SLM Technology, LLC [aka SoLoMo]
Liz Eversoll, 46, has been in the news a lot lately. Her new company, SLM Technology, LLC – affectionately nicknamed SoLoMo, which stands for Social-Local-Mobile – is creating a lot of buzz. Eversoll, the company's CEO, has been an IT whiz and entrepreneur for over 20 years. Recently, she left CDW intent on launching a cloud technology business, but events led her even further.
"Eversoll said that while mentoring a student, she met some graduate students at the UW who were trying to launch proximity and other mobile technology, but they lacked the funding or experience to do so. "I proposed we start a business around mobile solutions."
Hence, SLM Technology.
Eversoll is personally funding SoLoMo's initial year to the tune, she said, of six figures. When the company launched on April 28, five employees worked out of various coffee shops around town. Now, the company has secured downtown office space with an enviable view of Madison, and its staff of 17 (mostly young) techies feverishly create mobile applications for anyone with an idea and a budget.
"It's just so much less expensive to start a business these days," Eversoll noted. "You can buy technology in the cloud, you don't need internal IT. You can outsource HR, legal, finance, and any other kind of back-office support. So all we have is sales, marketing, product development, and technical talent. We can really focus on the core business."
And just what is that core business? Helping companies figure out their mobile plans in a world where 50% of the population owns smart phones, and where mobile devices will outnumber PCs within 18 months.
Eversoll calls it the perfect [technological] storm: the cloud, which enables mobile devices that people have with them all the time; technology, which provides the information people want or need; and social media, which shapes the information, the products, and allows businesses and consumers to interact directly.
"Traditional companies will have to change the way they do business," she said. "Technology is even changing how sales are done."
SoLoMo's diverse staff is a mix of equity employees, paid employees, and interns. "Interns love being here, working on all the latest stuff. We have more interns wanting to work here than we can handle."
Currently, the company is developing customer applications for Mad City Cocktails, and a consumer app for another customer wanting to find places to swim all across the country. Simple apps can take between four and six weeks to create, and cost between $5,000 and $150,000, but on average, Eversoll said SoLoMo's app development is averaging $20,000 to $40,000.
The cash cow right now, though, is the company's IT consulting work, which really pays the bills. As of this writing, 12 companies were on board for that expertise.
By the end of the year, Eversoll believes SoLoMo will be cash-flow positive, and one year from now, she expects to be pulling in over $1 million. "For me, this is a two- to three-year project," she admits, saying she'll sell the products or the company during that time, and she's now seeking investors. Meanwhile, "I'm having a blast," she smiled.
Sign up for the free IB Update – your weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. Click here.