Business Startup Spotlight: TrekMarker


TrekMarker offers quick in-line feedback to customer’s complex software documents analyzed against thousands of best practices to prevent software project failures.


CTO, Josh Rose

Name: TrekMarker

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio


Product / Service Offering: Software Creation

Co-founder Interviewed: Josh Rose, CTO

Other Key Management Team Members: David Hollabaugh, CEO

This article is part of our Business Startup Spotlight series featuring entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope that these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.

Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.

I have been building software my entire life! I have never gotten over the thrill of seeing people use and enjoy those creations.

When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?

My Co-Founder David and I were friends for three years and realized our complementary talents resulted in a team that could ship incredible quality software faster. In May 2017, we decided to form TrekMarker.

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TrekMarker challenges costly assumptions when creating software. We use our machine learning to quickly analyze product requirements for gaps in definition. This is all centered on empowering the software team with questions and recommendations they can use to solve their problem with fewer failures and less rework.

What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?

In 2016 there was $1.1 trillion in assets affected due to software failures. We believe this failure is due to requirements being filled with assumptions. We have built a product that allows customers to upload their software requirements. Our customers quickly receive expert recommendations and questions to ask their team.

What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?

TrekMarker offers quick in-line feedback to customer’s complex software documents analyzed against thousands of best practices to prevent software project failures.

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What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?

Our biggest challenge would definitely be building the wrong thing. Early on, we received feedback from our network and ran with it. We realized the solution was to spend time talking with customers outside of our core network.

Are there resources you have utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?

TrekMarkerOur local startup community in Cincinnati has probably been our greatest resource. As a founder, I am also reading more books than ever. “The Hard Thing about Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz has helped with the emotional hardships of starting a company, “Algorithms to Live By” by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths is a great read for anyone solving technical problems.

What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?

We joined the nationally ranked accelerator Uptech in early September. The accelerator model has proven to be incredibly helpful to us. If we had to start over, we probably would have spent more time talking to our customers and less time talking to investors.

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Have there been any questions you have had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?

To be completely transparent, the biggest questions I had were around the internal struggles. I wondered if it was this hard for everyone because other entrepreneurs were always talking about how great everything was going. “The Hard Thing about Hard Things” really works to dispel this illusion. I think it is hard to get a real answer on the daily struggle founders go through because there is social pressure for things to be going well.

What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?

Every day is a challenge. You just have to hit it head on, I feel like the challenges change day by day. Some days it is our marketing and sales efforts. Other days it is the technical challenges of working with the emerging machine learning tooling out there.

What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?

The people you think are masters of their field are just winging it. Stop questioning on the how and just get started. The next thing you know people will start coming to you for expert advice. It is staggering how quickly this happens when you just get your hands dirty.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?

If you are building software we want to help make it better, reach out and ask how!

Are you familiar with other startups you believe should be spotlighted? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them, sharing in your comments below!

Sandra Sloan

Sandra has previous supply chain and business operations experience which she is leveraging as an author with FundingSage focused on spotlighting entrepreneurs and their startup efforts.