Right before Thanksgiving, I moved out of my apartment in Charleston, packed my car and drove back to Atlanta to see the family for the holiday. At that time, there was a good chance I would be moving so while it was smart to end my apartment lease and pack up, nothing was completely set in stone. Because of this, I didn’t really tell too many of my co-workers about this possibility since there was still a good chance I’d be back in the office that next week. That was November 27th, today is January 25th and I haven’t been back to Charleston since. It has been a wild two months and many positive things have happened over the last sixty days, including me officially moving to Phoenix, AZ. So it begs the question, what I am doing out here and how did it come to be.
The story starts out about a year ago while I was living in Mexico at the time. I had just started a new role at my company, Advantage Media Group, and was going to be moving back to Charleston and working back in the office by early March. My new role was Director of New Ventures which means I facilitated any new product launches, company initiatives or business acquisitions. My first responsibility was to help integrate the four companies we acquired in early 2018 into our “umbrella company”. The plan was always to help out, assist and plug holes when needed but once these companies were all integrated into our company, I would move on to the next “new venture”. New Venture is a very vague term and I didn’t know it at the time but soon I would be literally working on a new business venture for the company.
My boss had wanted to add a software product to the list of products and brands at our company for quite some time. The easy part were the ideas of what the software would do and who the customer was that this service would serve. The problem was no one at the company could code and trying to hire an outside firm to develop a product is very expensive and they don’t really help you launch or support the business. For him, it was hard enough to manage a company that had grown from 30 employees in 2016 to 120 at the start of 2019 with 6 new brands all operating as one company internally. It would take too much of his time and although it could really help the business, it wasn’t feasible.
Luckily, my boss found a startup accelerator in Phoenix called Coplex that was very unique. Coplex helps take ideas from non-tech, non-coder founders and helps create, develop and launch the product and company. While writing the code is the most important aspect of creating a software tool, there are thousands of other things that need to happen and this is where Coplex really differentiates themselves. If you need to incorporate your business – they are there for you, you need to develop a logo and brand voice – done, you need to build a website to start capturing leads – easy, you need a template for your pitch deck – check, how about introductions to potential investors – look here’s our network. All of these other items that orbit around the actual product are really hard to do on your own so having a partner like Coplex is a huge part of our success. So after a few phone conversations, a trip out to Phoenix and a signed contract we were officially Coplex’s newest venture.
Since my title literally had the words New Venture in it, you can probably now guess how I got to be living in Phoenix. With my background in customizing software systems and sales and marketing operations, my boss and I agreed that I was a good fit to lead up this new company. I packed my bags and after a little month delay, which allowed me to go to Asia, I set out on the long drive out west. A got a desk in the workspace the Coplex team works out of and I’ve transitioned to working on this new company full-time. Just a few weeks ago, this was just an idea that started in my boss’ head and that I began to hold on to and envision. It has now become my vision as well and within a few short weeks we have already taken those thoughts and formulated a company name, logo, marketing site, social media handles and many more things. I am very excited to be out here in Phoenix and Coplex’s newest venture. There will be many exciting things to come!