Startup Impact Dialing has found that it pays to go lean. As the winner of the Lean Startup Challenge run by AppSumo, the company has now received an undisclosed amount of angel funding from the Band of Angels group, and it has also been accepted as a member of incubator Pivotal Labs.
To win the contest, Impact Dialing founder and chief executive Michael Kaiser-Nyman wrote a blog post outlining how his company follows the “lean startup” model, and the post doubles as a nice overview of the company’s beginnings. Kaiser-Nyman said he’d tried to find a predictive dialer (which can be used to automatically call people from a list of phone numbers, rather than requiring the caller to manually select and enter a number each time) for the gay rights advocacy group Equality California, but was disappointed because existing products were “expensive, difficult-to-use, and not scalable.”
So Impact Dialing built a predictive dialing service on top of cloud computing products. It uses Twilio, the company that helps integrate phone features into Web applications, and runs its software on Amazon Web Services. So the company says it can add servers and phone lines as necessary (rather than limiting customers when there’s a spike in demand), that its customers make calls from an easy-to-use web interface, and that it’s completely self-service.
Impact Dialing says its first customers were political campaigns, but its services are now being used by call centers as an affordable way to add capacity and avoid expensive hardware investments.