An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Philipp Rackwitz (co-founder and CSO) of Copado, which was honored in our:
- 2023 Best Tech Startups in Illinois
- 2023 Best Tech Startups in Chicago
- 2022 Best Tech Startups in Illinois
Tell us the origin story of Copado – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
Federico and I created Copado after we faced technology challenges whilst working as contractors for a pharmaceutical company deploying Veeva and Salesforce. It was taking us long into the evenings and weekends to complete tasks. This was not only creating a risk to the project, but also having an impact on us personally. We were both lucky enough to start early in the Salesforce ecosystem and so we figured if we struggled from a tooling perspective, others would too, so we set out on a mission to make release days obsolete and let developers/release managers get home for dinner.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
Like many founders setting out to solve a problem with technology, the tech know-how is great and you figure out the commercial side as you go along. We were no different. DevOps was a word that was not common in people’s dictionaries, so we had to educate prospects on what it was, why it was important, the technical challenges they would face as they scaled, and how Copado could solve the problem for them. Most of our sales process was education driven. Making a shift from a product-focused organization (“features drive sales”) to a sales-focused organization (sales funnel managed by sales people to drive revenue growth) was a mind shift.
What does the future hold for Copado?
I am very excited about the future of Copado. Our industry has seen tremendous change and growth that has actually been very favorable for us as a company, and now the AI revolution we are in is also creating opportunities. We will be leaning into AI as part of the software development lifecycle and also how we operate as a business. I feel like we are very well positioned with our people, technology, customers, and investors to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Chicago?
Chicago stands as a dynamic hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. It was the ideal spot to plant our U.S. headquarters. The city’s startup scene is fueled by a rich tapestry of diversity and talent, sparking the necessary creativity and innovation for tech companies to flourish. With a strong ecosystem of support and great universities, Chicago provides the fertile ground needed for startups to thrive.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid to take risks. Believe in yourself, but be realistic about goals and success criteria. Don’t forget that starting a successful business requires luck to be in the right place at the right time, ability to see an opportunity and seize it, and the skill to execute it.