When a business is losing money because of noise complaints, Quietyme is their only answer.
Name: Quietyme Inc.
Location: Neshkoro, WI
Product / Service Offering: Noise Reduction Sensor and Analytics Solution
Co-founder Interviewed: John Bialk, CEO
This article is part of our Business Startup Spotlight series featuring entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope that these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.
I have always enjoyed solving problems. Once a problem is presented, I become very motivated, bordering on obsessed, to find an efficient solution. It is a passion.
When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
I was a property manager for hundreds of apartments. In my job, noise complaints and disputes that arose between neighboring tenants because of noise was my biggest headache. Most other complaints had a solution. The only solution for noise was to tell the complaining tenant to call the police the next time it happens. Calling the police on your neighbor generally causes irreparable harm to the relationship, so people rarely do. The result was that the quiet neighbors moved out and the noisy ones stayed.
I started searching for a solution, thinking that there should be a smoke detector for noise. There was nothing available, so I invented it.
What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?
We have expanded beyond apartments to hotels and hospitals. For all three verticals, the need is the same. When a business is losing money because of noise complaints, Quietyme is their only answer. Apartment property managers lose money from tenant turnover and reduced rent because of a loud environment. Hotels regularly give discounted room rates when a guest complains about the noise the morning after. Their average room rate is reduced as a result of poor online reviews. Hospitals are penalized by Medicare and Medicaid based on patient experience surveys, which include the patient’s opinion of how loud it was around their room.
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
Traditionally, noise reduction solutions have attempted to absorb or cover the noise. The Quietyme solution reduces the actual noise that is created.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
We work with large, slow moving organizations. Moving quickly to iterate and implement is a lot like sprinting on a glacier. You can run as fast as you want, but you will only move as much as the glacier moves.
< see related: 8 Ingredients for a Business Secret Sauce >
Are there resources you have utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?
Something other founders should strongly consider is to align with a top accelerator program. We partnered with gener8tor. Although every business is unique, certain aspects are common to most. It is a waste of precious time and money to try to reinvent things.
In search of an accelerator that aligns with your startup needs? Try TurboFunder’s FREE Accelerator search tool.
What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?
We have closed a couple of early rounds of funding. Now that we are scaling, we are looking to open our “A” round. Some things I’ve learned from this early process are not to limit the amount of funds that will be accepted in a round and the surprisingly long cycle from initial investor meetings to money in the bank.
Have there been any questions you have had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?
Finding answers is easy. Knowing what questions to ask is the hard part of being a startup.
What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?
The challenge is matching the length of a runway to the liftoff of a product destined for an industry that provides a very slow lift. The potential rewards are great, but you earn your position in the market.
What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?
Networking with companies in your space and finding synergy is helpful. Also, ALWAYS look out for your network and help everyone you can.
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