Meet Mike Davlantes of ChronoCards – Founder Coopetition Winner

Mike Davlantes, founder of ChronoCards in Grand Junction, is one of three startups to win a $5K grant from our Founder Coopetition. 

This spring, Startup Colorado relaunched its Founder Coopetition, a 4-week program that helped 12 founders and co-founders advance their businesses. The Founder Coopetition awarded three participating companies with a $5,000 grant based on their progress, deliverables, and final pitch throughout the program. Mike Davlantes, founder of ChronoCards is one of the three winners of the grant.

ChronoCards is a B2B SaaS that helps mapping teams better manage their work by providing activity logs, workflow documentation, and reporting tools for industry software.We spoke with Davlantes to learn more about ChronoCards and his experience participating in the Founder Coopetition.

Startup Colorado: What is the inspiration behind ChronoCards?

Mike Davlantes: I started my career as a mapping analyst and would often spend all day doing work that had no visible output, or do some steps and later wish I could reproduce exactly what I’d done. Eventually, I transitioned to be a software engineer and was introduced to the multitude of tools that software engineering teams have to both measure their work and document their methods. ChronoCards was born from a desire to bring this professional tooling and efficiency to mapping teams.

SUCO: When you started the Founder Coopetition, what were the biggest challenges facing ChronoCards?

MD: Our biggest challenge has always been conveying the value we offer in a concise manner. ChronoCards logs activity within ArcGIS Pro (popular mapping software) and is industry-agnostic– really anyone who uses GIS (geographic information systems) could stand to benefit. While the software is the same across industries, the way it’s used (and thus the benefit offered to our customers) changes depending on the industry. Identifying these differences, and how to best communicate them, is a continually evolving process!

SUCO: Throughout the four-week program you were tasked with various exercises and deliverables. How did these help you address your challenges?

MD: The participants in this cohort came from businesses at different stages and in varying markets, so many of the exercises focused on business fundamentals and communication. Most of the founders in the group had no background in mapping, so it forced me to take a step back and reevaluate my messaging through a less technical lens. This added perspective helped break down our offering into something that’s easier to understand, whether you’re familiar with the industry or not.

SUCO: The Founder Coopetition mixes the ideas of “collaboration” with “competition.” How did this format inform the way you approach developing your business?

MD: There’s definitely more of a spirit of collaboration over competition for companies in Rural Colorado. Given that members of this cohort were all serving different industries and scattered over a vast, largely empty, half of the state, we were able to collaborate without any real feelings of competition. This engendered a degree of candor during our group sessions that was important not only for advancing our businesses, but also for fostering a dispersed entrepreneurial community.

SUCO: There are a lot of people who wouldn’t expect to see a tech business launching in a rural community. How has your experience of launching ChronoCards in Grand Junction challenged that notion?

MD: The tech/entrepreneurial scene in Grand Junction has grown considerably since I first moved here in 2014! While it’s still a relatively small and tight-knit group, I think the pandemic and the rise of remote work in the Valley really dispelled the last of the notion that Colorado tech only happens in the Front Range. While Grand Junction might lack in volume of companies, it certainly makes up for it in community!

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