Why did you start your business? How did you come up with the idea?
I used to work for a very large software company that provided this kind of software to big box retailers. As I saw software became less expensive and more open, I saw the opportunity to extend that same sort of innovation to small businesses.
What resources or organizations in Ohio did you take advantage of, and how did they help?
TechColumbus has just been fantastic, My partner and co-founder Jeff Grundey suggested that we go to them and take our consulting company from a boutique business to a product-focused business. TechColumbus saw the diamond in the rough, and worked with us to draw out the offering. We secured $300,000 from their pre-Seed fund to fully bake our idea and take it to market. They also helped us lock down our intellectual property.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
The tremendous technology opportunity that exists in Ohio and how ready and willing [people] are to help. Most people think you have to know someone rich or connected, and that’s not the case. Any technology company in Ohio can go do exactly what we did.
Where did you find your first employee?
I knew Lisa Steinhart from a previous life. One night I posted on LinkedIn that I was looking for someone to help out with marketing and she responded right away. She’s been a perfect fit as our Vice President of Marketing.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Ohio?
I was involved in a startup on the West Coast that was trying to get funding. They struggled for more than a year and ultimately had to sell their business. That’s when Jeff suggested I should consider coming back to Ohio. I moved my family back here last summer. With all the Angel funds, TechColumbus, etc., Ohio has the ability to raise as much capital as Silicon Valley. You get all the funding benefits of the West Coast without having to live on the West Coast.
What inspires you?
We love to write software that has a big impact and truly makes a big, big difference. We believe in empowering customers to help themselves. We like to position our platform as consultant-free software, you can install our stuff without having to hire a consultant.
What companies or founders do you admire and why?
Roy Rubin at Magento. They’ve created a culture of customers, software developers and consultants who are very passionate about the Magento platform and technology. I also admire IBM, which is able to reinvent itself to stay relevant.
What’s next for you and your company?
We’re closing out a Series A investment round. Our marketing efforts are just in their infancy and we can’t wait to turn up the volume full blast, to begin to find subscribers to our platform.
Writer: Catherine Podojil