A Focus on Business Efficiency Software Applications – Twin Cities
According to an article in Inc. magazine, “The cost of poorly organized meetings in 2019 will reach $399 billion in the US and $58 billion in the UK, or almost half a trillion dollars for these two alone. country”. With the new year just around the corner, there’s a great opportunity to redo those numbers in 2020 and make a resolution to save time and money – two things that make business successful.
Entrepreneur Amber Christian has created a tool that will help focus on the most important priorities in 2020. She believes individuals can perform at their best at work when they are able to plan and manage effectively their time. With a little wonder, a lot of hard work and the right focus – Bella Scena was born.
Company Name: Wonderly Software Solutions – product is Bella Scena
Websites: https://www.wunderlysoftware.com and https://meetbellascena.com
Date of first activity : July 2017
Number of employees: 2
Number of clients: 15
Name: christian amber
City of birth: Beardsley, Minn.
City in which you live: Minneapolis
Assisted High School: Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley
College attended: University of Minnesota Duluth
Questions and answers
A. What brought you to this point?
Q I spent my 20-year career in technology. I spent years working in software consulting for Fortune 500 companies. Managing multiple client projects and deadlines at once as a small business is very difficult. I also realized how difficult meeting management is and how much productivity is lost due to inefficient meetings. We need new ways to manage meetings and our individual productivity. I decided it was time for me to take the leap and work on fixing the problem. I realized that I wanted my next 20 years to be spent creating solutions.
Q. What is your business?
A. I run Wonderly Software Solutions, a SAAS tech startup. Our first product is called Bella Scena.
Q. What is the origin of the company?
A. I started Wonderly to start creating software products. I want to bring magic back to software creation through human-centered design.
Q. What problem does your company solve?
A. Our first product, Bella Scena, aims to improve productivity by helping people plan more effectively. It gives you a view of your time, integrating your meetings, to-do list, and calendar. It helps you focus on your most important priorities. We believe that individuals can perform at their best at work when they are able to plan and manage their time effectively.
Q. What personal strengths or skills do you bring to the company?
A. I bring a collaborative approach to work. I embraced human-centered design to bring that level of collaboration to the client as well. It forced me to learn to embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly that come with building software. It’s not always fun or easy to hear that an idea you have for a problem won’t work. I prefer to learn it early in the trip by collecting feedback and adjusting the course. It was very difficult to learn how to do that! But after two years of building software this way, I can’t imagine not doing it. The ability to listen carefully opens conversations and helps us create our most natural solution on the market.
With a background in project management and technology, I am comfortable with the cadences and pace needed to build software iteratively. I enjoy bridging the business and technology worlds.
Q. What are you most proud of?
A. When I look back on my career and my life, there are a lot of things I’m proud of. I’m a farm kid who always felt like an outsider. I got into tech in college much later than most people around me. Growing up on a farm gave me a lot of tenacity and courage to persevere, especially in the face of obstacles. I take great pride in my ability to continue to learn and grow. I have always been cautious by nature. I often feel like a turtle hooking up. I’m not the fastest at the start, but I’m still plugging in, learning and growing. I’m proud of all the times I’ve taken risks and embraced growth. I had a hard time deciding to start creating software. Regardless of what ultimately happens, I’m proud to take the risk.
Q. Where do you go for help when you need it?
A. I am lucky to be surrounded by an amazing family, friends and mentors. For me, it is also useful to build my network proactively. I’ve learned that it’s easier for me to find or create communities along the way rather than always waiting to contact them only when I need to.
It’s also surprisingly easy to find other founders via Twitter. It has allowed me to expand my network and find even more prospects when I have questions.
Q. What hurdles do you need to overcome to fully succeed?
A. As an entrepreneur and engineer, I sometimes focus on myself when faced with solving complex problems. I also have perfectionist tendencies. Lots of kind friends and mentors keep reminding me to ask for help. I don’t know if it will be an easy day for me, but I’m making progress.
I also need to feel comfortable being more visible than I’ve been traditionally used to. I worked in a niche within the SAP industry in treasury and payment technology. I was super comfortable being visible in this niche.
The transition to becoming a startup tech entrepreneur brought me into a very different and much larger community. Most people don’t realize I’m a born introvert. As I build and grow my business, visibility comes with territory. It’s still very much an adjustment for me.
Q. How do you fund your business?
A. I started my business. I have been an SAP consultant for several years. A number of companies have been great supporters in providing flexible SAP contract work so that I can continue to develop my Bella Scena product.
Q. How successful would your business be in the next 2-3 years?
A. In the next 2-3 years, I want to grow my business and build a team. We are currently a small team, using contractors and partners to supplement the skills we need. I would like to further develop our internal team and continue to grow our customer base.
Q. What do you think it takes to be a great entrepreneur?
A. Flexibility and willingness to wear different hats at different stages of your business. At the start, you can have most or all of the hats. But as you grow, you’ll have to drop a few, because new hats will be coming!
Q. What programs or support organizations have influenced you in the development of your business?
A. I recently completed the Co-Starters program which has been very helpful to ensure that all of my business bases are properly covered.
I also had a lot of support from different chapters of 1 Million Cups. It’s been a great, safe place to talk about Bella and keep learning and iterating.
Lily Shaw is Director of Customer Experience for Startup Space, Community Manager for 1 Million Cups St. Paul, and Co-Facilitator for CO.STARTER MN. You can hear from startups like the ones featured in Startup Showcase every Wednesday, 9-10 a.m., at 1 Million Cups St. Paul, located in the Glen Nelson Center at Osborn 370 (Wabasha Street, St Paul). To keep up to date with what the startup will present next OR to apply, visit https://www.1millioncups.com/stpaul.