Compatio Launches SmartBuilder eCommerce Solution

April 13, 2021Members, News

Compatio Launches SmartBuilder eCommerce Solution

The startup has announced the release of its SmartBuilder technology just in time for the 2021 Bicycle Leadership Conference (BLC).

Making eCommerce Smarter

Compatio, founded to transform the way people shop for complex products online, is excited to announce the release of its SmartBuilder technology just in time for the 2021 Bicycle Leadership Conference (BLC). SmartBuilder is designed to accommodate any type of consumer specialty product and is immediately deployable for certain categories of outdoor gear such as bicycling and fly fishing. Focused SmartBuilder applications targeted specifically for the cycling industry are also available out of the box, including Bike Builder, Drivetrain Builder and Bike Accessorizer.

The SmartBuilder tool includes a variety of features that cater to consumers’ needs when shopping online, and discovering and pairing complex outdoor equipment.

Retailers and DTC manufacturers, as well as consumers, are more satisfied with an eCommerce site that utilizes Compatio’s SmartBuilder technology,” said Tim Baynes, CEO and Founder of Compatio.

“SmartBuilder allows consumers to discover and build a technically valid and complete custom solution with products from the retailer’s catalogue. It gives the consumer confidence that they’re purchasing the correct products or parts for their outdoor equipment setup, while ensuring that retailers and manufacturers are satisfying their customers’ needs and minimizing the risk of incompatible products being returned.”

Compatio CEO & Founder Tim Baynes at efactory Demo Day, 2019

SmartBuilder can be integrated into any open eCommerce platform. Key features include:

SmartBuilder for the Bicycle Industry

Bicycle retailers that use Compatio’s SmartBuilder technology on their eCommerce website will be able to offer their online customers the personalized experience they’ve come to expect in-store. Similar to personalizing a car on an automaker’s website, SmartBuilder’s recommendations will help consumers discover how to set up their bike and configure it properly for who they are and how they ride. Customers receive expert recommendations at the point of sale, and achieve a deeper attachment to cycling since they’ll have a better understanding of how to extract best value from their investment.

About Compatio

Based in Springfield, Missouri, Compatio is building the world’s first Knowledge-Based Commerce platform, and the only digital commerce platform engineered specifically to sell complete solutions and not just products. Tim Baynes, Compatio’s Founder and CEO, is globally recognized for his expertise in product configuration, a.k.a. CPQ or configure-price-quote systems. He has designed, implemented and led project teams for these systems at Fortune 100 companies worldwide. Compatio is an efactory accelerator portfolio company and a private office client.

City of Springfield Hosts Virtual Open House for Renew Jordan Creek

April 9, 2021News

City of Springfield to Host Virtual Open House for Renew Jordan Creek

It's Time to Revitalize Jordan Creek!

It’s time to revitalize Jordan Creek in downtown Springfield – and the City of Springfield wants to hear your feedback!

What’s the story behind this project?

In the late 1990s, the Springfield community came together to form a collective vision for a community gathering place – Jordan Valley Park. This vision that was cast nearly 30 years ago still rings true today. So much so that in 2020, City Council identified the concept of Quality of Place as a priority for the community, and the Renew Jordan Creek project demonstrates this ideal.

This is a planning and design process that will focus heavily on public engagement through June 2021. Before the ultimate design for the project is determined, the community will be asked to share their thoughts and ideas for this important project to make sure it reflects local desires.

With the community vision cast by early summer 2021, then design for the project will begin. This phase of the project involves significant modifications to existing floodplain and floodway areas along Jordan Creek and may entail daylighting portions of Jordan Creek currently confined within the concrete box culverts (daylighting refers to the restoration of a stream back to a more natural state).

The Renew Jordan Creek project is only one part of a big picture planning effort and other large-scale improvements in the downtown area, largely focused on water quality improvement and flood reduction.

Get Involved

Citizens are encouraged to participate in a virtual open house to provide their feedback. Take a few minutes nowto learn more and share your thoughts about the future of Jordan Creek!

