Q&A with Leif Ullman
The best mentors are those who are entrepreneurs themselves. That’s why XI places great emphasis on having Entrepreneurs in Residences (EIR) to support the startups along the entire entrepreneurial journey.
Our current EIR, Leif Ullman is a startup champion and a huge part of the XI ecosystem. Read below to hear from Leif Ullman, co-founder of KidReports, about his entrepreneurial journey from founding his company all the way to his funding round and exit.
What is your journey as an entrepreneur?
I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I started two companies prior to KidReports. One was a technology company for college students looking to find odd jobs, and the other was a technology consulting job. KidReports was my first big project, where it became my full-time job. We ran it for a number of years, until it was successful.
Can you talk more about KidReports?
KidReports started because I saw a need for innovation in the child-care space. We had my 8-month old son in a child-care center, and we received a daily report on a sheet of paper. We decided to turn the paper report into a digital report. My business partner and I spent a year building a prototype and gathering customer feedback. After our friends and family funding round, we quit our jobs and worked full-time on KidReports for 5 years. Following a number of ups and downs, we turned a corner in 2014 and growth picked up in 2015. By the end of 2017, we were acquired by Procare Software.
What is a lesson you learned from your experience that you tell new entrepreneurs?
I would tell new entrepreneurs that they should plan for their venture to need twice as much money and twice as much time as you think it will. I was told this advice early and did not initially believe it either, but it is now the same advice I pass on.
What is your experience as the Exponential Impact Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR)?
As the EIR, I get to work with all the companies in the Amplify program. I review the startups’ strategic objectives and weekly goals, and I am there to help with whatever they need from fundraising advice to financials and everything in between. I provide feedback based on my experience as a startup entrepreneur.
Why did you decide to become an XI EIR?
I decided to become the Exponential Impact EIR because I love the community they are building. I wanted to support XI and its mission of giving entrepreneurs the best start possible, and I want to help grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Colorado Springs.
Additionally, I think Exponential Impact is unique because of the holistic focus it brings to the table. The Accelerator and Amplify programs focus on the whole person, and XI encourages entrepreneurs to balance the different aspects of their life including their health, family, and business. I wish I had that guidance early on because it can be hard to incorporate balance when launching a new startup.