Credit: Todd Matthews, 425 Business Magazine
Imagine you are an entrepreneur looking to start a new company in the telecommunications industry — a marketplace crowded by deep-pocketed and well-known companies: AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Sprint, Verizon, and Wave. Even smaller players, such as Vonage, RingCentral, XO Communications, and 8×8, are formidable. Still, with a growing demand for — and competition among — service providers, it’s hard for a savvy businessperson not to carve out at least a small niche in the multitrillion-dollar telecommunications industry.
Brandon Bazemore and Janae Smith, CEO and COO, respectively, of Audian, an Eastside telecommunications startup, faced this scenario when they founded their company in 2013.
“It was much harder than we thought to break into this industry, that’s for sure,” Smith said. “Customers viewed us as the new kid on the block. That was one of the biggest obstacles to overcome. But over time, customers who passed on us because they felt we were too young, actually came back to us months later because they were so unhappy with the bigger telecom companies. That was exciting.”
How has Audian carved its niche?