StepNpull Lands Six-Figure Deal On Shark Tank

April 6, 2021Members, News

Innovative Product for Hands-Free Door Opening Lands Six-Figure Deal On “Shark Tank”

A bidding war broke out over StepNpull on Friday’s airing of “Shark Tank” on ABC 

StepNpull Lands Six-Figure Deal

StepNpull, the Springfield Missouri-based manufacturer of market-leading foot-operated door openers, landed a deal with businessman, author, and television personality Kevin O’Leary aka “Mr. Wonderful” on Friday’s episode of ABC’s hit reality show, “Shark Tank.” 

Mike Sewell entered the “Shark Tank” on behalf of his two business partners Ron Ely and Kelly Coddington, seeking $300,000 for a 3% stake in the company. 

The episode opened with Sewell’s pitch, a gross, eye-opening, and humorous depiction of someone not washing their hands after using the urinal in the men’s restroom. Sewell demonstrated how the StepNpull device allows people to open doors with their feet to avoid touching public door handles with their hands. 

“Every entrepreneur’s dream is watching the Sharks start a bidding war,” said a “Shark Tank” social media post featuring StepNpull negotiations from Friday’s episode. Potential investors Lori Greiner, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary were all quick to “bite” on the StepNpull idea. Each Shark kept lowering their equity in a race for a deal. 

Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec were the first two Sharks to drop out of the negotiations, but not after complimenting Sewell and the StepNpull team for living the “American and inventor’s dream.” 

Securing Investment from the Sharks

O’Leary started off the bidding by offering $300,000 for a 10% stake in the company. John quickly countered O’Leary’s offer promising a reduction in manufacturing costs and $300,000 for 12% of the company. 

Greiner made the next offer of $300,000 for a 5% stake, plus a royalty of $0.50 until $500,000 was paid. The royalty would then drop to $0.20 in perpetuity. Her vision included getting StepNpull into all big-box retailers and an infomercial strategy to sell them as a “consumer product.” Other Sharks and Sewell were not sold on the strategy, as the large majority of sales are business-to-business. 

John followed up with a second offer, reducing his equity from 12% to 8%. StepNpull’s Sewell countered John to drop his equity to 6% which was quickly refused. After the counter-offer to John, Greiner dropped out of the negotiations. 

In an effort to maintain equity, Sewell countered once again for John to revise his offer to 7%, which was interrupted by O’Leary, who quickly suggested he would be interested in 7% for a $300,000 investment in the company. After the offer, John still refused to budge, citing the value he knew he would bring to the table for the company. 

To put more pressure on John, O’Leary once again lowered his equity in the offer, this time to 6% for a $300,000 investment in StepNpull. Cuban chimed in and kept telling Sewell to “stick to his guns” and maybe even “walk away” from a deal to continue to run the business successfully as his business has for the last 13 years. 

After careful thought, Sewell accepted the $300,000 for 6% equity in the company from O’Leary.

“We are beyond excited to partner with Kevin O’Leary and his team, we have believed in our vision for over 13 years and we think the decision to work with Mr. Wonderful will help us take StepNpull to the next level,” said StepNpull Co-Founder and CEO Mike Sewell. 

StepNpull appeared Friday, April 2nd on ABC’s “SharkTank,” a critically acclaimed, multi-Emmy® Award-winning reality show that gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to secure business deals. Entrepreneurs pitch their companies and ideas to a group of Sharks, described by ABC as “tough, self-made, multimillionaire and billionaire tycoons,” in the hope of convincing one or more of the investors to give them the funding they need to turn their dreams into million-dollar realities. 

About StepNpull

StepNpull is the creator, designer, and manufacturer of the world’s leading hands-free foot door opener. The company’s patented, ADA-compliant foot-operated device mounts on any commercial latch-less wood or metal door, giving users the option of pulling the door open with their foot instead of the door handle. The StepNpull device was created as a way to minimize the spread of germs through constant touching of door handles in high-traffic locations. 

