When Matthew Donegan-Ryan was approached by the CEO of CrowdCompass to lead the company’s sales and marketing efforts, he agreed to come aboard with one condition – that he not leave Kirkland. He grew up in Ireland, moved to Issaquah during high school and graduated from the University of Washington in 2005. His work background includes event technology and event planning. He has never visited a city that beats Kirkland’s combination of aesthetic appeal, tech-friendly environment, talented workforce, dining options, walkability and bicycle routes. On a clear day he can bike from his home in Holmes Point to his office in Parkplace where he has a view of Lake Washington. On rainy days he has a short drive and free parking.
If he has his way, the next time you attend a major conference, trade show or event, you will use your smartphone to access all of the important information about it. He is the Kirkland-based Senior VP of sales and marketing for CrowdCompass, a high-growth, high-tech startup that develops and sells mobile apps to the organizers of complex gatherings that bring together exhibitors, speakers and attendees.
The company was started in Portland, OR in April 2009 by founders Tom Kingsley, CEO, Brian Felder, CPO and Dave Shanley, CTO. They shared the same entrepreneurial vision of moving event organizers away from costly and static paper show guides and handouts, to delivering content via a mobile app directly to an end-users’ iPhone, iPad, Android or Blackberry. The app allows event participants to plan their engagement by viewing maps of the facility and nearby hotels and restaurants, searching for topics of interest, capturing attendee contact information, communicating via social networking sites, and providing feedback on presentations.
The company’s first client event was in September 2009 at a trade show for event organizers. That allowed them to showcase their product to an important group of decision makers. The product was a hit, and led to more sales and hiring to accommodate the company’s growth.
CrowdCompass enjoys an important competitive advantage over its rivals in terms of development time. A customer application that would take its competitors over two months to write can often be done in as little as one week. Event organizers are able to defray some or all of the cost of the app by selling advertising to their exhibitors. The company recently wrote a mobile app for Pittcon, who holds an annual conference and exposition on laboratory science that attracts over 20,000 attendees from industry, academia and government.
The Kirkland office currently has three employees and is actively recruiting more, with a goal of adding a new team member every few months. Parkplace offered the company a flexible lease in which the rate paid is tied to the number of employees. That helps the company better align its revenues with expenses and manage its growth. Hiring needs include software development, support and sales. Those interested in exploring job opportunities with CrowdCompass should direct their inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. General information can be found on the company’s website at www.crowdcompass.com and company updates can be followed on Twitter at @MatthewDR and @CrowdCompass.
CrowdCompass 410 Parkplace Kirkland, WA 98033 www.crowdcompass.com