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Grow: The Everyman’s Business Intelligence Dashboard

Provo-based startup Grow is bringing company scores to TV screens around the office.

“What’s the score? Hey, man, do you know the score? SOMEBODY TELL ME THE SCORE!” It seems to be a common refrain among the sports following crowd, as any fan devoted to any one team waits impatiently to learn how their beloved group is faring in the latest athletic competition (that’s what the real sports aficionados call them, right?).

But soon, “What’s the score?” may very well be a question asked often around the office, and the answer will be as simple as “Check the dashboard.”

Provo-based startup Grow is bringing company scores to TV screens around the office. “But what’s a company score?” you probably just asked out-loud, and now the guy one cubicle over is giving you that look — AGAIN. A company score is a display board, but unlike other business intelligence displays, Grow’s is simple. It may be as simple as a single number if the score is for a specific “player” (employee), or it may be an entire dashboard for a “coach” (manager). Regardless of the amount of data on screen, the display is easy to interpret and quick to motivate.

Founder and CEO of Grow Rob Nelson says, “When people see the score, performance improves. Essentially we’re helping small and medium businesses measure the right things and hold team members accountable…One number can be enough to motivate the team to increase performance.”

Built specifically for entrepreneurs, Grow’s business intelligence is not only easy to understand, but easy to create as well. A dashboard takes minutes, not months, to build. Grow connects with pre-configured data sources like Quickbooks, Salesforce, and Instagram, and allows KPI’s and metrics to be dropped into the dashboard. Users can then connect data from spreadsheets and databases to customize their dashboard.

“We focus on being dead simple to use. In other words, you don’t need to be a data scientist to run [the BI]. We built Grow for entrepreneurs and managers to quickly build and measure what matters most to them,” Nelson says.

Grow is also extremely affordable — at $39 to $1,000 per month, compared to the $30,000 to $50,000 other BI companies charge.

“I started Grow because at my last company we desperately needed this solution. We tracked all of our business stats in several spreadsheets. It was such a pain to update. I keep getting similar feedback from other business owners. The demand is there — just not a simple and affordable solution. After I sold my last company, I decided to start Grow,” Nelson says.

Cool idea, right? Yeah, well, investors agree, which is why Grow recently raised $1.5 million dollars. That’s million with an M. The investors include Kickstart Seed Fund, Pelion Ventures, Peterson Ventures, Cougar Capital, and Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard.

“I think they invested in Grow because of the huge need small and medium businesses have to measure the right things in their business. They also saw the difficulty these companies have in finding an easy and affordable solution”, Nelson says.

Perhaps what will impress you more than the actual figure raised, which is certainly impressive, is learning that this is Nelson’s first time fundraising. His previous company, a shipping analytics solution named Logica, was bootstrapped, so raising money from investors was a completely new experience. An experience that he approached rather wisely.

“I started the process by talking to people who raised money for their startups. They provided introductions and I started by going to lunch with those introductions. I sought advice first, not money,” Nelson says.

Once he was ready to start gathering money, Nelson had options and was able to choose those venture capitalist partners he felt would add the most value beyond capital.

Nelson expects to go 15 months with the recent funding to break even and start the next round of fundraising. In those 15 months, Grow plans to service hundreds of small and medium businesses with their simple and affordable BI solution.

What’s the score? Grow is winning.

Published 12/16/2014