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Home Business & Finance Former contractor builds a software startup called ToolBelt to help connect skilled...

Former contractor builds a software startup called ToolBelt to help connect skilled labor to projects

Document Analysis NLP IA

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positive
sentiment

Sentiment0.21859493553042
objective
redaction

Subjectivity0.47994926220733
probably it's an affirmation
Affirmation0.3273381294964

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Summary (IA Generated)

ToolBelt co-founders Ross Barbieri, left, and Joshua Engelbrecht.

As a general contractor for 10 years, Joshua Engelbrecht experienced first hand the skilled labor problem that he says plagues the residential and commercial construction industry.

-based ToolBelt, a digital network that connects contractors with skilled laborers.

He launched the company with Ross Barbieri, a tech veteran who serves as chief technology officer.

Barbieri has developed staffing technologies in tech, healthcare, and now construction and is an active angel investor and mentor in the Portland startup community.

The startup has 9% of all residential contractors in Portland on its platform and is now live in the Seattle market.

Engelbrecht was frustrated by the tedious process of trying to find construction labor and how it slowed production capacity.

“I come from a problem-solving industry where every project is different and has its challenges,” Engelbrecht said.

In both industries, you are building an end product that is always full of things you didn’t expect until you start to break ground.

While he misses working directly with customers and seeing their faces light up over a completed job, Engelbrecht finds joy in building ToolBelt with the startup’s 10-person team, servicing more than 2,000 contractors in the Pacific Northwest.

ToolBelt has raised more than $1 million from investors including Elevate Capital, Bellingham Angel Group, Cascade Seed Fund, Portland Seed Fund, and Alliance of Angels.

ToolBelt is the first digital labor solution for the construction industry.

We connect general contractors and builders to skilled labor whether its crews or tradespeople.

Inspiration hit us when … The inspiration came to Josh when he was struggling to find new crews to keep up with his project demand during the busy season.

He knew that if there was a digital solution to connect both sides that everyone could do more production.

VC, angel or bootstrap (and why): Josh and Ross originally put in their own money to develop the app and then raised capital from notable angel investors and VCs in Portland such as Elevate Capital and Portland Seed Fund.

We bootstrapped as long as possible in order to prove out that we could build a two-sided marketplace and have contractors adopt new technology.

By leveraging Josh’s industry expertise and incorporating customer feedback we have been able to build a product that is EASY to use and brings instant value to both sides.

The smartest move we have made so far is creating an easy to use interface for the contractor and reducing the friction for connecting.

We built ToolBelt to be the modern-day word-of-mouth solution for the industry.

He told me in business it’s best to crawl, walk, and then run.

The entrepreneur I would want to work with me would be Howard Schultz.

What Howard was able to accomplish from a visionary standpoint changed American work culture.

People who possess great character add value to our company culture and are able to represent our brand well for our customers.

Iterate your product/service if it only is going to add value to your customer and be scalable.

Company site: toolbelt.


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