What does the future of specialized industry look like in a world where technology is advancing at an exponential speed, and companies are decades behind? One Vegas startup is trying to answer that question. In the early months of 2016, Rebel Venture Fund closed a $25,000 investment in local startup, KeyIn. KeyIn is also one of the first companies to graduate from local Accelerator program, The Mill.
“For you and I, it is exciting to talk about the future of technology where machine learning is prevalent and artificial intelligence will be a reality; but for the companies operating in specialized industries, like building materials or medical devices, it’s going to be a really scary place to be” says KeyIn CEO, Jackie Morck.
Companies in specialized manufacturing industries haven’t changed the way they sell and manage customers in decades and still rely on sales reps for the majority of their customer interactions. Sebastian Tory-Pratt, KeyIn’s Creative Director, explains how, “this fact is CRAZY when you think about the revolution that’s happened in consumer markets, and the fact that in specialized industry the stakes are 100 times higher and more costly when you are buying something like an MRI machine”.
KeyIn’s goal is to accelerate the way business to business companies purchase, maintain, and make use of the technology that is essential to their organizations.
To achieve this they have created a software platform that acts as a hub for customer knowledge in specialized manufacturing industries. Users and purchasers of products share their experiences and access resources for their essential technologies, helping with purchasing and other key decisions. Manufacturers get a direct line of access to their current and potential customers as well as insight to qualitative information about users’ product experience that is essential to drive sales and innovation.
Morck explains, “It’s time to focus on what is going to matter in the future of these industries, and that’s accessibility to, and transparency of, unbiased data.”
Keyin’s pioneer vertical Healthcare Simulation has connected professionals from 85 countries and over 1700 major Universities, Hospitals & Organizations including Stanford Children’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins University, Oxford University, and the New Zealand Defence Force, just to name a few. These professionals are using KeyIn’s platform to do their jobs better.
“I have a background in architecture, manufacturing, and later got involved with healthcare simulation. Through interactions with professionals in these industries we realized not only how much frustration there was around the purchasing process, but also how often this resulted in poor decisions that directly affected the success of an Organization. This is unacceptable when these companies are responsible for the creation, operation, and safety of the infrastructure in our world” says KeyIn CEO, Jackie Morck.
KeyIn’s big draw for professionals is being an unbiased and credible source for information. “A lot of people feel that information they get from sales reps or manufacturer's’ websites is biased, including customer testimonials. Additionally, the process of researching product options is time consuming and difficult due to lack of other resources”.
Morck explains, “We started with peer-reviews, because we know that user-generated content is the most important piece of information when making a purchase decision. Think about when you’re shopping on Amazon, you scroll down and read the best and worst user reviews for the product and that helps you make a decision”.
However the vision for the company doesn’t stop at reviews. “We’re curating knowledge never collected before by these industries. The qualitative data that we collect is going to drive the future of technology through machine learning and ultimately AI. We’re helping companies in these industries accelerate into the future of business, and making sure that these industry professionals have the information and tools they need to be able to do their jobs,” says Morck.
You can get more information on KeyIn from their website (http://www.keyin.to) or by emailing the KeyIn team at firstname.lastname@example.org. KeyIn will be raising their Series Seed in the early months of 2017.
About the Author
Lucy Cantley is the Director of Operations of the Rebel Venture Fund. She is currently a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) student at UNLV’s Lee Business School. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music and Entertainment Industry Management from the University of Hertfordshire in her homeland, England.
Lucy joined one of RVF’s portfolio companies, KeyIn, as Director of Operations in the Spring of 2016. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and the Las Vegas community. When not working, she enjoys all things food-related, creative projects and travelling.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RVF or UNLV. Thoughts and opinions are subject to change and this article is intended to provide an opinion of the author at the time of writing this article. All data and information is for informational purposes only.