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The Silicon Review | 30 Best Small Companies to Watch 2020

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The Silicon Review | 30 Best Small Companies to Watch 2020

  1. 1. Technology CEOs News Business Features Leadership CIOs U.S. Special VIRTIS is revolutionizing the cybersecurity landscape with its unparalleled shielding technology Michelle Wilner Co-founder & CEO www.thesiliconreview.com 30Best Small Companies to Watch SR2020
  2. 2. B e it a big multi-million- dollar enterprise, or a small startup, almost all businesses run on one fuel: Leads. Having a good lead generation strategy is essential for your business to survive. Having a great strategy, however, is essential for success. Over the last few years, the world of Martech (marketing technology) has quickly consolidated into a few large corporations with workforces in the hundreds, there’s a small yet mighty firm that is able to not only compete but thrive on this level - Rapid Response Marketing (RRM). RRM has operated as a frontrunner in lead generation and affiliate marketing for 20 years, hitting the ‘Inc. 5000 List’ two years running. The company, comprised of diverse entrepreneurs, excels in identifying early-market trends and using innovative strategies to capitalize on them. Each associate brings over a decade of unique expertise in performance-based marketing – from media buying to promotions, from PR to viral marketing and ad-tech – all based on performance marketing to drive sales goals for their customers. Digital Media Buys, Built for Scale RRM’s entire infrastructure has been-finely tuned to the needs and scale of their clients, who range from large Fortune 500 insurance clients with robust pre-existing marketing strategies, to small start-ups that require bootstrap, custom marketing solutions. AI is essential in the Martech industry, of course, but RRM is able to achieve these results through a combination of AI and bold experience – capitalizing on their best ip: brilliant marketing minds. They have the ability to turn around clients’ full marketing plans within 48 hours, including high-converting web pages and launch ads. They leverage “hacks” across all media platforms – online and off – to achieve performance results. Online Lead Generation: From landing page creation to media placement RRM’s team creates fully-managed campaigns – researches the competition, the cost per sale or cost per lead goals, the lifetime value expectations, the demographic and behavioral targets, then builds the ads, banners, and other creatives. RRM creates the text and display ads, keyword lists etc. It tests multiple sets of different creatives, optimizes the ones that work and eliminates the ones that don’t, measures front-end sales and monitors lifetime sales, then scales and repeats. RRM uses technology to monitor competitors’ marketing efforts in real-time and in detail from keywords, to ads, to spending, and looks at their competitive offers in order for the client to stand out from the herd and sand steps ahead in their given market. Offline Antics: RRM’s buying power and existing network relationships allow it to quickly and cost-effectively launch new campaign tests, limiting clients’ risk. RRM in most cases has reduced its clients’ acquisition costs on existing campaigns within a 4-week period. RRM’s proprietary unwired remnant network can offset existing cash media buys cost. Affiliate Management Affiliate Recruitment & Offer Promotion: RRM has been at the forefront of affiliate recruitment and management since the early 2000’s. RRM helps clients connect to the ideal traffic sources for their specific product or service and gives them detailed tracking and attribution and complete transparency on pricing. With access to over 10,000 affiliates worldwide. Affiliate payment solutions: RRM has the tools to handle 1000’s of affiliate payments on a weekly, This Small Yet Mighty Marketing Firm Punches Above Its Weight
  3. 3. Kevin De Vincenzi, CEO of Rapid Response Marketing, has been a leader in the pay-per-performance internet marketing industry for years. He is a marketing consultant and strategist as well as CEO of other companies rolled up under the RRM umbrella including Xy7Elite and Elite-Calls. He has been in Internet marketing since 1996 and he has seen and monopolized of most of the trends out there. Kevin always looks for new partnerships. He specializes in internet lead generation strategies. Kevin also runs a weekly industry podcast called “Internet Traffic Kings.” Wizard behind the success of Rapid Response Marketing bi-monthly, or monthly frequency, with the ability to extend terms to clients, allowing partnerships the flexibility to deal with thousands of vendors with one point of contact. They not only manage payments, but compliance - which is constantly changing in this industry. RRM’s success is evidenced by their roster of brand clientele and an ‘A+’ rating from the Better Business Bureau – no small feat for a company that’s been around for two decades! Right Pricing Campaigns: Not all traffic is the same. RRM understands that the affiliate marketplace is fragmented and confusing. They price the client’s product or service based on each affiliate and