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Interview Mariuccia Teroni
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Mariuccia Teroni Founder, Chair and COO of FacilityLive

How did you get your business idea?

FacilityLive is the result of my life’s work as an expert in information management and its application in real life. My experience and my vision allowed me to co-found an Italian tech startup, which is currently one of the most observed startups in Europe.

FacilityLive develops a platform for information management driven by a next generation search engine, already adopted by leading European multinational companies and recognized by world-class system integrators, with patents in 44 countries worldwide.

It’s capital is exclusively Italian and all private: to date we have collected 15 million euros reaching a company evaluation of 225 millions. But our goal is to become a Unicorn: companies that manage to achieve the value of 1 Billion before entering the stock market (examples are Uber, Spotify, WhatsApp).

What was the main drive that pushed you to start your business?

I started my career as woman entrepreneur at the age of 24 and since then I’ve always worked on digital innovation to improve people’s life. FacilityLive was born as a project to create an “information and data access facilitator”. We are working hard to become a future global software platform in the field of information management.

What was your biggest fear before starting up?  How did you overcome it?

Actually, I’ve never been afraid before starting my company up because I was very sure and determined about what I was going to do. I think in this way there is no better way to exorcise the fear than to simply act.

How do you describe your core business activity and what’s the key value you offer to your customer?

FacilityLive, founded in 2010 as a start-up project, delivers a new highly disruptive and patented search platform that addresses all corporate, public administration and consumer information sources. Our platform implements an entirely new information search paradigm which understands the structure, meaning, and context of information and uses that understanding to deliver precise search results. Fast and easy to use, it catalogues, searches, and extracts valuable information that has been collected and stored in any organisation or on the Web. The platform assists the user in an intuitive way when searching for information through a semantic interpretation in real time of the query, and returns the results with a high level of pertinence, identifying the most significant and precious information. The available information is presented in a simple and effective way that is highly intuitive, achieving maximum user experience. The results are aggregated, correlated and presented to the user in a workspace that represents a cogitative approach to information and its use. The end result is a new way to get in touch with information, a “human centric” approach which recognises the importance of the person and sees the technology as a service and not vice versa.

What’s your perception for businesses on the “web”?

The Web is the extension of real-life marketplaces introducing new dynamics that reduce the perception of time and distance. People surfing the Web must access the information they require in a faster, more accurate and easier way, as they are always running out of time.

What are the key strategies you use to expand your business over the web?

We have a clear roadmap to develop both our business and technology.

We started selling our technology to enterprises with an on premises solution but our strategic goal is to make it available to everybody via the Cloud.

What do you look for when recruiting an employee?

I usually look beyond a person’s résumé and examine the character of the candidate. I look for people who have sound functional skills combined with personal attributes like initiative, creativity, desire to learn, tenacity, flexibility, resilience, accountability and a collaborative mind-set. I want talented, inspired and motivated people who can add value, enthusiasm, and innovation to our business.

How many employees do you currently have? How do you describe your management style?

We are 60 people with a big heart and a big commitment. I’m very transparent with my people, providing information on the company life, letting them in on any decision and explaining to them their role in the bigger picture. When people understand the overall plan, they view themselves as an important, vital piece of the puzzle. My door is always open for “anything” no matter how big or small. I’m always available to give advice and support, and at the same time, I also like to hear from them any ideas or opinion they may have.

How do you describe yourself in 3 words?

Determined, Self confident, Foresighted

What’s your favourite part of your business, and why?

Since its founding, FacilityLive’s culture has remained rooted in the idea of constantly embracing new challenges such that any challenge becomes an opportunity to learn and improve our technology. The need to efficiently peruse through huge universes of information gets more important day by day.

To make these precise searches, retrieving highly pertinent results is our technology’s challenge and this is the part of FacilityLive’s business that I prefer. Challenges do make me far more passionate and determined.

How do you advertise your business? How do you advertise your product/service?

In FacilityLive we have a strong and effective marketing and communication cross channels strategy including speeches at events, social media activities, newsletters, videos and our company website. We continuously inform and educate our internal and external stakeholders on our business and technology benefits as well as on our company achievements, customer references, international credentials and future developments. FacilityLive represents a positive business model, which helps the development of a new European economy.

Moreover, in my case it was very important to create a Global Partners Ecosystem composed by
business and technology partners that can help us promote and sell our technology. FacilityLive produces software and our business model is, above all, based on indirect sales. We have a structured partner programme aimed at training and educating our partners on our know-how and an internal partner development team supporting them in their relationships with their Customers.

What made you choose this type of business?

Creating this type of business wasn’t a real choice, but the result of a natural progression of my long career path in the knowledge management and organisation world. From the beginning of the Eighties, the Digital Revolution commenced transforming the analogue world into digital. For 15 years, I dealt with the study and application of digital technologies to innovative projects in the treatment of information. This fantastic experience allowed me to understand that nothing happens by chance and that everything must be studied, understood and coded. This brought me to the decision to build my own technology, the “information and data access facilitator” (FacilityLive), able to satisfy an issue that was never addressed before, managing the large production of digital information.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

I would advise people to be brave, break the mould, not be afraid to dare, and propose their
innovative ideas. In fact, when you innovate you are not understood at the very beginning; otherwise you aren’t doing a real innovation. As an entrepreneur, I like telling my experience to those who want to start out to inspire them, seeing myself also as a role model for others to follow.

What is the value of WeHubs for you? How WeHubs has helped you or expects to help you?

I think WeHubs is doing a fantastic job in creating a more favourable and inspiring environment for women Web Entrepreneurs in Europe. You are creating inspiring examples and strengthening the existing ecosystem of women that are creating web based start-ups. I hope WeHubs can keep on helping women in Europe influencing the formulation of polices and supporting their initiatives.

I thank WeHubs for having given me the opportunity to tell my story and having nominated me as one of the top 4 successful Women Entrepreneur for the year 2015!