CSF Winner: Dave Gildea, CEO & Founder, CloudRanger
It took Dave Gildea, CEO & Founder of CloudRanger, four attempts before successfully winning Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund (CSF). The company’s team has grown from 3 to 14 over the last six months in Ireland and has a new office in Chicago. Read Dave’s advice on applying for the Competitive Start Fund.
A service that saves time and money
CloudRanger delivers cloud server management software for businesses, MSPs and enterprises. Our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform offers users scheduling and backup policies to save time and money while delivering enhanced disaster recovery management.
With the growth of Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing services into a $10bn business, many existing users are struggling to keep up with the pace of change. Our solution allows organisations to optimise staff resources by automating repetitive, time-consuming DevOps admin tasks.
The entrepreneurial lifestyle
The biggest challenge I overcame as an entrepreneur was finding work-life balance. There is no denying the time, work, and stress that are inherent in building a start-up, but one of the most misunderstood areas of the entrepreneurial lifestyle is the psychological burden you feel even when you aren’t actively working.
When you want to enjoy time with your family, it can be a massive challenge to be present in the moment and give your undivided attention to them without drifting back to your business. The greatest tool in an entrepreneur’s personal toolbox is the ability to turn off your start-up brain and your phone, and turn on your real-life brain to enjoy time with family and friends.
Making the CSF application
We had progressed a lot further than the customer validation phase for our solution and had a number of customers already on board. We also had a great team already in place, so we were ready to start the next phase of business development.
We realised that, with CSF funding, we would be able to accelerate our growth in the key geographic markets for CloudRanger, which include the United States and Australia where cloud computing adoption is around two years ahead of Ireland and the UK.
For me, getting the CSF was instant validation for my business idea and of course gave me the confidence to take it to the next step. Our team has grown from 3 to 14 over the last six months in Ireland and we have a new office in Chicago. We have developed a pool of talent which can respond to the demands of an international market.
We now have clients in 18 countries and this continues to grow. We are just about to release a significantly revamped version of our flagship product, coupled with a more informative, user-friendly, and sales-oriented website.
The best piece of advice for the CSF application and making the pitch is to get advice, especially from someone who has been through the process. Also, start completing the form in good time - it’s an in-depth application!
For me, the CSF application process was beneficial in itself as it got me to think about all areas of the business. You will need to be ready to outline your business and its history to date, what makes you different and project a clear company vision. Most of all, be confident and prepared.
Also, don’t get disheartened if you don’t get it the first time around - we took 4 attempts, so get feedback and improve each time.
Interested in applying for the Competitive Start Fund – Regional Entrepreneurship? Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply here