PcCareSupport: Supporting Technology in Every Home

PcCareSupport (www.PcCareSupport.com), based in Provo, UT, is set on supporting technology in the homes and businesses across the world. Founder and CEO Ryan Westwood (@RyanWestwood2) took some time to chat with Ascent Advisor (@AscentAdvisor). Ascent Advisor – Preston Pond:  When you founded PcCareSupport in 2010, what was your vision for the company? Ryan Westwood:  I had worked for DirectPointe, which was a managed service provider, and we provided IT support to the mid-and large-sized business and I saw alternatives like Geek Squad handling consumers, but I didn’t feel like there was a really good solution for the under-20 employee business. They had the biggest need and there was a lack of support for that area so we came in and focused on facilitating technical support for the 0-20 employee company.  I felt like there was a need in the market there that wasn’t being served. Ascent Advisor: I am guessing that need hasn’t gone away. Ryan Westwood:   It has grown and we have expanded into other markets, and we’ve evolved and pivoted as we’ve gone on, but it started there. Ascent Advisor: What is your BHAG today? Ryan Westwood:  We want to support technology in the homes of Americans,  for consumers and businesses alike.  We have since pivoted and have more consumer customers, a lot more than business customers.  We are finding that the average home has 4.2 devices, and that number is increasing, and people are relying more and more on technology, and we want to be the ones to support it all.  We do onsite service calls, we do remote service into phones, tables, computers, and...
Winsper: Turning Marketing into a Business

Winsper: Turning Marketing into a Business

Winsper (www.winsper.com), based in Boston, MA.  is redefining the discipline of marketing and the role of CMOs on the global scale. President Jeff Winsper (@jeffwinsper) took some time to chat with Ascent Advisor (@AscentAdvisor). Ascent Advisor – Bruce Jackson: What led you to found Winsper (@winsperthinks) in 2002? Jeff Winsper: Just to give you some context, I graduated from Providence College, which is a small college in Rhode Island, and I got a BA in History. I joined a small firm, a group that claimed to be the first B2B technology agency in the country established in 1969. I had no idea about the industry, and I really had no idea about B2B and technology, but I really fell in love with technology and everything about it. I had a chance to take ownership in that company but I elected not to, and I went to cofound a firm/agency. A couple other partners and I did some homework and we decided to focus on B2B in tech because we felt it was a very underserved industry, and we had a business model that we felt would give us a competitive advantage against our counterparts. We grew it very quickly, and part of that growth was due to expansion throughout the Americas and London. So we had service centers to take care of the tech centers across the country. We built it and then we sold it to Leo Burnett. After you sell your business, it’s not really your business anymore, so I hung around for 4 years, then I went over to Mullen to build out a B2B practice,...
Cantaloupe Systems: Time to Stock up on Peanut M&Ms

Cantaloupe Systems: Time to Stock up on Peanut M&Ms

Cantaloupe Systems (www.cantaloupesys.com), based in San Fransisco, CA.  Cantaloupe Systems (@CantaloupeSys) is the pioneer and market leader in Cloud-based technologies for the $55 billion global vending industry and four-time Inc. 5000 honoree. Co-Founder and CEO Mandeep Arora, whose favorite vending machine snack food is Peanut M&Ms, took some time to chat with Ascent Advisor (@AscentAdvisor). Ascent Advisor – Paul Savage:  You stocked your first vending machine at age 13: what is it that draws you to this industry? Mandeep Arora:  There are two things.  Entrepreneurs see a void and they want to fill it.  My co-founder and I, and most of our team, are problem solvers.  It’s a very real problem we are solving: family businesses don’t know what is happening at these vending machines and they are being inefficient, so it’s great to help them. Second, there is something about this specific industry that people enter it and they don’t leave.  I’m not sure what it is! Ascent Advisor:  When you started Cantaloupe Systems in 2002, did you see it where it is now?  How is it different than you expected? Mandeep:  We were really fortunate that we started it while we were in college.  At first it was a project, so we didn’t have a lot of time pressure.  We spent months learning about the industry and asking people why they used technology, why they don’t, why companies have tried to do this and failed, and why weren’t they succeeding.  That helped us draft a really good business plan.  To a large extent, we are still executing that plan today. If I am ever to start another...