Why This Chicago Startup Makes Software to Make Software

Written by Andreas Rekdal
Published on Feb. 08, 2016
Why This Chicago Startup Makes Software to Make Software

Capria Solutions makes software for making software.


When companies grow out of their early startup phase, makeshift tools for tracking internal processes — shared spreadsheets, whiteboards, notebooks, Post-it notes — no longer suffice. Larger teams and multiple departments mean processes need to be more clearly defined and the business may even need custom tools. 

Since processes differ from company to company, many corporations hire consultants to custom-build software. But building that software is expensive and time-consuming.

“We were getting a lot of industry pushback on ‘Hey, you guys do great work, but the time to implementation?’” said Capria president Matt Kunkel, a former consultant (pictured above). “Especially in the consultancy world, where they need things, like, yesterday.”

His particular experience was from working in the legal, regulatory, and compliance space, where companies can face major fines that keep growing as projects get delayed. Seeing the need for a product that can be delivered more quickly, Kunkel and his co-founders came up with the idea for a SaaS platform that would let companies build exactly what they needed — with no programming experience required. Instead, customers create workflows using a drag-and-drop graphic interface.

For instance, say you work for a manufacturing company subject to new upcoming environmental regulation. If your company’s emissions are greater than the amount allowed by the upcoming law, you'll need to devise a plan to reduce them. That process will likely require involvement by engineers, architects, lawyers, financiers, management, government agencies and independent contractors. Moreover, if your company is big enough, you may be replicating the process dozens of times at plants across the country.

Rather than hire a team to track down and keep tabs on hundreds of stakeholders, or hire a team of consultants to automate the process for you, Capria Solutions’ LogicGate software lets you build an application that keeps all information about the process gathered in one place, and automates most of the follow-up.

In practice, this means that if the engineering team submits plans for a plant upgrade, the blueprints can be automatically forwarded to the legal team, which will review whether the fix complies with regulations. Once reviewed, the plans can then be returned to engineering to address additional concerns, or forwarded to the contractors in charge of the upgrade. Once contractors report the upgrade has been made, the application can notify an independent inspector and the legal team, who in turn notify the authorities — all without requiring a manager as a go-between for different departments.

Along the way, the dashboard will let managers see exactly what stage the process is at and how long it’s been there, making it easier to follow up where needed.

Due to its simple interface, Capria can sell its software both directly to companies and to consultants who work with companies on regulatory compliance. According to Kunkel, regulatory consultants particularly like the service because it allows them to become solution providers, rather than just bearers of bad news. Companies, on the other end, like the solution because the price point is significantly lower than the cost of building software from scratch.

Launched in June, the Loop-based bootstrapped company has three developers and plans on hiring another as soon as possible to meet the demands of an increasing workload. The company will also likely be hiring a sales team in upcoming months.

Images via Capria Solutions.

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