Chris Federspiel, 39
CEO and Co-Founder, Blackthorn Events, New York
What I do:
I’m a stickler for how things function, so my primary role is on the user experience of our applications on our product team. This includes defining our company’s direction and product roadmap.
A specific improvement I’ve made:
While working in the Salesforce ecosystem, I kept hearing there wasn’t a flexible event management app built specifically for Salesforce users. Blackthorn Events now lets users harness the power of Salesforce’s automation and reporting capabilities to streamline and scale events, connect event insights to customers, and easily show the success and ROI of events. We essentially centralize an attendee’s data (registrations, sessions attended, etc.) into the organization’s Salesforce. We’re the only organization that can do this.
As a software company with only a $180,000 investment, we’re largely bootstrapped after three years. Scaling a software company without investment is hard because it takes a long time to start generating enough revenue to cover expenses.
What I'm working on right now:
Our vision is to make our Salesforce apps as easy as making coffee in the morning. Once you learn how to do it, which takes about two to three minutes, you’re off to the races without ever having to read documentation. This is unheard of for enterprise software on Salesforce.
What I do outside of work:
I’m training for a half-Ironman later this year and enjoy bird-watching with my girlfriend. I’ve also started a 501(c)(3), of which we’ll start pushing funds into in 2022 when our margins are projected to become significant. My personal interest is in helping people without basics: food, water and shelter, with the thesis being those impacted by climate change.
Favorite vacation destination:
When we have warmer weather: upstate New York. When it’s colder in New York, anywhere in a jungle such as Costa Rica.
Favorite icebreaker line:
What do you do when you’re not working?
Bring a credit card and a passport. With those two, everything else is attainable.