When Alex Coffin and Jen Juedes moved to Madison to start Wolf Flow, they did not realize just how many resources were available to them as budding entrepreneurs. It did not take long, however, for them to get involved in Madison’s thriving entrepreneurship community and to take advantage of the many resources available for local startup businesses.
Wolf Flow is a desktop management software that allows users to seamlessly organize their digital work space by project or task. By organizing workflows into “sessions,” users can save their desktop layouts, along with the tabs, windows, and applications, which essentially allows them to manage multiple desktops on the same device. Users quickly benefit from the intuitive product design that groups together all the work needed for each project so you can save your workflow and return to it later.
The idea for Wolf Flow came to Jen while she was working for an advertising technology agency in Los Angeles. Managing a large client base, she often had to switch between tasks at a moment’s notice, putting out fires with clients or campaigns. She explained this problem to her fiancé, Alex, who worked for Texas Instruments as a Technical Sales Engineer, and the two realized that they both shared the same frustrations of inefficient workflow systems. After performing extensive market research and learning about the way people work, they realized that a solution like Wolf Flow could save people 4.5 to 5 hours per week. Where most of us would simply accept these disruptions in workflows as part of the job, Jen and Alex decided to come up with a solution. They quit their jobs and moved to Madison to start Wolf Flow with the mission “to help professionals be their most productive selves.” Since launching the first version of their product in December, Wolf Flow is beginning to do just that, helping its users increase efficiency and save time managing their daily workflows.
Alex and Jen moved to Madison in spring 2017 to be closer to family, without knowing much about the city. They describe the move as “serendipitous,” because they were unaware that Madison was home to such a thriving entrepreneurship community. This turned out to be a perfect place for them to start a business of their own.
“It’s kind of mind blowing how large of a startup community there is here,” Alex reflects. “It has been incredible to get feedback and mentorship from so many people in the entrepreneurship community here in Madison. The number of available resources and people who are genuinely trying to help has been very unexpected. Everyone you talk to is excited to introduce you to two more people who have some sort of insight into helping your business.”
One particular resource that Alex and Jen have taken advantage of has been the Business & Entrepreneurship (B&E) Clinic. In collaboration with the Law & Entrepreneurship (L&E) Clinic, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, and WARF, the B&E Clinic provides free business advice and services for Wisconsin-based entrepreneurs. According to Mike Williams, Director of the B&E Clinic, “the main benefit of working with the clinic is that the client receives unfiltered objective feedback about their company’s strategic positioning.” Wolf Flow utilized the B&E Clinic in helping with industry and market research, along with relevant pricing trends. Williams recalls being impressed with Jen and Alex when they first started working with Wolf Flow. “Over the last few years,” Williams reports, “the quality of the entrepreneurs and the companies seeking help has increased dramatically.”
Alex and Jen first learned about the B&E Clinic when they were part of the Madworks Accelerator Program, which helped them to navigate some administrative tasks, including back office structure, board bylaws and management, and legal issues. This type of help has proven to be extremely valuable for Jen and Alex since launching Wolf Flow in December. Now that they have administrative structures in place, they can focus almost entirely on acquiring customers and improving the product, which is crucial at this stage in the startup process. At the time this article was written, Wolf Flow was hitting all of its growth trajectory goals, setting up product demos for local Madison businesses, and Jen and Alex were preparing to fly to Redwood City, CA for the esteemed Startup Grind exhibition.
Although things are going well, both Jen and Alex agree that starting a business “can be taxing at times… it’s so easy to get bogged down in the little things.” Like so many entrepreneurs before them, Jen and Alex have come to realize that it is important for them to occasionally take a step back and focus on the progress they have made so far. “Focusing on the wins helps us to keep the big picture in mind,” Jen says, but there is still no time to take a break while the company is just getting off the ground.
Besides having each other, Alex and Jen agree that having access to the resources and the support of the Madison entrepreneurship community have made a tremendous difference for Wolf Flow so far. “I’m not sure we could have done all this, and seen the accelerated growth we’ve had so far, if we weren’t in Madison,” Alex reflects. He attributes a large part of their success to the help they have gotten from such resources as the B&E Clinic and to being part of the broader Madison startup community.
When asked what advice they would give to other entrepreneurs, Jen and Alex agree: “Remember that starting a business is not a solo journey. You can’t be afraid to ask for help.” Luckily, there is no shortage of places to turn to for help. And thanks to Wolf Flow, Jen and Alex are two more resources that Madison entrepreneurs can rely on for support.
- Are you a Wisconsin-based entrepreneur, and need help for your business? Learn more about the Business & Entrepreneurship Clinic and apply for services here.
- Are you interested in learning about how Wolf Flow can save you time and help you task-switch efficiently? Head to their site here to download the software today!