their traffic source. Consulting: RRM has dedicated significant resources to securing trusted and exclusive partnerships with thousands of publishers in digital media. Drawing on its reputation in the industry of 20 years, it’s easy for RRM to turn to its partners with new client opportunities as they arise. They offer full scale marketing and media strategies, operations/systems/ technologies evaluations and turnkey publisher management solutions on a consulting basis depending on a client’s business goals. Old Agency Model with a New Twist RRM’s team of professionals knows how to scale a campaign effectively and safely, understanding the nuances of extensive industry regulations and compliance concerns. RRM has the ability to build a client’s brands or send traffic through RRM’s owned and operated lead-gen sites. The systems in place are bult for agility as RRM buys its own media, does its own creative, measures its own results, and scales programs in- house, and partners with affiliates when more scale or specific expertise is needed. “Rapid Response Marketing is truly a one-stop shop just like it used to be, with a team that has seen it all and is always learning more.” – Kevin De Vincenzi, CEO of RRM SR
  4. 4. of all enterprises shoot themselves in the foot every time they implement a new information system. The prevailing mindset, the “application-centric” mindset, guarantees that each new system introduces yet another incompatible data model into the firms datascape. It doesn’t matter whether the firm is building a custom application, whether they are buying an application package or whether they are renting Software as a Service. It doesn’t matter whether the methodology is waterfall or agile. Solving business problems by implementing applications is what creates the dreaded silos. The compounding problem is these application systems each have their own completely idiosyncratic data models. In addition to being arbitrarily different, almost every application is at least an order of magnitude more complex than it needs to be. The net result is, after a few decades, you have hundreds or thousands of applications implemented, each with their own data model. You spend most of your IT budget on systems integration, without really achieving it. Semantic Arts discovered it’s possible to build an elegant core model of even the most complex enterprise in a limited amount of time (typically less than six months) and with a limited amount of complexity (typically fewer than 500 concepts (classes + properties). When well implemented, the said model can be extended and specialized in handling specific requirements of subdomains or departments while still staying aligned with the enterprise core as business continues to grow. The model can be directly populated with data from the legacy systems, and queries can be federated over the legacy systems through the core model. Such a model in the short term can provide a simple integration platform that not only integrates legacy systems but also allows the integration of unstructured and external data. Semantic Arts future-proofs the enterprise with data-centric transformation programs Meet the leader behind the success of Semantic Arts Dave McComb is the President and Co-founder of Semantic Arts. He and his team help organizations uncover the meaning in the data from their information systems. Dave is also the author of “The Data-Centric Revolution”, “Software Wasteland” and “Semantics in Business Systems”. For 20 years, Semantic Arts has helped firms of all sizes in this endeavor, including Proctor & Gamble, Goldman Sachs, Schneider-Electric, Lexis Nexis, Dun & Bradstreet, and Morgan Stanley. Prior to Semantic Arts, Dave co-founded Velocity Healthcare, where he developed and patented the first fully model driven architecture. Prior to that, he was a part of the problem. Dave McComb President & Co-founder 99%
  5. 5. Semantic Arts is a professional services firm—they do not sell software or hardware—therefore, the company is completely objective and can bring business outcome thinking and considerable experience to every engagement. In conversation with Dave McComb, Co-founder and CEO of Semantic Arts Can you tell us about your services in brief? Semantic Arts delivers a single offering: we help guide clients who are committed to transitioning to a data-centric future by implementing this capability through our consulting services. Some may come to the need to do this through their digital transformation efforts, which more and more are discovering to be far harder than it should be because they are trying to build on a foundation of brittle complexity inherently in relational and legacy data structures. Some come to it through big data, AI, and ML, when they find that they are spending most of their time and effort wrangling data that should already be organized. And some have come to it from first principles, as we did. Our first engagement is a combination of what we call “think big / start small” implementation methodology for most clients. We discovered the need to do both in parallel. To do only the think big part (as we did for more than a decade) creates beautiful models that do not get implemented. To only start small (as every agile project