One startup from Launch Chapel Hill’s spring accelerator hopes to change the game when it comes to businesses’ go-to-market forecast models.
After all, Kinetik Founder David Hughes is no stranger to forecasting models. It’s what he’s been building for the majority of his career.
No matter where he’s been, though, he’s found it challenging to build a sophisticated forecasting model in the time window required to actually influence a decision. Because companies often are not able to tackle this in-house, they hire consultants, who tend to be expensive and take the insight with them when they’re gone, Hughes said.
Hughes thought there had to be a better way to bring sophisticated simulation analytics into businesses’ go-to-market decision-making processes than just manually downloading hundreds of files and working through them. So, naturally—as entrepreneurs do—he decided to build one, officially founding Chapel Hill-based Kinetik last October.
Kinetik’s optimization software has a variety of uses: it can determine resource allocation and productivity drivers across channels, functions, products and markets. The software can tell business leaders the kind of impact that adding a certain amount of sellers or increasing marketing spend or business partners could create. And this impact will be easily visualized with Kinetik’s software, so companies don’t have to worry about the complexities that go into the model and can instead just benefit from its insights.
Ultimately, through its forecasting model, companies will be able to take more bold actions due to the power of Kinetik’s predictive analytics, Hughes said.
“The people that we’re trying to influence and the people that will buy our product are very senior people,” Hughes said. “They’re very busy. They’re trying to make these multi-million-dollar decisions. What they really want is to be able to say, what if I had 10 or 20 or 30 percent more leads coming in everyday? What if my win rate changed?”
That’s where Kinetik’s key differentiator is for companies, according to Hughes. Companies often lack the confidence to make key changes because they aren’t exactly sure what the outcome will be. Kinetik can provide these companies with the confidence to move forward with a specific action.
He credits his experience going through the Launch Chapel Hill program as pivotal in expanding his own view of what the business could be.
“The promise is not forecasting,” Hughes said. “The promise is optimization, revenue, growth and bold action.”
As a business, Kinetik has looked at the disruptions Covid-19 brought as opportunities instead of problems. For instance, the years of Zoom work and school has made it so that Kinetik was able to recruit a strong group of UNC student developers. When Hughes posted the job listings, he was inundated with responses.
“That really appealed to people who have been stuck inside of Zoom calls for the last two years,” Hughes said. “The idea of sitting across from each other and collaborating and actually building something really appealed to people.”
Kinetik’s potential clients are also more incentivized to understand how their processes have and should continue to change given the new market environments.
“The way people work and collaborate and get together has completely changed,” Hughes said. “People who have revenue-generating responsibility are saying, ‘I don’t think the world’s ever going to go back to the way it was in 2019. So I really need to optimize and fine-tune my go-to-market model to reflect the new realities of where we’re at post-Covid.’”
As the eight-person team works out of the Launch Chapel Hill office, they have much to look forward to. Kinetik’s MVP is set to be complete by the end of the summer. Hughes also is looking to raise $1.5 million in seed funding in the first quarter of next year.
“This is something that not only can we do, we have to do,” Hughes said. “This thing has got to get built, and we’ve got to get this thing to the point where we can start to show it to people and get some reaction.”