Orlando firm pivots, then lands in Techstars Atlanta

The decision was not an easy one for Brandon Storms.

After building a startup that revolved around creating a services marketplace in Orlando, the entrepreneur took part in an 8-week program meant to solidify a company’s path.

While there, however, an investor suggested that the company pivot and offer the platform they had built as a white label product for others trying to build marketplaces.

“Building a platform is incredibly expensive. It takes a great amount of time from start to finish,” Storms told Orlando Tech News.

While Storms said it wasn’t an easy decision, he and his team took the plunge and created a new startup Retavo.

Now, the company has signed four clients and will participate in the upcoming cohort of Atlanta’s Techstars powered by JP Morgan. The program begins today.

“So far, it’s been a pretty good decision,” he said.

Hello, Techstars

Retavo CEO Brandon Storms

Techstars powered by JP Morgan has long been considered one of the top accelerator programs around.

Several Orlando tech companies have gone through the accelerator. The program prepares entrepreneurs and their teams for life as a small business.

In a blog post on their website, Techstars officials said the 12 companies that will participate in the program came out of a lengthy application process.

“We are honored and humbled by the opportunity to spend the next 13 weeks working closely with these incredible founders, helping them on their journey to transform their industries, elevate their communities, and change the world,” the site read.

The mentorship in Techstars powered by JP Morgan programs usually includes experts and experienced entrepreneurs in similar fields.

The company will have its demo day in the program Dec. 8.

“The biggest thing I’m looking to take away from it is the wealth of knowledge and feedback from their tremendous network,” Storms said. “Building a startup is hard enough and the program gives you the ability to learn from those who have been there or are on the same journey you are on.”

“It felt validating for my team. All all the hard work has paid off up to this point,” Storms said of being accepted into Techstars powered by JP Morgan. “Building a startup is tough enough and getting into a world-class accelerator program like Techstars to help us navigate this awesome journey as we scale is exactly what we were looking for.”

Still, making the pivot was not exactly an easy decision, he said.

After putting a ton of work into Assistt, the team had been determind to see it succeed.

“My role as the leader of the company is to put the company first. I have to set any emotions aside,” said Storms, whose company employs eight. “I knew this pivot gave us the best chance to be a very successful company. I’m glad my team and cofounder Bryan Walsh supported me in that decision.”