Kansas City’s DivvyHQ is only three years old, but counts major names as clients even as the field grows more competitive.
There’s no question that the last few years have been enormously productive for the KC Tech scene. Sparked in part by Google, whose first “Fiberhood” was quickly and spontaneous populated by the Kansas City Startup Village, and continued by promising endorsements like the new Sprint/Techstars Accelerator, Kansas City’s growing momentum in tech is undeniable.
One of the most exciting success stories to come out of the KC tech startup scene is DivvyHQ, a content marketing software company created by local entrepreneurs Brock Stechman and Brody Dorland. At just three years old, Divvy HQ has already launched a redesigned DivvyHQ 2.0, and counts Toyota, Intel, Cisco, 3m, Sprint and Walmart among its clients.
The success of Divvy HQ is due to in part to the innovative approach by Stechman and Dorland, whose backgrounds in digital agencies and corporate marketing helped them identify the unmet needs in content management. They found that even global, well-established companies have struggled to manage their digital content publication and streamline their marketing initiatives.
“They’re using tools that weren’t built to manage this process and they’re doing things so manually,” says Dorland. “They’re corresponding via email, they’re using multiple spreadsheets and platforms that weren’t really built for this process.”
Combined with the task of streamlining the efforts of marketing a company on a global scale, many organizations run into communication problems and risk wasting time and therefore, money. “We realized that there wasn’t a good tool out there to bring it all under one roof and have a single application that would help keep people on schedules, help them manage content through the production process and even help them distribute their content all under one software umbrella” says Dorland.
To meet these needs they created DivvyHQ, a cloud-based application and workflow manager that simplifies internal communication and houses all of a company’s initiatives, deadlines and goals. Each user has their own personal profile, where their dashboard displays upcoming personal deadlines as well as company-wide publishing responsibilities and features a chronological news feed reminiscent of social-media platforms.
Dorland and Stechman launched DivvyHQ in 2011 when the industry of content management was still so new it was hard to predict what kind of tool would really gain market traction. The recently launched DivvyHQ 2.0 is the result of deliberate attention to user feedback to DivvyHQ and maintaining productive client relationships.
“Now we know what the market needs,” says Stechman. “We know what they’re looking for in an application so it’s taken a lot of that guesswork out.”
DivvyHQ 2.0 is a more customizable application than its predecessor, so that companies can tailor content fields to their specific needs. “Every organization is completely unique: the structures of their teams, their processes, the types of content that they’re producing, the overall content marketing strategy,” says Dorland. “They really needed a tool that would be completely bend-able, moldable, flexible to their specific unique situations.” The latest version was also rebuilt with a new API framework to make it more compatible with the many publishing platforms companies need access to. Even with improvements made, DivvyHQ will continue to mold to the changing needs in content management. “The product will never be done. It’s a living breathing organism at this point” says Dorland.
As their company continues to grow and impress the KC startup community, Stechman and Dorland credit some of their success to Kansas City itself. As born and raised Kansas Citians and decade long veterans of its entrepreneurial climate, both refer to their decision to start their business in Kansas City as a deliberate one. While KC startups don’t always have access to the same kind of high-dollar investments that Silicon Valley startups often enjoy, that might be changing.
“Investors are starting to catch wind that the opportunity is here,” says Stechman. “Even investors from outside this region are starting to realize that Kansas city is a tech scene they really need to pay attention to because there (are) a lot of smart, innovative and really creative people here that are developing some really impressive companies.”