Andrew Eddy is the epitome of “entrepreneur.”
As a self-proclaimed nerd, Eddy began designing mobile applications and websites in college and quickly realized he had found his niche after being recognized with the College of Charleston Entrepreneur of the Year award. Though he’s no stranger to the startup spotlight, this year has been incredibly significant in his entrepreneurial journey. We were excited to have the chance to sit down with him to reflect on all the madness:
So, first, tell us what Sequr is all about.
Sequr is a cloud-based access control and visitor management platform. We provide a tech-enabled solution to antiquated access systems by replacing your key fobs and cards with a cloud-based access control that operates from your phone. At its essence, Sequr is a software for managing access to restricted areas. We’re also proud to be pioneering the mobile access space where users can utilize their phone to enter an apartment complex or office space rather than a key card.
I saw that your co-founder, Michael Maxsenti, also attended CofC. Could you speak a bit on the start of that relationship and what propelled you to develop a software together?
Michael and I met at college in Charleston (side note: that city was hard to leave. Definitely one of my favorite places in the world). Our groups overlapped and it was only natural for us to become close. We always saw eye-to-eye in terms of what we wanted to do with our careers – we both had the entrepreneurial bug (or parasite, if you will). But yes, the formation of our LLC was in Charleston. Sequr was born in our college apartment.
Born in Charleston, raised in Atlanta – killer combo. Tell us about your experience so far in the Atlanta startup community.
In 2016, we set out to build our Access Control product based on customer feedback. We did our research, planned out what it was going to look like, and got to building. Atlanta is an incredible place to build a startup. There are so many resources around here to support growing businesses. Georgia Tech, ATDC, Atlanta Tech Village, all these accelerators popping up…it’s incredible.
We agree. Any Atlanta experiences in particular that helped you grow?
Yep. We had the awesome opportunity to participate in TechStars Atlanta this year. It’s a three month program in one of the coolest spaces in Atlanta – Ponce City Market. The resources we gained from that experience are invaluable – the perks, the network of incredible business leaders you have access to. Cox is the corporate partner and they go above and beyond to serve as a resource for just about anything. TechStars was instrumental in getting us to where we are today.
Sounds incredible. How does it feel to be one of the first Atlanta graduates from techstars?
Incredible. But those 90 days were not easy. It was one of the most stressful and trying times of my life. Whether we wanted to or not, they were going to drag us through the hard stuff of building a company. But at the end, we were well-equipped to hit the ground running and scale our business. It all capped off with Demo Day – the culmination of three hard months of work where we got to share our business and our journey. It was absolutely electrifying.
TechStars Demo Day was the very same week as Venture Atlanta. Talk about pitch overload…tell us about it.
I was nervous for the Demo Day pitch. But for Venture Atlanta, I wasn’t nervous at all. I think pitching to a room full of family and friends was more intimidating than pitching to a room of big time investors. I mean, pitching is never easy or relaxing, but it’s an important step for getting us where we need to be.
For sure! Speaking of…congrats on closing your latest round. What’s next for Sequr?
Obviously a lot of moving pieces. This round was solely dedicated to spinning up and ramping up sales for 2017. We’re in a good place product wise – always adding on functionality and building on new features. But right now, it’s important to start scaling the business itself. We’ve definitely found a product/market fit. Over the next 90-180 days we’ll be ramping up our sales team and pushing our product out to the national market.
That’s great. We’re definitely excited to be a part of your journey.
We recently onboarded with Acuity, and it’s been a great experience. The COO, Matthew, has been an amazing resource and a big help to me personally. Their Director of Business Development, Bridgett, has made more intros just for the sake of helping me out than anyone else I know. That just goes to show the kind of business Acuity is running – always going above and beyond to make themselves available as a resource. Their team is incredibly connected and active in the Atlanta startup community, which will help as we scale and grow with this new round. I’m excited to have their financial expertise on a macro and micro level to help us stay in a good place.
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of entrepreneurial life so far?
For me, it’s definitely being able to employ someone. That might sound strange – but the fact that I’ve been able to hire a few people and give them a livelihood and a way to make a living is incredible. It’s never something I would have thought about starting out with all this, but it’s ended up being one of the most meaningful aspects of the job for me.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far in the journey?
Every entrepreneur has had moments where they want to through in the towel. Not saying that temptation would ever come into fruition – entrepreneurs are a stubborn bunch. But in the beginning, the tougher times outweigh the wins, so it’s important to celebrate each small win. In those tough moments, I like to think back to why we started in the first place.