Pre-Seed Workshop - New York
Pre-Seed Workshop - New York
Pre-Seed Workshop - New York
"The Pre-Seed Workshop is the best approach I have seen to the challenging issue of determining if academic researchers have an idea that can become a commercially successful venture."

Sean Boykevisch
Senior Licensing Associate
Stony Brook University, Long Island

Nice Niche Feeds Cash Flow with Customer Converts for eSolve

Finding the appropriate market for your business can feel like playing darts in a dark room. That’s why Dr. Guy Cortesi (right) came to Pre-Seed Workshop with his company eSolve Solutions, Inc. “We needed to find our focus,” he said. eSolve offers web-based collaboration tools to help improve workplace productivity. Unlike similar products like Dropbox, which are file-focused, eSolve creates an interactive virtual “office” for customers. “It’s a more efficient and organized way to bring remote workers together on a project,” Cortesi said.

Cortesi knew these tools could be effective for businesses, but he wasn’t sure how to differentiate his product. “I wanted to improve our distribution and learn about marketing and selling,” he said. At PSW, Cortesi learned what was unique about eSolve’s services and developed an approach to move forward. “We were trying to market our product to everyone,” he said. “At PSW, we discovered the value of focusing on a particular niche or industry and tailoring our services for them.”

In searching for the right niche, Cortesi decided he wanted to use his services to do some good in the world. “We had a couple of really loyal customers already,” he said. “So we could focus on where we wanted to make an impact.” With this in mind, eSolve created SteepleConnect, a virtual workplace for churches. The product is designed to help coordinate volunteers for worship services and plan special projects and events. “We started by offering a free version,” Cortesi explained, “and we converted nearly 50% of those users to paying customers.” Those paying customers are the current fuel on which eSolve runs. “It gives us a steady flow of revenue,” Cortesi said. “I haven’t yet sought out investors, so the business runs on that.”

Looking to the future, Cortesi is hopeful that he can continue to grow eSolve by catering to niche markets. “When we find the right group,” he said, “It’s huge. People are calling us for more business.”

Want to learn more about Pre-Seed Workshop alumni, their experiences, and progress? Check out our Alumni Stories by clicking here.