Since his days in the business entrepreneurship program at DePauw University—and after, when he was an Orr Fellow—R.J. Talyor has wanted to start his own company. In July 2016, after 15 years working in software, he decided the time was right. So he left Geofeedia, the location-based analytics platform where he’d worked for two years, and brought his idea to High Alpha, the venture studio that helps entrepreneurs shape, build and launch software companies.
With High Alpha’s help, in May he launched Quantifi, a marketing R&D platform for digital ads that’s designed to help marketers learn and expand what works for their brand.
“I have three young kids, and I wanted to be a role model for them,” Talyor said. “When you think about what you tell your kids—what I tell my kids—is to pursue your dream. It can seem like a cliche, but it would be even more cliche if I wasn’t doing it. So I wanted to live out the advice my dad had given me and live out the advice I give my kids and give it a go.”
Talyor’s father had worked at the same company for 53 years, selling lockers and shelving. But Talyor, who quotes the German writer Goethe—“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”—said his father encouraged him to be an entrepreneur.
“I said, ‘Man, if I can find something I love for 53 years, what a successful career,’” Talyor said. “I’m trying to do that. I really do love what I’m doing. It’s hard and fun and challenging, and at the end of the day, I can go home and see my family and tell them what I’m doing and I’m really proud of it.”•
—Marc D. Allan