Sheri Atwood, founder and CEO of SupportPay was named #5 out of the top “50 Women in Tech Dominating Silicon Valley. In her interview with Startup Grind Sacramento, Sheri discussed her entrepreneurial journey.
Sheri’s childhood was chaotic having to attended over 20 schools by the time she received her diploma. After graduating from UC San Diego, she started working with Sun Microsystems and later attained an MBA to sharpen her business skills. Shortly after having her daughter, she parted ways with her husband and put her best forward to end on a good note. She quickly realized that despite her efforts, the side effects of a divorce can complicate things. One day while doing an expense report for Symantec, Sheri started to imagine how such a report could be used to benefit her child support dilemma. She quit her high-paying VP position, learned how to code and started to build her application. Within a year she was able to get her first 100 users and gained valuable insight on the most-needed features and ideal price point.
“The Bigger the Pain, The More They’ll Pay”
It didn’t take long to discover that some divorcees would pay virtually any amount to automate their childhood affairs. But when in the room with Valley VC’s, many had doubts and solidified the price point at $9.99/month. After continual pitches and little response, funds started to get low and Sheri needed to find an investor and fast. Almost miraculously, 2 of the biggest Silicon players, Marc Benioff and Tim Draper gave the greenlight on a $100 k investment. If Sheri wouldn’t have received funding at that precise moment, she planned to apply for food stamps the following day.
By Rich Foreman, CEO / Apptology and Director of Startup Grind Sacramento. Rich co-authored the book Tap into the Mobile Economy and his blog has been listed in the Top 20 Mobile Marketing Blogs of 2014. Follow Rich on Twitter at@ApptologyCEO or attend a Startup Grind Sacramento Event.