StepNpull was founded in 2007 by Mike Sewell, Ron Ely and Kelly Coddington, who previously worked together in the telecommunications industry. The company is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri and has manufacturing facilities and distribution partnerships around the world. StepNpull is a former efactory incubator client.

Read more about StepNpull’s important work to reduce the spread of germs in response to COVID-19.

CloudPano Announces Partnership with Realtor.com

April 6, 2021Members, News

CloudPano Announces Partnership with Realtor.com

The immersive virtual tour application will allow home buyers to experience a home without having to step foot inside.

CloudPano Announces Partnership with Realtor.com

CloudPano is excited to announce that the virtual tour application has directly integrated with realtor.com, launching an exciting partnership to provide additional 3D tour options for home shoppers. As part of this integration, real estate agents can now upload tours from CloudPano directly to listings on realtor.com.

Virtual home tours have been on the rise for several years now, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only emphasized the importance of this technology and accelerated its adoption. Virtual experiences are in demand among home buyers and sellers alike: buyers consistently prefer listings with immersive content like 3D tours, and sellers are looking for pros who know how to leverage virtual technology to get more eyes on and “inside” their home without having to physically open their doors to countless prospects.

“We are thrilled to integrate our virtual tour platform with Realtor.com. Realtor.com was a great partner to work with in developing the integration, and now anyone can get their property listed in 360 for free and with just a smartphone. CloudPano continues to grow our staff, our user base, and our partnerships at a rapid pace – ensuring that we will remain a dominant leader in 360. Exciting things ahead!”

Clayton Rothschild
Co-Founder, Leader of Product & Teams,
CloudPano

“Concerns around the pandemic certainly heightened the demand for 3D tours, as many home shoppers wanted to explore the home but didn’t feel comfortable visiting in person. However, they are more than just a COVID solution, they are now an important option for consumers during their home buying journey,” said Rachel Morley, Chief Product Officer, Realtor.com.

CloudPano also leverages smartphone cameras which enable quick scanning and cost less than solutions that require specialized equipment. By providing agents with low-cost, easy-to-use options, CloudPano will help realtor.com increase the accessibility and availability of 3D tours on the platform. And while the pandemic accelerated virtual tour adoption — at the peak of the lockdowns, listings with virtual tours received 17% more views per property — that momentum has continued. In December, listings with 3D tours on realtor.com were up 227% since the pandemic began in March.

About CloudPano

CloudPano is the industry leader in immersive tours – equipping sales professionals with the tools needed to effectively capture and share engaging virtual tours. The platform is utilized across a wide range of industries – including colleges offering tours to prospective students, RV dealerships giving shoppers a glimpse inside new models, and of course real estate pros looking to sell properties. 

The technology can be tailored for anything a business is selling, and the platform makes it easy for users to shoot and publish in just a few clicks. Users can create fully branded, 360 degree tours with no coding experience – and they can do it from their smartphone in five minutes or less.

Once each space is captured, users drag and drop images and set an initial view for each scene in one click. Tours can be customized with logos and branding, hotspots can be added to teleport between scenes, and the experience can be enhanced with soundscapes, customized floor plans and more. When it’s time to share to a website CloudPano makes publishing easy, using a code-based link that can be easily embedded into any website. The platform also supports live video and chat capabilities, so sales professionals can walk prospects through spaces, answer questions and more in real-time.

Today CloudPano has more than 70,000 tours on the platform and empowers more than 21,000 entrepreneurs, photographers and real estate brokers to create world-class virtual tours. With co-founders based at the efactory in Springfield, MO and in Houston, TX, CloudPano is the best software platform for publishing virtual tours.

Janet & Jim Anderson Make Naming Commitment in Support of efactory Expansion

March 30, 2021News

Janet & Jim Anderson Make Naming Gift in Support of efactory Expansion

A Commitment to Entrepreneurship 

The efactory is excited to celebrate Janet and Jim Anderson’s recent gift in support of the efactory and our expansion project. This gift will support our program’s ongoing efforts to foster innovation, support entrepreneurship, and grow businesses in southwest Missouri. 

