Click here for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Providing IT solutions that keep organizations in highly regulated industries secure, compliant, and proactive
Chris Sachse is the CEO and co-founder of Horsetail Technologies, and the CEO of Apogee iQ. Horsetail provides collaborative, shared IT services for credit unions as well as members of other highly regulated industries nationwide. Through assessments, managed services, staffing, project consulting, and more, Horsetail allows its customers to navigate a complex technological environment without compromising safety or regulatory standing. Clients include Coastal Federal Credit Union, Marriott Employee Federal Credit Union, TwinStar Credit Union, and thousands of others. Apogee iQ is a comprehensive software solution for credit unions and other members of the financial services industry. The platform encompasses vendor management and education, enterprise and cyber risk management, business continuity, regulatory compliance, and intelligent purchasing. The company is currently offering credit unions a chance to win a Credit Union Makeover valued at $250,000. For more details, click here. Chris Sachse originally spoke with citybizlist in 2015. Watch our previous interview here.
When do you consider your entrepreneurial or business career to have begun?
CHRIS SACHSE: As the oldest of a bunch of siblings, you know, it started very early on. My parents always had a desire to make us figure out how to pay for things, so if we wanted things we had to do something to earn them: everything from chores to cutting the lawn, to then I got a hunger to want more things. My parents would say that I was materialistic at a very young age. I had to figure out how I could get the things I wanted, and so I was constantly looking for ways to monetize what we were doing, whether that was cutting lawns or selling things in the neighborhood. That passion and that desire to run things really extended into college. In my Sophomore year, I had to figure out how to pay for college and my car and all of these other things. I realized that I needed to find income, and so I came back to Baltimore, started a company called TrailersClick. That was really the beginning of getting the taste for entrepreneurship. Then, from there, I went to work for two small companies, helping them grow their sales, refined my pitch, finished college, figured out more what I wanted out of life. And then Mark [Berman] and I met on the volleyball court in Rash Field, went to Little Havana one night for a drink, and two and half weeks later something we started rapidly: Horsetail. Mark and I got together and formed the company really, really rapidly. I felt as soon as we started having conversations about starting the company, that was competitive with the company I currently worked for. I felt that I had to get away from that as quickly as possible, ethically, and so we started quickly with not much of client base. The plan that we did have: we had some revenue targets and some revenue goals that we’d put together with Travis [Sachse] on the performance side. We hit like our fourth year revenue goals in year two, and all of a sudden we’re turning around going, “Wow—how are we going to run this business? How are we going to scale this business?” Because none of the concepts or ideas that we had out of the gate held true based on the growth that we found. So, that was a fun challenge to deal with.
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