A startup in our current cohort is pivoting after a big opportunity revealed itself during a discussion with The Weather Company, a BridgeCommunity corporate member.

Convergent’s initial focus on rapid application prototyping in the cloud created a lot of initial interest from business leadership and first meetings, but tended to stall when IT people were brought in. But Tyler Johnson, Convergent’s CEO, realized there was a disconnect. Convergent’s main offering was essentially improving overall business agility. This sparked interest in business leadership, but not IT – the ones with budgets for technology, looking to solve narrow technical problems and more urgent issues.

Influencing organizational and budgetary issues within large enterprises as part of the sales process is simply too challenging for a startup. Tyler realized Convergent needed to pivot to a narrower, more clearly defined solution. Convergent’s conversation with The Weather Company, brokered through the BridgeCommunity, shed light on what that clearly defined solution could be.

The European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is giving Convergent a “hair-on-fire” corporate problem to tackle. With just 10 months before the enforcement date, this new European Union data privacy law is critical for every company with EU customers, as they will be liable for stiff new penalties of up to 4% of their global revenue.

By attaching policies and metadata to customer data, Convergent’s technology will now enable automation of data governance with policies driven by permissible use, consent, and other compliance data. This makes it possible to quickly, safely and cost effectively use personal data to create better, more personalized customer experiences. The best part was that there was minimal rework for Convergent. The pivot towards helping corporations comply with GDPR only required modest enhancements to Convergent’s existing technology stack.  

“With the pivot, we will be able to focus on a specific hair-on-fire problem where there is money already budgeted,” explains Johnson.

To uncover what subset of compliance problems to focus on, Convergent is currently conducting customer discovery interviews with teams in charge of ensuring GDPR compliance at BridgeCommunity member corporations.