New Tech Presenter Alumni Spotlight: Chelsey Roney, Co-Founder & CEO, Proxi

Each week in the New Tech Newsletter we feature a Spotlight Q&A with founders, angels, New Tech alumni presenters, and other people or companies in our community we believe you’d like to learn about. Reach out if you’d like to recommend a startup, founder, angel, accelerator, or New Tech alumni presenter for us to spotlight for the PNW tech community!

In this week’s spotlight we caught up with Chelsey Roney, Co-Founder & CEO of Proxi

Why do you do what you do for a living?  

I spend my days as an entrepreneur, guiding Proxi’s growth and removing obstacles for my team. To me, being an entrepreneur is not just a job; it’s a passionate pursuit. Apart from spending quality time with my children, there’s little else I’d rather dedicate my time to. I view building a business as an art form. Each decision I make has a profound impact on the overall trajectory of the company, much like how each brushstroke influences a painting’s outcome.

Why did you start/lead your company?

Building the world’s easiest-to-use map creation tool is both challenging and interesting. We are creating Proxi so that community leaders have a tool to visualize what’s important in the world around them for those who are looking for the information. By exposing the stories about local place, people can make better decisions about where they go and what they do. Impacting foot traffic in the real world by giving people information in an easy to understand way is our why.

What is the most innovative way your tech solves the problems of your customers?

Proxi is often referred to as the ‘Canva of Maps’ because we are the most user-friendly map creation tool available. Our innovation lies in serving a substantial market of non-technical marketing teams who require captivating, interactive visualizations of local places. With Proxi, marketers can personalize and brand their maps, engage in lead generation, monetize through sponsored maps, organize passport challenges, and gain valuable insights into map viewership. These features represent a paradigm shift in out-of-the-box mapping solutions.

What is one of the greatest lessons you’ve learned from being a tech leader?

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned as a tech leader is to ensure that every feature addresses a genuine need for our customers. While it’s tempting to create a product roadmap driven what we think is important to people, it’s essential that our customers consider these features indispensable in their work or daily lives. By doing this, you reach product market fit faster and it makes the selling process significantly smoother.

Is there any funny story or specific moment that sparked you to start this company?

Melinda Haughye, my cofounder, proposed creating a trick-or-treat map for community members to mark their homes for socially distanced Halloween candy distribution during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a decade-long friendship as the foundation, she knew about my passion for entrepreneurship. Realizing that there was a lack of collaborative mapping technologies in the market, she gave me a call, and that’s when our journey began. We recognized the immense potential for innovation in the map creation space and embarked on a journey to bring Proxi to life. Her idea to help people enjoy Halloween during early COVID served as the catalyst for Proxi’s creation and continuous growth.

Reach out if you’d like to recommend a startup, founder, angel, accelerator, or New Tech alumni presenter for us to spotlight for the PNW tech community!

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