Ken Seville, Founder/Business Development
We help experts become consultants and automate/manage their client prospecting.
What was the inspiration for your company?
Potential clients of my first startup, CiviSide.com: a service that helps employers recruit recent military veterans, wanted a more comprehensive understanding of all the resources available to attract and assess veteran candidates. I realized that I offered more value
Did you have an ‘ah-ha’ moment when you got the idea to start your business?
I looked at expertise gained through my startup and looked at other friends who had startups and realized that they all had similar expertise. I wonder how many people had expertise that could be used for consulting but had never thought of it. It occurred to me that a platform that helped people develop a consulting profile could be a big benefit.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Expertivise is a big concept and part of the wider trend of micro-entrepreneurship. Getting a grip on how big it is and articulating it has been the biggest challenge thus far.
How do you measure success? What is the best recognition you have received?
The current measure of success for Expertivise is helping experts see that they can begin their micro-entrepreneurship before they leave the security of their day job. Further on it will be exposing their expertise to companies that never knew they could economically access consultants that can dramatically increase their bottom line.
As for recognition, my first startup, CiviSide was accepted into the Start-Up Chile program in 2011 and beat out 200 startups for it. That was gratifying. However, in most cases, startups are thankless and done as a labour of love, so I just try to keep everything on an even keel.
What are your plans for the next year?
I am currently pitching local banks to do a pilot project encouraging their members to develop a consulting profile on Expertivise. I believe that Boomers will be especially attracted to the opportunity. A 2006 Merrill Lynch study found that 27% of Boomers wanted a retirement career as a consultant. We offer a unique service to help them do so.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals or students studying to pursue a career in your field?
Independent work as a consultant, contractor, etc, is the way of the future. As globalization and technology shrink the world and create greater competition for businesses, contingent workforces become the norm. Expect to move between contract and independent work and tap into micro-entrepreneurship by accessing platforms like TaskRabbit, Expertivise, Skillshare, Etsy, and even AirBnB to take full economic advantage of your labour, knowledge, talents, and assets.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was most enamored with being uniformed with the military or police. I fulfilled those aspirations by doing 7 years with the military as a logistics officer.
What’s your current tech setup?
I use a laptop for my daily work, an iPad for email and media, and Skype for communications. I have used a smartphone in the past but after 8 months in Chile without one, found I hadn’t missed much not using one. No immediate intention to hop on that technology again.
What websites do you check daily?
If you were locked in Chapters overnight – what section would we find you in?
I’m always in the business section. My favourites are reads like Blue Ocean Strategy, Made to Stick, Switch, Small Bets, and The Lean Startup.
If you could go to dinner with 5 people in the professional community – dead or alive, who would they be and why?
I am not very aspirational when it comes to people I want to meet. I prefer spontaneous and serendipitous meetings.
Favourite thing to do in Hamilton?
I can be found in the Snooty Fox playing darts a couple of evenings a week. I enjoy the competition, do or die moments, and the good group of people I randomly meet.