The newly named Anderson Conference Room provides collaboration and meeting space for efactory members, corporate partners and community members. It is located on the recently renovated second floor of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center. 

Janet and Jim Anderson have built a legacy of leadership and community involvement in SpringfieldJim Anderson served as President of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce for more than 25 years and was instrumental in the formation of our community’s vision for IDEA Commons, the Jordan Valley Innovation Center and the efactoryHe has been a champion of small business, entrepreneurship and innovation throughout his career. 

Anderson spoke at the dedication of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center in October of 2013, saying This facility symbolizes the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive and well in the Ozarks. It’s a symbol of the can-do attitude and culture of collaboration that we enjoy in our region. 

This asset will allow us to foster that entrepreneurial culture for countless businesses well into the future. The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center is now the epicenter for entrepreneurship in Springfield.,” he went on to say. 

About the efactory 

The efactory opened its doors in March of 2013 with one goal in mind: to serve entrepreneurs and business owners throughout southwest Missouri. Today our network of programs is designed to support both large and small businesses throughout southwest Missouri. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking for 1:1 assistance or a large employer addressing workforce challenges, we’re here to help you start, scale and succeed. Learn more about the impact our programs make in southwest Missouri. 

The efactory is proud to be part of IDEA CommonsMissouri State University’s vision to create an urban innovation park that includes residential, retail, commercial, and entertainment facilities supported by multidisciplinary university programs. 

StepNpull to be Featured on Shark Tank

March 23, 2021Members, News

StepNpull to be Featured on Shark Tank

StepNpull to be Featured on ABC's Shark Tank

StepNpull, the Springfield, Mo.-based manufacturer of market-leading foot operated door openers, will be featured on an upcoming episode of ABC’s hit reality show, “Shark Tank.” 

The episode featuring StepNpull is scheduled to air Friday, April 2, at 7 p.m. CST. “Shark Tank” airs nationwide on ABC. 

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to appear on ‘Shark Tank,’ which will help us introduce the StepNpull device to even more potential customers,” said StepNpull Co-Founder and CEO Mike Sewell. 

Sewell entered the “Shark Tank” to demonstrate how the StepNpull device can help people open doors with their foot to avoid touching public door handles with their hands. Sewell explained to the potential investors the history of the company and how the easy-to-install device has exploded in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

StepNpull launched in 2007 by Sewell and two of his former co-workers, Ron Ely and Kelly Coddington. Sewell had the idea for the device after watching employees at the telecommunications firm where he worked open the bathroom door using paper towels to avoid touching the door handle. 

For the first several years, StepNpull was a side hustle the partners worked on in their free time. The company expanded with purchases from major corporations like Boeing, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Google, and Walmart. Lowe’s, Amazon and other retailers started selling the device. Next came international expansion with distribution partners established in The United Kingdom, Slovenia, Australia, Hong Kong, and South Africa. 

But the real growth for the company began about a year ago with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“From the moment the pandemic began, our phone hasn’t stopped ringing,” said Sewell. “Everybody is more concerned with stopping the spread of germs. The StepNpull hands-free door opener is one of the best ways to protect the public from spreading germs because people don’t have to touch the same door handles over and over again.” 

Since the pandemic began, the company’s patented device has gained national and international media coverage. Orders have flooded in from around the world. This required additional employees at its Springfield, Missouri headquarters as well as more international distributors and manufacturing capacity. 

StepNpull sought to partner with the “Sharks” to leverage their business knowledge and experience to help expand its operations globally and support the exploding demand for its product. 

“Shark Tank” is a critically acclaimed, multi-Emmy® Award-winning reality show that gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to secure business deals. Entrepreneurs pitch their companies and ideas to a group of “Sharks,” described by ABC as “tough, self-made, multimillionaire and billionaire tycoons,” in the hope of convincing one or more of the investors to give them the funding they need to turn their dreams into million-dollar realities. 

