San Diego, CA Michael: If you ever wanted to buy a car, Point Predictive software probably helped get you behind the wheel.
San Diego-based CEO Tim Grace loves cars and gadgets. Whether it be the first all-electric high-end vehicle or the latest smartphone, he knows the power of being an early adopter.
Why? Because it makes him a better entrepreneur.
I’m Michael Hainsworth, and this is the Innovation Economy series, presented by CIBC Innovation Banking.
Innovation fuels growth
Co-founder and CEO | Point Predictive Tim: Hello, I'm Tim Grace. I'm the CEO and co-founder of Point Predictive.
Michael: If you ever wanted to buy a car like Tim’s — or any other one for that matter —there’s a good chance his software helped the bank decide whether or not to put you behind the wheel.
Less complicated loan process Tim: Point Predictive is a company that really enables lenders to decipher between whether or not the information on the application is falsified. It enables a more frictionless or less complicated loan process.
They don't have to produce a paycheck stub, they don't have to produce a proof of employment.
Michael: Don’t let the electric luxury car and the suit fool you. This long-time Burning Man attendee built this company from the ground up.
Tim: I'm a very early-stage CEO. So from two guys in a garage to about 300 people.
In an early stage company where you don't have any customers, it doesn't matter if you have a pipeline of a hundred customers. What you really need is one, or you need two, just to be real true partners with you.
Michael: So is there an analogy between being a car guy and being a startup guy?
Tim: You could think of the cliché things of, you know, I like to drive fast, so I want to be in a fast-moving startup company.
But I think that it's more about being someone who is willing to try new things.
I like to describe myself as a gadget guy, so there's not a lot of gadgets that I don't like.
Michael: This one included, clearly.
Tim: This one included.
Michael: What is it about the, the early adopter that that's in you?
Tim: I think it's about the innovation. It's that that makes us successful. We may not have done it before. We may not know how to approach it. We get together in a room, we figure it out and we actually do it. And so that's the difference between a large company and a small company like ours.
What I think the early adopter in me has taught me is that it's a rocky road sometimes.
When you early adopt a new technology, it's not always seamless.
I learned the patience from being an early adopter that really translates over being an innovator in the financial technology world.
Michael: When it came time for Point Predictive to accelerate growth, Tim’s investor coaxed him into debt financing.
Tim: They said, this is a company that has zero debt on the books, and you probably should put some debt financing on your books.
We looked at all the players, all the top American lenders, and CIBC came out on top. They were easiest, they had the best terms, and they were really nice to talk to.
My investor was over the moon. They said the terms were amazing.
Michael: Ok, punch it, Chewie!
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