does these days) almost guarantees the furtherance of silos. By doing the two in parallel, we can show how the core model (the think big part) guides each “small” (incremental) project to conform to the core. After that first project, most clients re-engaged us for many more projects, which either tackle additional domain areas, begin building out the information architecture needed to take maximum advantage of this approach or establish training and governance to make this the new normal. Huge amount of data is created every second from sources like online transactions, social media, or customer data. Do you think the existing ways of managing data is enough for exponentially bigger data quantity? Well, it has to be managed in layers, it’s obvious that we will have even more data, and the Internet of Things is going to swamp the existing data completely. But the traditional approach of just copying all of the data and moving it around to a big data platform so that people can do analytics is not going to scale to that. There’s more data than what the systems can process over. What will happen instead is there’s going to be a lot more edge computing where the big data, IoT, and the clickstream analysis will stay. It’s going to be abstracted, and the essential differences are going to come into an analytic framework. With the situation today due to coronavirus, everything is going online. How are you helping your clients adjust to the new normal? One of the big things that people are doing right now is called digital transformation, and I think that the coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated the process. But as a lot of authors have pointed out, digital transformation projects have about a 70 percent failure rate, and they are incredibly expensive. People are just trying to use brute force to change their existing procedures into a fully digital-enabled, stymied sheer scale and complexity. So, our approach is to find the elegant, simple model that represents the core of your business and use that to fuel your digital transformation. We’re guiding our clients in implementing this capability to ease information findability, accessibility, interoperability, and re-usability. Normally reliable and high- quality services come at an expensive price tag. How do you manage to keep your services affordable? We primarily work with very large firms and have small, agile teams, so compared to a typical application implementation project, these are a fraction of. Our services are very affordable and barely noticeable, but in the longer term, the data-centric approach is going to move into mid-market, where it will become a platform play. Semantic Arts exists to help organizations transition to a newly emerging paradigm of information systems based on flexible data structures and deep semantics. “ “ SR
  6. 6. If you’re not ecstatically happy or if your relationship isn’t satisfying and sizzling, maybe you need a retreat with Sedona Soul Adventures S edona Soul Adventures is very different, that’s what their founder, Debra Stangl, wants you to know. “When most people think about doing a retreat or going to a conference they think about going to a retreat center or a hotel and doing activities with a group”, says Stangl. “I did so many of these over the years and found that I would feel great and all pumped up while I was there, but the minute I got home, I was the same old me and nothing was different”. That all changed in 1999 when she came to Sedona, Arizona for the first time and her life was completely transformed. In conversation with Debra Stangl, Founder and CEO of Sedona Soul Adventures How did you come up with the idea for Sedona Soul Adventures? I came to Sedona for the first time in January 1999. At that time, every single part of my life was a mess: I had just started my 20th year as a divorce attorney in Omaha, Nebraska, and I hated it; I was in an unhappy marriage; I was 40 pounds overweight and $50,000 in debt. I came to Sedona for what I thought was going to be three days of quiet, but instead, I did one session with an amazing Practitioner here and got the message I had to leave my law practice and change my life. I went home and two weeks later, $50,000 fell out of the sky, six months later I closed my law practice, and I spent the next three years traveling to Sedona to do my own personal healing work with different practitioners I was finding here in Sedona. Two weeks before 9/11, I was in Sedona again and received the message I was to move here. I moved to Sedona and sat for six months with no direction. Then I started having dreams and was shown that my working one-on-one in private sessions with these amazing Practitioners who are so skilled at utilizing the energy and taking you from where you are to where you want to be had transformed my entire life. I was shown how I could create that experience for others by compressing it into 3 or 4 days. The joke at the office is that my Soul Adventure took three years, but everyone else does it in three days! No one else out there is doing what we’re doing and it’s been so gratifying to see people’s lives completely changed and to help so many couples transform their relationships. I feel like I was divorcing people for over 20 years and I’ve been helping them stay together for almost 20 years now, so my karma is almost balanced out! Why is Sedona Soul Adventures so different? 1. Unlike a group retreat or conference where you are hoping they will address your particular issues, each Sedona Soul Adventures retreat is completely custom designed for each individual or couple for exactly the transformations they need and desire. 2. Each retreat consists of sessions that are completely private, one-on-one or two on-one (for couples), not in groups, with the retreat having a beginning, a middle and an end and designed to be transformational, taking you from where you are to where you want to be. Debra Stangl, Founder & CEO
