Innovator of the Week
Co-Founder and CSO of EDACS – Accelerate NH company
Please provide your 30-second pitch about your company.
EDACS is a learning accommodation management system that helps students with learning disabilities to be successful in school. EDACS does this by streamlining the accommodations process, reducing paperwork and improving the ability of disability center staff to serve students. Also, the increased visibility into student progress enables the institution to better respond not only to individual, but also overall, trends in student needs.
Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?
Alpha Loft has been a great resource for getting us thinking like more like entrepreneurs and giving us the resources, support and expertise to really move forward with our ideas.
Overall, the startup ecosystem seems to really be booming in New Hampshire– it’s a fun, supportive group of people, eager to help one another succeed. It’s a great time to be starting a company in New Hampshire.
What was your biggest obstacle in starting your company and how did you overcome it?
It’s the reality that as an entrepreneur and partners in small company, the two of you own everything– it’s not going to happen unless one of you takes it on and gets it done. There’s no “IT Department” or “Marketing Department” to fall back on. The “to do” list is long and it sometimes seems like everything needs to be done all at once. Knowing how to prioritize problems and having the grit to work through them has been a good challenge.
What’s the best advice you have received?
“Just keep swimming!” Dory really nailed it.
With a startup, the highs are high and the lows are low. It can be hard to get up, dust off and keep rolling when you encounter setbacks, but on the flip side, the high of an achievement is so exhilarating, you quickly get addicted to the thrill.
The bottom line is, those emotional moments of highs and lows come and go, but you can’t get too bogged down or too euphoric. You have to stay level-headed, work hard and keep moving forward. As a member of our Accelerate cohort once commented in class: “Success is an accumulation of small daily victories.”
What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you?
It’s home. We’re both New Hampshire natives. It’s a great place to live and raise kids, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. We are skiers, hikers, and bikers, so being able to step outside at lunch and go for a trail run or take the kids for a bike ride is a great thing.
Beyond the abundant outdoor opportunities, the work scene is filled with smart people who want to make a difference in the world, yet it’s a laid back, family-friendly vibe. It’s still competitive, but in a more collaborative way — people root for one another– it’s not a zero-sum game. Success in New Hampshire is a rising tide, and we all enjoy the benefit.
What does the future look like for your company?
Really exciting! We have a lot of interest in what we do, not only from potential customers, but from people whose lives are affected by a student with a disability. With 6 million students in the US needing disability services today, schools are looking for ways to help those children on the pathway to success. We want to be part of that journey!
Connect with Angela on LinkedIn and Twitter. Connect with Steph Sission on LinkedIn and Twitter.