A couple years ago, while working for a large engineering consulting firm, Kristen Carney was hired to complete what she thought was a straightforward analysis: directly connect two roads that were currently joined by an intermediary road. More than 100 hours later and thousands of dollars over budget, a frustrated Carney felt there had to be an easier solution.
The Austin, Texas entrepreneur complained about her ordeal to friend and software whiz Anthony Morales, who offered to design a program that could drastically reduce the time it took her to gather and format her data. Morales’s software worked so well, they founded Cubit Planning, a Web-based platform that provides cut-and-paste ready environmental data.
“A lot of people say, ‘Hey, you’ve lived my nightmare,’” said Carney, who launched Cubit last year with just $2,000. She said their open-source technology operates in similar fashion to that used by stock websites. “They go out and they grab information from a bunch of different resources and they compile it nicely for you, so you can make a decision based on that data. That’s what we do, but for environmental engineers.”
Originally Carney charged $199 for each report, but just recently introduced a monthly subscription-based model, which ranges from $499 for five reports to $999 for up to 25 reports. The one-off cost has increased to $250 and Carney also said they will deal directly with each individual subscriber to work out a price for unlimited reports.
Carney said her biggest challenge is to bang the drum on Cubit’s new technology and get it in front of the environmental engineers, policy makers and college students that comprise her target audience. “This is an older industry, it’s a stodgier industry and it’s going to take some time to talk to people and build those relationships.”