This article is part of a series on Women in Tech. Read the series here.
“We all hate small talk, especially over Zoom. In this day and age it's hard to get to any depth. Now, imagine you're someone who has conversations for a living. Imagine you're a lawyer, a wealth manager, a consultant,” says Pundit. “They need to create a real connection with the person on the other side of the table or computer screen. Relationships are central to how they win business.”
Pundit first witnessed this challenge while consulting at a top Bay Street law firm. There were times when team members were completely overwhelmed with billable work and had little time to plan for their next projects. She also noticed a lot of news and company data tools weren’t able to generate the insights a professional needs to earn a prospect’s trust. When she realised no tool like the one she was envisioning existed, she took it upon herself to build one. Kaitongo was born in 2018.
“In order to generate curated, highly refined insights, configured so each user receives only a select number of actionable content, we’ve built out a huge amount of technology from sector-focused taxonomies, mind maps, Artificial Intelligence algorithms, and more.” Pundit says.
The result is a platform that delivers aggregated, refined, and structured insights to users on their current and prospective clients in various sectors. Those using the tool can keep in touch with clients or contacts over social media and even receive alerts about high value sales opportunities. Key accounts can be tracked, and thought leadership content can be posted online to build a firm’s reputation. Users can also monitor potential issues.
Today, Kaitongo’s product is in market and utilised by top law firms across North America. The company was recently selected by Salesforce to participate in their Business Builder program, one of only 25 startup companies globally to be picked, an exciting validation for the Kaitongo team.
“Prior to COVID there were a lot of implicit personality traits associated with being a great client manager or salesperson, but for a lot of people, small talk doesn’t come naturally. As a result, many have opted out of client-facing roles” she says. “For those who found it a challenge, this tool provides them with a way to kick-start a conversation and to build respect and trust early on in a relationship.”
Pundit adds while client management roles have historically been held by men, more and more women are making the leap into positions of power in firms. A tool like Kaitongo can empower them to feel confident in conversations.
“I appreciate programs and tools that support women and address some of the particular challenges we face,” she says.
It’s one of the reasons she was drawn to ventureLAB’s Tech Undivided program. The initiative has connected her to like-minded female entrepreneurs who struggle with the same day-to-day challenges as she does.
“We have the right to ask for more and scaling up a business can be gruelling,” Pundit notes. “As women, we need to learn how to paint our stories differently and to be more confident. ”
Next up for Pundit and Kaitongo is expanding the platform’s use-cases to different industries. “I know this tool can be used beyond law firms. We want to empower others with insights to grow their businesses.”
ventureLAB’s Tech Undivided offers a comprehensive 6-month program to enable women-led tech companies to scale their businesses. The program creates a support ecosystem of resources and networking opportunities for women founders focused on key pillars of raising capital, commercializing technology and IP, attracting talent, and acquiring customers. Applications for Tech Undivided are open now! Apply today to access mentorship, peer-to-peer support, strategically aligned partners, and opportunities to pitch.
ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 4,500 jobs and raise more than $200 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets.