Dec 182013

Passion is the key to building a successful startup business believes Connect2Field‘s Steve Oronstein.

Running an IT support service is a tough game and it was the lessons Steve learned in running a PC service business during his teens gave him the passion to solve some of the industry’s problems and the idea to launch what’s become part of a global business.

“My very first business when I was nineteen was an IT support business,” Steve says. “During that business I saw it was an absolute nightmare being able to manage all those field workers, managing job sheets and invoicing customers.

“I did that for four or five years and then decided I didn’t want to do that all,” remembers Steve. “I started seeing some opportunities to do some work in job management. From the knowledge I had from the problems in the previous business, I could see there was an opportunity for a product.”

Finding international investors

Steve quickly realised there was an international market for that business and Connect To Field quickly caught the attention of global investors, “I would constantly receive emails from VCs about investing the business.”

One day Steve received a LinkedIn connection and the path to being acquired by a larger company started.

“At the time Fleetmatics came along there were two businesses that were looking to acquire the business. That happened through a LinkedIn connection.”

“A request one morning from someone from Fleetmatics wanting to connect with me and wanting to talk about a partnership. That happened very quickly and we were acquired.”

The importance of smart investors

Steve thinks investors have been a critical part of the business’ growth and not just for the capital they bring in, but also for their expertise.

“The key thing in the very beginning was to raise investment from people who could also be mentors,” says Steve.

“I formed a board with five of people with skills in different parts of the business – legal, marketing, sales, technology”

“When we went through the acquisition space it was invaluable having a board we could bounce ideas off and strategise with.”

For Steve, his advice to other entrepreneurs is to be find a problem and be passionate about solving it.

“I was very passionate about being able to provide a solution for my customers and I knew that what we were delivering would add real value to those business.”

“Finding something that you’re passionate is the number one thing and the rest of it will follow,” says Steve.

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