Our 2020 - Doubled SEO, New Customers, Google for Startups Investment & more! And Why we’re excited for 2021…
Plus our plans to become the Go-To Solution to help companies make better purchasing decisions!
By Tiffanie Stanard, Founder/CEO — Stimulus, Inc.
Like most people, my vision for 2020 was vastly different from the outcome.
No one predicted that a global pandemic would fundamentally change daily life. While we all adjusted to wearing masks (kind of lol), using double the hand sanitizer, and working virtually — COVID-19 was disrupting global supply chains too. Vendors struggled to meet demand, leaving companies small and large unable to serve customers at full capacity. Manufacturing stalled. Deliveries were late. Services slowed. Companies should have been prepared with alternate vendors outside existing networks — but they didn’t know where to look.
Organizations reexamined their supplier networks and found Stimulus to be a great platform to help. Stimulus is a relationship intelligence platform that uses data & analytics to help companies (of all sizes and across industries) make better purchasing decisions. Addressing supply chain problems was a need long before the pandemic, and our team was inspired by the prospect of solving this widespread need. Companies saw the value in our innovative features including finding the right suppliers at the right time with good data — a crucial move as the business landscape evolved rapidly.
Ironically, an unexpected perk also happened this year for Stimulus: Our SEO doubled as people/businesses landed on our website simply because they were looking for information on their Stimulus check lol, instead they learned about our product and reached to help their purchasing need. Fun Fact, In 2017, after launching several ventures, I started Stimulus, Inc. — named after the stimulus check I used to launch my first business over a decade earlier.
It was the silver lining. Our company saw incredible growth. We were accepted into a Microsoft accelerator program and became a Microsoft partner, featured on its app store for business solutions and the cloud computing software marketplace. We deepened our relationship with Google, gaining $50,000 in investment capital. We also signed incredible new customers like the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, Promptworks, and Think Company.
Those developments proved that Stimulus is a pre-pandemic business built for a post-pandemic future.
Another factor shaping 2020 was the worldwide calls to end racism and inequality. Thousands marching together in a protest led to promises for genuine change — and big business vowed to do its part. Companies including Google and Facebook pledged hundreds of millions to diversify their supply chains.
Stimulus, Inc. is well-positioned to make those promises a reality. By making it easy to find suppliers especially outside typical networks, we will introduce companies to vendors that fit the criteria that are looking for across projects and ensure they are also diversifying their supply chains with companies led by minorities, the disabled, veterans, LGBTQ, and other underrepresented groups. Most importantly, our data will show that diversity is not charity — it’s good business. Our platform can compare and measure vendors with our proprietary Stimulus Score and up to 90+ data points, to show which businesses are the best fit for any given project and allow buyers the data to make an objective decision.
2020 held plenty of other excitement too. Stimulus, Inc. was accepted into several programs this year, including the below.
Here is a brief recap of our year at Stimulus:
Women in Cloud Microsoft Cloud Accelerator.
For six months, my team and I worked alongside the most inspiring women in tech and received sage mentorship from Microsoft executives. The accelerator expanded my knowledge about partnerships with large companies, how to work within Microsoft, and the best ways to refine business models and develop product features. Despite being entirely virtual, I made amazing connections with the women in my cohort. There are a lot of women in tech, but just a small community building cloud software businesses. From healthcare to cybersecurity to HR, these women are building the future of cloud computing — and I was humbled to be selected for the cohort. A reunion can’t come soon enough.
By September, Stimulus launched on Microsoft Azure, the company’s cloud computing software marketplace, as well as AppSource, Microsoft’s app store for business solutions. We have the ability to co-sell and co-market with Microsoft. I was even a featured speaker at the annual Microsoft Inspire conference.
I’m still pinching myself.
New investors added to our external team.
We had amazing investors join our journey in 2019 — Including a Family Office, a VC firm, angel investors (individuals/groups) plus a nice-size grant from the City of Philadelphia. Joined in 2020 (Partial List) below:
Juno Capital invests in Stimulus.
With further disruption imminent from the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a transition of presidential power, and trade wars, it’s time for companies to start (if they haven’t already) analyzing their current supply chain structure and investing in technology that will provide real-time updates, promote communication, and allow for better and more ethical purchasing decisions — in other words, invest in a solution such as Stimulus.
Read more, here.
$50k Investment - Google for Startups Black Founders Fund.
Google created the $5 million Google Black Founders Fund after global calls for racial equality this summer. Stimulus, Inc. was one of 76 companies selected, and we received a $50,000 cash award. We’ve been in the Google For Startups program for over a year and we're excited to deepen our relationship with a major player in tech.
Being a Google partner led to unexpected connections and provided access to an incredible pool of resources. I also made unforgettable relationships with fellow Black founders through weekly check-ins, bi-weekly happy hours (virtual of course), emails, social interactions, and business meetings. It’s been incredibly rewarding and helped move our company forward.
Stimulus received lots of positive press in 2020.
Here are a few articles for you to read:
What the ‘future of work’ means to these Philadelphians — Philadelphia Inquirer
Don’t take it from me … hear from our team.
Ruben Reyes, Chief Technology Officer, is excited by the company’s growth in 2020 and beyond: “Stimulus got into high gear in 2020. Tiffanie’s leadership allowed us to avoid issues with team morale that affected many other companies. Thanks to a work culture that fosters continuous and open communication, I think our team grew tighter and more productive during the pandemic. The team expanded, the number of partners and investors grew considerably, and we launched the first production version of the platform. I feel very proud of the progress made, and am excited about the momentum we have generated, as well as the powerful features we will be adding to the platform.”
Neeharika Damera, Senior Product Manager, enjoys the company culture Stimulus continued to build throughout the year: “The culture at Stimulus is team-based. We have a great team that’s passionate about what they do. Everyone’s opinions and feedback are valued. That didn’t stop during the pandemic while people worked from home. Sure, it helped me balance my work and personal life better, but I missed getting to know my colleagues more at a personal level. It took some time to understand everyone’s working style, but we adapted quickly.”
Archer Smith, Supply Chain Associate, was impressed by our company’s response to the pandemic — both internally and externally: “Stimulus responded to the pandemic very well. Adapting to a stay-at-home work environment was seamless since a large part of our team already contributed remotely, and the business disruptions of the pandemic very clearly underlined the importance of what we have been building. Knowing we will be able to help in a very real way with some of the supply chain issues exposed by the pandemic has galvanized us as a company.”
Our closeout to 2020.
In December, I planned our 1st of many company retreats…
We started the day with mediation and reflections led by an expert.
Next, we had an investor hour to hear from our supporters on why they joined our startup journey and to share our latest updates.
Next, I paid for lunch through GrubHub to give us the opportunity to learn more about each other.
In between, we had a two-hour orientation for the Salesforce Accelerate program we were accepted into.
Next, a brainstorming session and one-on-ones.
Lastly, we closed out by reflecting on the day and sharing our plans for the two-week break with friends/family (COVID-19 style).
Why we are excited for 2021?!
In addition to our partnerships with Microsoft and Google. We’ll be announcing a Salesforce partnership as we are currently participating in their Accelerate program.
We are growing our team…more to come on available roles.
We are onboarding new customers and excited to work with them on making better purchasing decisions, the importance of working with local companies, and how to achieve their racial equity initiative goals (specifically on vendor diversity).
Doubling our content, digital event partnerships, and launching our podcast.
And lastly, we will be raising a seed round…
Thank you to everyone who has followed and supported our startup journey thus far!