About Zelkova Ventures
Zelkova Ventures is a VC firm dedicated to assisting talented entrepreneurs build incredible companies. The partners at Zelkova roll up their sleeves and partner closely with their portfolio companies to help them grow and thrive as successful businesses. The venture capitalists at Zelkova seek to invest in early stage companies, often times pre-revenue, and in some instances to supply a company’s first outside/institutional capital. As former entrepreneurs themselves, Zelkova’s partners understand the ups and downs of creating a new company. They look to take an active role in their partnership with the companies they select for investment. In conjunction with its funding and capital, Zelkova brings expertise, insight and execution to all of their portfolio companies.
BrandYourself.com is the first DIY platform that makes it simple for anyone to take control of their own Google results. It was founded in 2009 by Syracuse University classmates Pete Kistler, Patrick Ambron and Evan McGowan-Watson after Kistler couldn’t get an internship for being mistaken in Google as a drug dealer. He soon realized how important his Google search results mattered for his reputation. But unless you know how search engine optimization (SEO) works–most people don’t–or have thousands of dollars to pay a reputation company to do it for you, there’s nothing you can do. The team wanted to put the power of reputation management in everybody’s hands regardless of how tech savvy or wealthy they might be. They built a free product that simplifies the process so anybody can do it themselves. BrandYourself has been recognized for its innovative technology, including being honored by the White House as one of the Top 100 Startups Run by Entrepreneurs Under 30, being named one of the Top 5 Collegiate Startups by Entrepreneur Magazine, and being named the winner of the New York State Emerging Business Technology competition, a $200,000 prize, the youngest team to ever win.
Help Scout ensures every great customer service experience is memorable. It’s easy to name companies that have provided you with great service because that experience has made you a loyal customer, maybe even for life. If you think about your last great service experience, what made it great was probably a real person or group of people going out of their way to help. Conversely, bad service is most likely the result of automation, “self-service” tools or someone that only speaks in formulaic scripts given to them by the company. Online support has become a critical problem for businesses. When the average dissatisfied customer shares their bad experience with 16 people and on various social media sites, the impact for your company can be staggering and costly. 71% of Americans have left a company as a result of bad service in the last year alone. We know the key to great service lies in the all-important “personal touch” from a real person. Until now, it’s been too costly for companies to deliver that level of touch online at the scale of a growing business. This is where Help Scout comes in. Help Scout enables companies to deliver personalized customer service at the scale of a growing business. They essentially add a collaborative layer on top of Gmail, giving companies the ability to understand their customers better, respond faster and keep everyone on the same page. Hundreds of companies in sales, PR and marketing are using Help Scout every day to communicate with people and keep their team in the loop. You can read more about Help Scout at HelpScout.net.
RJ Metrics builds software that helps online companies take mountains of data and use it to improve their businesses and their lives. It’s essentially analytics for the decision makers of the world. RJMetrics consolidates all your data and allows you to use sophisticated data tools to make a smart and profitable analysis. Learn more at rjmetrics.com.