Dalip Jaggi ’14 has had quite the entrepreneurial journey. In January, 2014 he launched Devise Interactive to help brands reimagine their digital presence and he graduated from Cal State Fullerton that same year.
Fast forward not even five years to December 2018 and Dalip had grown Devise Interactive to the point that it was acquired by Vincit, a publicly traded company based out of Finland. (We covered this previously in these digital pages.)
Dalip is currently the Head of Business at Vincit and is also a member of the Forbes Technology Council, member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, Co-founder of Eva Smart Shower, Co-founder and VP of Forge54, is a board member for Tech Coast Venture Network, and is the President of OC Tech Happy Hour.
He’s ridiculously busy but he took some time out to come to the CSUF Startup Incubator in Irvine to discuss his entrepreneurial journey with us. Here are some notes from his talk:
Culture is Destiny
Dalip started out early. He was making websites for companies while he was in high school. A big part of his success was thanks to his positive relationships with his clients. Sure, his service was cheaper than many of his competitors but that relationship piece, his humanistic philosophy, helped him grow.
By being good to his customers and delivering a lot of value to them word eventually got out that this kid knew what he was doing. Word of mouth marketing helped him grow and that opened up a lot more opportunities for him. Over the years he continued to grow and as he added on more employees Dalip focused on creating a collaborative and highly creative culture.
Later on, just a short five years after forming Devise Interactive with his business partner, he started to get offers to buy his company. At first, he always demurred but when Vincit came around Dalip quickly realized that this company was the real deal. Vincit’s culture fit well with Devise’s, they had a very flat organizational structure, and they just jelled.
When Dalip started to seriously consider selling Devise to Vincit he brought in his leadership team to discuss and, when it became obvious that they were going to seriously consider selling to Vincit, Dalip informed all of Devise’s employees. For Dalip, open communication is important and breeds trust among employees and management.
Not Everyone Has Good Advice
While Dalip is dedicated to learning that doesn’t mean that everyone is giving good advice. When Dalip started speaking with some of his mentors about selling Devise he quickly discovered that everyone had an opinion and there wasn’t necessarily a consensus. What Dalip did was to seek out entrepreneurs who have had to deal with selling their business before. For him, that meant going to a Vistage Group, which is a company that hosts peer groups of executives that gives them an opportunity to discuss things with their peers.
Be an Open Book
- Don’t sell; tell it how it is
- Everything shows up in the due-diligence phase; no point of hiding anything
- Mindful of your company’s strengths and weaknessess
- Know your numbers
- Be binary with your business
- Know your numbers
- Took 10 months to close his deal
- Average home takes four months to close
- Be ready to walk away
- Waiting for CFO, counsel, board reviews (he did sell to a publicly traded company)
Have a Plan
- Is this a smart business decision?
- Is it time for a change?
- Earlier the company, less risk – when Devise was just starting out there wasn’t much risk because the company wasn’t large enough to have large problems
- Identify business trends and economic landscape for your industry
- This is what sealed the deal for him, he put together a strong plan for where he wanted to go
- Earlier on in the talk, Dalip discussed how he negotiated everything, including his future at Vincit, when he was selling Devise. Having a plan is important, it focuses you and means that you have given a good deal of thought about what you really want from your life.
CSUF Startup Incubator
Entrepreneurs who are accepted into the CSUF Startup Incubator work with our entrepreneurial experts over a six month intensive launch period that includes: access to office space, quarterly investor pitches our entrepreneurs can participate in, free events, a dedicated one-on-one coaching relationship with one of our more than 700 startup experts, and so much more! If you are ready to learn the right way to go from concept to launch, please go to this page or contact a CSUF Startup Incubator representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.