The recent Iowa caucus app coding-issue disaster is a perfect example of what can go wrong when software isn’t thoroughly tested. But end-to-end and regression testing of software can be painfully expensive, leading many teams to not catch key bugs in their software, impairing its functionality like what happened in Iowa.
With Raleigh-based startup Elevon on the scene, these teams have a new place to go for help. You can see for yourself when Elevon presents at CED’s Venture Connect Summit (March 17-19) at the Raleigh Convention Center.
CEO and Founder Thad Parker worked in software management for over 25 years at companies like Allscripts and Bronto, witnessing the same problem: teams couldn’t find a way to test all of the parts of the software they wanted.
“Every one of my teams struggled to test our applications, specifically the user interface, the part that the users use,” Parker said. “That’s a big problem because when you have a bug in the user interface, it directly impacts your user. It can be something annoying that adds up over time, or you can have something fairly catastrophic like the recent caucus application.”
As a former manager, Parker knows many companies will either hire more testers or suffer the consequences—shipping the software without the amount of testing they would like—if they do not have the budget to do so. That’s what led Parker to launch Elevon and, its core product Spotter, in 2018.
“With Spotter, we solve the problem,” Parker said. “We use artificially intelligent simulated users to examine the application and automatically build tests hundreds of thousands of times faster than a person can do it. With Spotter testing, you can build out a test suite that covers over 99% of the user interface in a couple of days, and that’s something that not even the largest teams can do in years.”
Operating as a SaaS business model, companies pay a fee each month, the full amount depending on the size of the application tested and how many applications are tested. Currently, Elevon is entirely bootstrapped.
Elevon has the potential to change the game of how web applications are developed, Parker believes. He said that before now, software engineering teams didn’t have a safety net covering their entire application. Spotter allows them to ship products faster while reducing the number of bugs.
“One of the ways to think about it is they’re going to go from tiptoeing across this tightrope, afraid they’re going to fall and really hurt themselves, to being able to run across the tightrope, knowing that if they fall Spotter will catch them,” Parker said.
Parker is excited to share the Elevon-Spotter story at Venture Connect. He will present at the summit on Wednesday, March 18 in Room301A/B.
“I think we’ve got something that’s potentially very compelling here,” Parker said. “There aren’t many opportunities left to fundamentally alter how we develop software. But I think testing is an area where there is still an opportunity to make an impact. And I think Elevon’s going to be the company that does it.”