StepNpull will appear on “Shark Tank” on Friday, April 2, at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CST) on ABC. 

About StepNpull

StepNpull is the creator, designer, and manufacturer of the world’s leading hands-free foot door opener. The company’s patented, ADA-compliant foot-operated device mounts on any commercial latch-less wood or metal door, giving users the option of pulling the door open with their foot instead of the door handle. The StepNpull device was created as a way to minimize the spread of germs through constant touching of door handles in high-traffic locations. 

StepNpull was founded in 2007 by Mike Sewell, Ron Ely and Kelly Coddington, who previously worked together in the telecommunications industry. The company is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri and has manufacturing facilities and distribution partnerships around the world. The company is a former efactory incubator client.

For more information visit www.stepnpull.com, or for interviews, call Digital Marketing Manager Nick Simmonds at (618) 719-4472 or email nick@stepnpull.com. For online coverage, embed StepNpull videos or request additional images and videos from ABC at https://www.wdtvpress.com/.

City of Springfield to host Grant Avenue Parkway industry meeting and disadvantaged business mixer

March 19, 2021News

City to host Grant Avenue Parkway Industry Meeting and Disadvantaged Business Mixer

The April 1 event is designed to share project goals and provide additional information.

The City of Springfield will host an industry meeting for general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and design professionals to learn about the three-stage process to determine a successful design-build proposal for the Grant Avenue Parkway roadway improvement project.

The virtual industry meeting will be hosted at 10 a.m., Thursday, April 1, immediately followed by a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) mixer.

During the meeting, the City will review the Grant Avenue Parkway Request for Qualifications (RFQ), outline a timeline for Request for Proposals (RFP), discuss project goals and provide additional project information.

Following the meeting, the City will enter Stage 1 of the process, requesting statements of qualification from interested proposers. Stage 1 RFQ documents including procedures for submitting statements of qualification will be posted to the project website and available for download at www.grantavenueparkway.com

Included as part of the meeting will be a DBE mixer to introduce DBEs to industry contractors. Participants will be provided the opportunity to share a brief overview of their firm and qualifications. The intent of the DBE mixer is to provide opportunities to businesses owned and operated by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals.

“Not only is outreach to disadvantaged businesses a requirement of the Federal BUILD grant funding, but it’s also a commitment of the City of Springfield in all construction projects and truly is key to the inclusive, community focus at the heart of this improvement project,” said Public Works Director Dan Smith.

The City is committed to providing opportunities to DBE prime, general and subcontractors and encourages such business enterprises to submit responses in this process. A DBE goal for 10% Construction Activities and 12% for Professional Services has been established for the project.

Firms interested in attending the Industry Meeting and DBE Mixer are encouraged to fill out an interest form. Follow-up participation details will be provided.  

Questions regarding the meeting can be directed to project manager Leree Reese at lreese@springfieldmo.gov or 417-864-2069.

efactory Announces Partnership with SafetyWing

March 15, 2021News

efactory Announces New Partnership with SafetyWing

Another exclusive benefit available to efactory client companies.

Cover Your Team with SafetyWing

We’re excited to add a new platform to our efactory member perks programSafetyWing!

SafetyWing is a Y-Combinator company that provides travel medical insurance for digital nomads and global health insurance for remote companies and individuals.

If you have remote team members either as contractors or employees, you can get them health insurance (as well as dental and maternity add-ons) from SafetyWing no matter where they live. Global coverage means your team is all on one plan, wherever they live in the world or wherever they move.

Health insurance reduces sick days, increases retention and is often considered the most valued perk by employees. Our exciting new partnership means efactory client companies get a 15% discount on all SafetyWing plans.

Additional Perks

The new SafetyWing discount is one of several benefits available to efactory client companies. Companies are also eligible for savings from Google, Amazon Web Services, HubSpot, and more.