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Founders Workshop software firm expands intofull-service Phoenix app builder, AI studio

Amy Edelen
Amy Edelen

Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal

A Phoenix-based software development company is expanding its services and executive
team to help more entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses.
Founders Workshop recently announced it has transformed into a full-service
innovation app builder and artificial intelligence studio, aimed at small- to mediumsized businesses.
The company’s expanded offerings include market validation research, value
proposition development, go-to-market strategies and branding packages. It also
provides robotic process automation, and generative and conversational AI services.
What’s more, Founders Workshop added three new executives, all of whom are
entrepreneurs who have held leadership roles at startups.
Wayne Neale joined Founders Workshop as chief product officer. Ana Tomboulian was
named chief technology officer and Michael Vanderslice is chief operating officer.
Vincent Serpico, CEO of Founders Workshop, told AZ Inno the company’s expansion was
prompted in part by requests from clients for assistance with marketing strategies, pitch
deck creation and customer validation.
“Based on my availability, I helped out here and there,” he said. “I met Wayne about a
year and a half ago and he has done customer validation as well as business strategy for
our clients at Founders Workshop from time to time. So I said to Wayne, ‘Hey, let’s just
formalize this. Come on board and let’s offer this whole suite of services that our clients
have been asking for.'”

Wayne Neale: Turning ideas into prototypes

Neale is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in more than 10 startups as a
founder or part of their early-stage executive teams. He is looking forward to bringing his wealth of experience to Founders Workshop to help other entrepreneurs.
“We put all these services together to help clients — whether it be a startup or a small-tomedium-sized enterprise — to expand on their ideas and do market validation research
to understand, ‘Is the idea going to achieve product-market fit?’ Do we have any
traction? Because that’s what a lot of investors or internal budgeting teams look
for,” Neale said. “Then, we take ideas, prototype them, test them and take those into
the market.”

Wayne Neale, chief product officer at Phoenix-based Founders Workshop.

Entrepreneurs don’t necessarily need to have a deep background in technology to
benefit from services at Founders Workshop, Serpico said.

All you need to know is what app you want to build … You see a solution to a problem
out there, but you don’t know anything about tech. So we’ll take care of that 100% and
we can help you from beginning to end,”
he said.

Serpico launched Founders Workshop in 2009. Since its inception, the company has built
web and mobile apps and other software for more than 200 clients.
Founders Workshop works with more than a dozen clients and is gearing up to launch a
new platform, DreamBuild, which will integrate AI into all processes within the
company, Serpico said.

“We’re implementing it in every single aspect, which means that product development
across the board is being sped up 30%, 40%, even 50% at times at Founders Workshop,”
Serpico said.

DreamBuild includes smart AI integration, plug and play code libraries, feature scope
suggestions and custom code generation to reduce app development time for
entrepreneurs. It will be available in a private beta in the third quarter of this year,
Serpico added.

We’re really excited about the AI DreamBuild platform. We’ve already seen huge gains
internally,” he said. “Once we have tightened it up, I’m excited about making it a private
beta and getting feedback from others and letting others use it.”

 

Originally posted in the Business Journal

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