San Diego La Jolla-based Tealium, which makes software for enterprises to use to analyze data, is launching a program to help out local startups with free services, mentoring and access to some of its investors and customers.
Startups that are accepted into the program will get two years of free access to its customer data platform (CDP), said Chris Slovak, vice president of global sales at Tealium.
The new program is targeted at startups that launched less than two years ago, have five or fewer employees and less than $1 million in funding, he said.
“We’re looking for that really early-stage organization that needs access to this kind of tech,” he said. “Once we have a list of applicants we’re going to review them and interview them, and plan to have them on board by the end of the year.”
Tealium, founded in 2008 by Mike Anderson, the company’s chief technology officer, and Ali Benham, has raised just shy of $113 million since inception through seven funding rounds, including a $35 million Series E round in 2017. Its investors include Citi Ventures and Bain Capital.
Its software helps companies manage website “tags,” or pieces of code that let marketers know which web pages customers have visited.
Enterprise-grade software is often too pricy for startups to access, Slovak said. In addition to access to Tealium’s Universal Data Hub, as it calls its CDP, startups accepted into the new program will be invited to participate in its hackathons and receive tickets to its user conferences, where they will have an opportunity to meet some Tealium clients, Slovak said. Brands with which the company works, totaling 700 worldwide, include Domino’s, Cathay Pacific, Nokia, Fox and ProFlowers.
He said Tealium will also bring in some of its investors, technology leaders and customers to lend the startups insight into their respective areas of expertise.
Slovak said nearly any organization that’s providing B2B or B2C services could be a good fit, as long as the companies are looking to use digital data to reach customers.
“Because a lot of what we do is about digital experiences and creating great customer interactions with your data, we want to work with companies that are focused on apps, or have a presence on the web or want to do cross-device interactions,” he said.
10 for Inaugural Cohort
Slovak said Tealium aims to find about 10 startups in Southern California for its inaugural cohort.
“If we find 11 it will be 11, but we want a good, solid crew,” he said. “We’re going to be doing it in waves, so as we bring them on we can make sure we get them up to speed and make sure they get value out of the program before we move on to more.”
Applications will be available until the spots are filled, he said.
The San Diego startup ecosystem has a number of programs to which early-stage companies may apply for assistance, including the EvoNexus and Connect incubation programs, but the Tealium program, which is not an incubator, is unusual in that it is being hosted by a company that is itself still growing rapidly.
Slovak said strengthening tech startups locally is part of a broader effort to bolster the industry as a whole, since successful local startups draw additional tech talent to the region, that, in turn, will make companies in the area more likely to succeed.
Brant Cooper, a local entrepreneur, author and CEO and co-founder of Moves the Needle, which works with corporations to incorporate entrepreneurial thinking into their business practices, said Tealium is likely looking to raise its local profile by launching the program.
The business was among the companies that sponsored this year’s San Diego Startup Week, he noted, which attracts thousands of local entrepreneurs and investors.
The program could lead to additional revenue down the road if the startups Tealium selects do become successful, he added.
“If they can choose startups that have a good trajectory, that have a chance, I’m guessing there’s a way to upsell those guys later,” Cooper said. “If they become an enterprise client later, then that would have been a nice return on investment.”
Applications for startups are available at tealium.com/tealium-for-start-up-companies.