Gdansk and Tricity have become, amongst others, a Mecca for IT companies that are booming. Software development companies are a specific category in the IT world. Many programmers are being searched for to work in international projects. Mateusz Kurleto founded Neoteric. Here’s his story.
In primary school he was already assembling pc’s for his friends and helping his dad, a system administrator. While attending high-school, he learned to set up servers and build websites. During his IT studies at the Gdansk University of Technology in 2005, he launched his software development company: Neoteric. The real start was 2012 when he hired the first person. He saw his company growing very rapidly since the start. In 2014 two business partners Greg Gwoźdź and Mateusz Paprocki joined the management board and in 2016 associates joined the company. At the end of 2018 Neoteric plans to have 70 people in their team.
Gdansk Business Week
Mateusz’s favourite project is Gdansk’s Business Week (Website in Polish). It’s a week-long entrepreneurship camp where high school kids go through the entrepreneurship and creativity focused program, run in English. Every team (a virtual company) takes part in a set of creativity/entrepreneurial contests and have the support of 2 mentors – one from Poland and one from the US.
Seeing how much those teenagers develop in a week is astonishing. I remember the first time we got involved. I spent one week as the CA (Company Advisor). I’ve learned way more from those kids then I could ever teach them.
Mateusz’s dream has always been to develop technology to help people grow their businesses so that they can live a better live. He knew that he wanted to become an entrepreneur. Since the IT-world was a domain he grew up in, he felt he had to take the shot. As a person advocating innovative ideas the company’s name seemed obvious:
What does the dictionary say about ‘Neoteric’
Together with his associates he feels lucky to have build up an amazing team. Freedom and responsibility are the cornerstones that motivates the team go the extra mile. Neoteric’s core business is focused on helping startups (also single founders) and enterprises mainly from the US, UK, Ireland and Singapore building great software products. Their clients either need new or custom software products for their businesses. Usually, they get in touch when specific technologies are not yet chosen so that Mateusz’s team can help them choose and develop the ones that are best suited for each of their projects.
What customers value
There are a few factors that their customers value greatly in Neoteric:
- the great cultural fit;
- the outstanding communication;
- the full transparency;
- the real expertise
All these element in the whole development process of creating the right technology for each business with innovation make a recipe for success.
Neoteric spun off 3 startups backed by venture capital. The creation process of these products have given them insight in what startups go through:
appoint.ly is a very simple meeting scheduler used by more than 14 000 users, mainly professors from top universities like Berkley, UCLA or Harvard;
skillhunt.io is a headhunting platform that helps companies find the best tech talents through referrals network;
saasmgr.com is an enterprise software startup using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help telecoms and subscription businesses to reduce customer churn and increase average revenue per user.
Neoteric’s small pet shop project
Mateusz remembers one project in particular…
There was a very small pet shop just starting to sell online through Allegro (“the Polish eBay”). Neoteric developed a tool that helped them build beautiful product pages out of reusable, designed components. Before the product descriptions would take hours to create. The newly built software was sold to only two different customers only for a mere 300 dollars. He was not interested in exploiting this software further as the goal was to create custom software project per project. When he met their “warehouse”, it was the size of a regular kitchen. Now it’s several football fields big. The small pet shop is now one of Poland’s biggest eCommerce platforms in the pet shop niche.
Mateusz feels Neoteric would have been much bigger today if he would have leveraged the market’s opportunities during those first years. Later on, other software companies having created similar tools developed into multi-million dollar businesses which eventually ended up being acquired by big players like eBay or Amazon. This also could have been his story…
One of the things he’s responsible for as a CEO is growing the right company culture creating a great workplace and company culture. He himself, was involved in the recruitment process doing 1-on-1 interviews. This enabled him to select the right people belonging to the workplace atmosphere that he intended to create. According to him, people prefer working at Neoteric rather than working for international corporationa that are paying better. Creating the right culture at Neoteric, was the most important reason why people applied in the first place. Neoteric conducts an employee-empowering approach: goals are shared but they way they are met, depends on each team member.
Every team member works regardless of their position in direct contact with the customer. It makes them feel responsible and gives them empowerment. Every employee has a mentorand gets the help that is required.
Mateusz has seen more than once, people passing senior positions at Google and moving to Poland. At the moment he has one team member from Bolivia, Colombia and Macedonia who decided after their internship to stay. Thinking of this, makes him proud.
Mateusz is a realist who sees it big. The plan is to double next year in amount of staff members. Neoteric wants to grow as a software development partner who helps customers end-to-end with the business challenges that creative software development is bringing about. Be it creating a new product on the market or implementing Robotic Process Automation, Neoteric will make sure that the customer has the best ROI on every buck that is spent with them.
In the long term he wants Neoteric to become a venture builder, creating one software company after another either for their customers or as an company-owned product. That’s a journey for years to which the company is working to by assembling the right team.