Tech gurus serve up board-management software

Speak Easy co-founders Jeb Banner and Andy Clark, as well as a handful of other local tech whizzes, have co-founded a company that sells software for board management.

The company is called Boardable. Its namesake software-as-a-service application centralizes activities and assets related to serving on boards, Banner told IBJ this week, such as meetings, documents, board minutes and contacts.

Email is usually the medium for managing all that.

Banner, who's CEO of the web marketing agency SmallBox, and the team started building the company in March and have attracted about a dozen not-for-profit beta customers so far. He said Boardable is poised to kick things into high gear in 2017, with plans to raise growth capital and expand its customer base.

"We surveyed 50 nonprofits and only one or two of them were using software at all," Banner said. "They're using email and Dropbox and Google Docs."

Boardable's software allows people to RSVP for meetings and upload pertinent documents from digital repositories like Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive. Users also can use Boardable to hold discussions, take polls and see contact information for the organization's employees.

The software costs about $50 a month, to be paid by the organization. It's a web application only, though the company plans to create a smartphone app.

Banner said he and Clark have served on about five boards apiece, and the concept for the software was born out of the pain points of managing board activities. 

"To us, this is our community that we personally care about because we're in this every day as board members and founders," Banner said. "To come in and solve that pain point in a way that gives [not-for-profits] back time to serve the community is really what's driving us, but, of course, we see a business opportunity."

Filling out the founding team are Joe Downey, co-founder at SmallBox and Jason Ward, a former SmallBox director. Chris Lucas, a former vice president of marketing at the online form builder Formstack, joined the effort well after them, but is also a co-founder.

Downey, a developer, is the only full-time staff member. The other four have been pitching in as they could over the past several months. Banner said he plans to continue running SmallBox, and that his level of involvement in Boardable is still being determined.

Some of Boardable's advisers include Jay Love, CEO of donor-management software firm Bloomerang, Rob Wiley, a former ExactTarget manager, and Barry Wormser of Wormser Legal.

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