  7. 7. 3. We work with over 50 of the Master Practitioners of Sedona, who are practitioners of almost every known modality. 4. Our retreats produce what I call “The Sedona Effect” ™ What is The Sedona Effect? ™ The Sedona Effect™ is a process of transformation that can be accessed by those who have a deep desire to bring this kind of conscious transformation into their lives. It is the result of an unusual confluence of three factors: 1. The transformational vortex energy of Sedona. As Bashar, the internationally recognized spiritual teacher says, “Sedona is a powerful, transformational vortex unparalleled in its own way, unique in its own way that allows for communication and connection to multiple dimensions of reality on your world.” The energy of Sedona is unlike any other place on the planet. 2. The amazing practitioners who have been called to Sedona from all over the planet to do their work (our Practitioners come from England, Germany, South Africa, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia and of course the United States and Canada) and who are Masters at connecting and utilizing the special energy of Sedona. 3. The intense desire of those coming to us to effect a life- changing transformation. Sedona energy is unparalleled and unique – you won’t find it anywhere else on the planet. When you combine that special energy with these amazing Practitioners who are Masters at connecting with and utilizing this energy, plus the intense desire of those coming to us seeking transformation, the result is transformation which is real and lasting. What kind of people come to you? We have people from every walk of life, male, female, old, young (starting at 17, depending on the person), straight, gay, transgender, Christian, Jews, Muslims, atheists, Republicans, Democrats, a-political, corporate people, doctors, lawyers, accountants, office workers, laborers, truck drivers, ministers, nuns, mothers, fathers, single, married, divorced, about to be divorced, about to be married, people who want to save their relationship, people who want to add more zing and sizzle to their relationship, people who have just gotten out of rehab, people who want to find their life purpose and live it, people who want more happiness, peace, and connection in their lives. As our clients are always saying, “everyone needs to do a Soul Adventure.” Do you have any new services ready to be launched? When the pandemic hit, we went to zero overnight. Within two weeks, we were doing Virtual Retreats, and I have to say the results have been astounding. Energy is energy, and what we are doing is moving out the old energy and bringing in the new energy. My Practitioners are such Masters at utilizing this energy and bringing it to the people with whom they’re working, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re in their healing space in Sedona or in your living room, you’re going to feel it and be transformed by it, so we are able to reach people all around the world with our Virtual Retreats. We’ve opened up again for in-Sedona retreats, and people need this now more than ever. I’m also so happy that we are making online Masterclasses available to people and I’ve just launched our “Meeting the Masters” Podcast where I interview incredible people who have had a huge impact on my life, such as Dr. John Gray, John Assarraf, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Janet Attwood, etc. It is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast or Spotify. I’m also doing a new edition and audio version of my book (which was a #1 International Best Seller when it came out in 2016), “The Journey To Happy – How Embracing The Concept That Nothing Is Wrong Can Transform Your Life”. “Individuals leave us happy, content, peaceful, knowing their purpose and ready to live it. Couples leave us with the past healed plus a new and deeper love and connection.” Master Practitioner Yana with one of our clients in the Sedona vortex SR
