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Built In Chicago and Marengo Hampshire Partners would like to congratulate August's Startup of the Month: InContext Solutions! An award-winning technology firm, InContext Solutions, seeks to lead the industry in best in class analytics and market research. Their unique take on research centers on providing clients a way to test various scenarios in a virtual store with real customers before going to market.
For many companies, high costs or a lack of resources are obstacles in the path of testing hypotheses, meaning a lot of ideas never get explored, let alone realized. InContext Solutions wants to demolish that roadblock, making it possible for companies to virtually “see” how a store or product change would affect their businesses. Sophisticated 3D modeling and using the open expanse of the World Wide Web makes this possible in a way previously unthinkable.
In 2009, Tracey Wiedmeyer founded InContext Solutions with Bob Gillespie and Rich Scamehorn “with a vision to revolutionize how virtual simulations could be used by leading businesses across the globe.” Last November, Hyde Park Venture Partners and Hyde Park Angels co-led a $1.5 million investment in InContext Solutions, which brings their funding to date to a total of nearly $2.7 million. Today, they work with many Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and retailers, the kind whose products fall into consumers’ hands daily, to imagine new futures for their businesses.
Learn more about InContext Solutions’ business and goals via our Q&A with co-founder and CTO Wiedmeyer.
WHAT DOES INCONTEXT SOLUTIONS DO?
InContext Solutions is an award winning technology and market research firm. We focus on helping our clients tackle unique challenges by applying a combination of sophisticated 3D simulations with the speed and scalability of the web to deliver market leading research and advanced analytics.
WHAT DO YOUR TOOLS ALLOW CLIENTS TO DO?
Our platform allows retailers, manufacturers and research partners to visualize what a change in visual stimuli could look like for their products or brands and to help them test their hypotheses in the context of a virtual store--with real consumers. By providing the leading edge virtual store platform our clients are able to test and understand implications, on a global scale, without investing in physical store changes or actual product designs. Our platform consistently shortens the feedback loop for clients as they work through innovative change in a fast moving marketplace.
HOW DID THIS IDEA COME ABOUT?
Our virtual store platform was conceived when we realized a gap in the market and an opportunity to use unconventional technology to solve a conventional problem. Much like many companies that get founded with this premise, we have never been satisfied with our progress and continue to use our founding principles as a guide stick to evolving our business.
WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY'S GREATEST STRENGTH?
InContext’s greatest strength is our dedication to our clients. Without question we’re constantly focused on their end game, which is a reminder that it’s not about us, it’s about providing value for our clients so their businesses can evolve. We have some amazing people here that show this dedication in and out, every day. It’s a reminder to me personally that great people serving great clients go hand in hand--it’s very difficult to have one without the other.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2012?
Our goals for 2012 are definitely aggressive. We’re moving pretty quickly into international markets, which has both been exciting and challenging at the same time. Our platform continues to evolve and we’re being pushed more and more by our clients to continue building a world class research technology business that can help answer challenging problems in as close to real time as possible while still being cost effective. The great part about building a business that is focused on the client is the rate at which we are forced to adapt to a changing marketplace--our goals on January 1st have changed several times. We are uniquely positioned for this constant adaptation now and in the future because it’s who we have been and will continue to be.
Visit InContext Solutions’ website, check out their BIC company profile and follow them on Twitter at @incontext.