Have you ever had a moment of recognition that an issue you were experiencing was readily solvable, and you might just be the one to figure out how?

Reuben Pressman started on the journey that brought him to where he is today when he began coding as a 10-year-old. As a student at the University of South Florida, he realized that the majority of the learning he was doing was going on outside the classroom—and that student involvement was a huge blind spot at his and many other schools.

After this a-ha moment as a student, Pressman set out to make it easy to collect usable data, then give the tools that institutions needed to make an impact. Launched in May of 2014, his company Presence has spent the last seven years doing just that.

Pressman is the founder and has served as CEO of Presence for more than nine years. The software serves to help universities improve retention rates by tracking data related to student involvement patterns and behaviors. In addition, he was recently announced as the CPO at Modern Campus, a higher education software company. He also serves as Entrepreneur in Residence for the city of St Petersburg, Florida.

Find out why Pressman believes the most important trait in an employee is their ability to be a team player and the fortuitous way he first connected with Tom, in today’s episode of Investing in Florida Technology.

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Some Questions Asked: 

  • What can you tell us about Presence and the journey that brought you here? (03:08)
  • Who was your first customer? (05:17)
  • Where was the tipping point when you realized you would be able to scale and grow the company? (08:20)
  • Tell us about your time as the Entrepreneur in Residence for the city of St Pete. (12:50)
  • What made you decide that it might be time to sell? (17:54)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How Presence and its mission grew out of Pressman’s observations about his own college experience. (03:20)
  • How Pressman worked through all of the bureaucracy involved in selling to universities. (06:42)
  • The fundraising journey behind Presence. (09:45)
  • Pressman’s advice for founders who are just starting out right now. (14:47)
  • Where Pressman sees himself going after Presence. (21:02)

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