  8. 8. Automate lead follow-up, dramatically boost contact rates, and increase ROI while staying compliant with omnichannel contact center software: Convoso L ead follow up is reaching out to a lead that has previously interacted with your brand. Even though sales reps don’t dread these sales calls as much as they might dread cold calling, sales people still generally regard them as difficult. However, lead follow up is vital as it often turns into a very productive conversation. After all, you’re talking to someone who has expressed an interest in your brand. Convoso is the leading innovator of cloud-based omnichannel contact center software that dramatically increases contact and lead conversion rates. Convoso’s technology is built to cut downtime and costs by automating and housing your day-to-day routines and metrics in one easy-to-use platform. Call center owners and managers can operate with complete clarity through Convoso’s feature-rich admin portal and reporting console. Powerful autodialer options for your outbound calls Whether you’re leading an aggressive sales campaign or contacting current clients, Convoso has the powerful tools to drive your workflow. Choose from multiple dialing modes: Power Dialing, Predictive Dialing, Preview Dialing, and Progressive Dialing. Increase contact rate with a static dial level and serious power. The Power Dialer chooses new contacts as soon as the previous call ends. Increase contact rates and reduce wait time without compromising your drop rating. Convoso Predictive Dialing uses smart algorithms to select agents and dial numbers in advance. Its power dialing with scaling capabilities to adjust the total number of outbound dials up and down based on available agents and dropped/ abandoned rating. Increase contact rates and reduce wait time. Keep your dial rate high while customizing each call to individual leads. Similar to Meet the leader behind the success of Convoso Nima Hakimi is the Co-founder and CEO of Convoso. With over a decade of experience in starting various companies, his exceptional leadership has consistently navigated through the ups and downs of running a successful business. Nima’s clear vision for Convoso helped establish the core values that nurture the culture of the Company today. Prior to Convoso, Nima began his entrepreneurial spirit with the launch of an online advertising network with millions of users at its peak. Nima takes great pride in his customer’s success which is what drives him to constantly research the market space for solutions to challenges. He views Convoso as his family and goes above and beyond in providing the needed tools for the Company to succeed. Nima Hakimi, Co-founder & CEO
  9. 9. preview dialing, agents review lead information ahead of the call, but with progressive dialing, the calls are automatically dialed after a set number of seconds/minutes. Use Convoso’s Virtual Agent to close more business with fewer agents What if you could use artificial intelligence technology to filter out prospects that don’t fit with your product or service? With Convoso’s Virtual Agent, you can. By using Machine Learning, Natural Language Programming & Advanced Speech Recognition this artificial contact center technology allows you to replace or supplement live agents. Scale faster without spending the same time and resources of your competitors. Using a personalized human voice recording, Convoso’s Virtual Agent starts the prospect conversation by asking initial questions designed to prequalify the lead. The technology understands the prospects’ responses, and only transfers qualified leads to live agents. Marketing and Lead Generation Convoso marketing companies report a 30% to 300% rise in contact rates, and significant jumps in conversion and transfer rates with its powerful suite of software tools that convert leads faster. With automated remarketing strategies, disposition-based redial workflow, and smart dynamic scripting, your agents can connect with more qualified leads to cross- sell and help prospects across different verticals. Create more opportunities to optimize the ROI on your leads. Know where to strategically focus your resources to make your call center profitable by accessing reporting tools that show how your leads, agents, lists, and list sources are performing at any time. Consolidated real-time reports reveal your actual CPA [cost of dialer, payroll, and leads]— your ROI per list and agent, broken down by lead source. Remember, you can’t improve what you can’t measure. Cloud-based Automated Calling Software Whether you’re leading an aggressive sales campaign or contacting current clients, Convoso provides you with powerful tools to suit your workflow, including multiple dialing modes. Increase contact rates with dialing strategies and powerful tools. Predictive dialing increases agent efficiency by automatically adjusting dial speed based on advanced algorithms, resulting in more productive live calls, and fewer dropped calls. Progressive dialing allows agents a set amount of time to review the prospect’s record before the call is automatically dialed. When a call is finished, the agent clicks to initiate the next lead, again with a set time to review notes on screen. In preview mode, prospect records are automatically presented to your agents, allowing them time to review notes on the lead before electing to call for a more informed and qualified conversation. Power dialing automates dialing at a rate you set so that your agents are always on live calls. Often best suited to operations with few agents and a large numbers of leads. “Get live people on the phone nearly every time with our answering machine detection technology, allowing your agents to spend less time waiting for phone calls and more time selling.” SR

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