The BUILDING community is made up of tech companies working in a wide range of verticals, ranging from real estate, to education, to sales, and more. Kugadi is one startup that has found a particularly interesting niche. They use tech to help security companies improve operational efficiency and empower their workers. We sat down with their COO and wearer-of-many-hats, Alfredo Borjas, to hear a bit more about what he’s up to at Kugadi — and outside of work!
Tell us about Kugadi. What does Kugadi do and what do you do as COO?
Kugadi is a Software-as-a-Service platform that allows businesses to track and report on roving workers such as security guards, maintenance workers, cleaning staff, and all kinds of field workers to empower them to do their best work through streamlined communications. Through a mobile app and a web-based admin system that use GPS and NFC technology, we enable businesses to understand where their employees are and what tasks they’ve completed.
As COO, I oversee the entire sales process and pipeline, from prospecting to closing. I also manage the onboarding and setup process for each of our new customers, while also always looking for ways to streamline and improve that process. Finally, I’m also doing a lot of product development! Since we are a startup and a small team, and I’m constantly in direct contact with customers, I work closely with our development team to adapt and add features to our system and make it even more valuable for customers.
What is the milestone that you’re most proud of hitting so far with Kugadi?
One of the achievements I’m most proud of is designing and implementing a sales process that is easy to scale — which was a big challenge, because it’s a complex software to sell. Creating tools like a 7-minute demo strategy or a 10-minute setup meeting have been major milestones because they have reduced a lot of friction with our prospects, thus allowing us to close new deals more easily. This process has helped us reach another big milestone — 8 to 12% monthly growth and over 30 active customers.
Why did you and your team choose Building as your coworking space?
Our CEO Gavin Heale selected Miami as HQ because of its vibrant young tech culture and the fact that it is much more cost effective than California, though we do have our second office and tech team in the Bay Area. We chose to be based out of Building for two main reasons: 1) because it was conveniently located in Brickell, and 2) because it is a tech-oriented community. The latter is very important to us since we are very much a tech team ourselves, and we really enjoy being close to the rest of the tech community here. The other spaces we saw felt more crowded and were more mixed in terms of industry, and we knew this was going to be a critical factor for us.
You previously worked as a lawyer, and are now managing operations for a tech startup. What was that transition like? How do you think your multidisciplinary background has helped you become a stronger professional?
I’m a lawyer by training and worked for many years in the field, focusing mostly on insurance and reinsurance legal cases. But I have also always had a knack for landing new customers, building relationships, and solving critical problems for them — all of which led me to the world of business development. I realized that while I may not be the best lawyer in the world, I definitely had an ability to help grow new businesses!
Having a multidisciplinary background has definitely helped me manage different types of internal challenges, including working with all types of customers, from completely satisfied ones to ones that need more support. My background has also made me very process-oriented, which has helped me create procedures to ensure that I’m providing the best customer service possible.
Art has become a really important part of my life — I’ve been doing it for over 12 years now. It’s actually something that runs in my family. I began doing it sporadically on the side, but it’s become one of my main hobbies now. I’m actually hoping to do my next show here at BUILDING later this year, and am currently in the process of preparing for that.
Yes, I did become a dad last year. Being a dad has been a wonderful experience. More than anything, it has given me even more motivation to keep moving forward and keep pushing despite life’s challenges.
Thanks, Alfredo! We can’t wait to see what you build next.