Citizen Developer Spotlight: CMEA Capital


CMEA Capital gives entrepreneurs a world-class experience with TrackVia

Building a successful business venture takes the ingenuity of a keen innovator and the savvy of a seasoned entrepreneur. But great inventions and strong organization need a third piece to truly succeed. They need investors. When these three work together, ideas flourish; companies grow, making the money they need to thrive. And no one understands this relationship better than CMEA Capital. This venture capital firm manages $1.2 billion for companies in energy, materials, and sciences alike. Their portfolio companies are highly differentiated, grounded in technology and are supported by strong funding teams. That said, CMEA Capital knows that a successful deal requires knowledge, expertise and an ongoing awareness of every detail—they know it takes airtight data management.

It’s not enough to simply close a deal

Providing entrepreneurs with a world-class ‘CMEA experience’ is chief among the company’s objectives. This means understanding the story behind each deal, maintaining clear and open lines of communication and keeping entrepreneurs informed every step of the way.  To do this, CMEA must organize and manage huge volumes of data sets in various formats for a variety of deals, an array of clients through various channels, internal and external parties and independent partners. In addition, CMEA Capital must keep pace with changing science and technology and maintain the strictest confidentiality. All this adds up to a mountain of data, each individual piece a valuable component of a unique and important puzzle. And for Maurice Gunderson, Senior Partner of the Energy & Materials practice, an easy-to-use high-capture database was long overdue.

Data: the world’s most valuable asset

The gap between data and capital is closing. Soon enough the two will overlap and those who can manage and leverage their data will find themselves at the top of the heap. For Maurice Gunderson, frustrating starts and stops with their previous data management system, Filemaker Pro, made it clear the company’s need for a responsive, malleable database just weren’t being met.

“I’ve worked with Intuit, Microsoft, Filemaker, and dozens of other software firms. I was accustomed to either bracing myself for a long day on hold, or simply receiving a form letter response,” said Gunderson.

And after six months, $20,000 and 80% of the project still to be completed, a frustrated Gunderson abandoned Filemaker Pro for TrackVia. The TrackVia online database met his need for a highly secure, Web-based system that efficiently tracked all notes, history, documents and emails associated with a deal. “I needed the capability to search the notes field, attach documents, and support Web form submissions. In short-order, TrackVia delivered on all fronts”, says Gunderson. Team collaboration tools were also created to help his people stay informed and coordinate their actions using up-to-date information.

Tracking piece of mind

Newly minted Citizen Developers at CMEA Capital are now deploying granular user access controls to meticulously manage data and tables among users while TrackVia’s click forensics provide comprehensive details about the who, what, when, where and why of every user action. According to Gunderson “Given the importance of data confidentiality to our team and our entrepreneurs, TrackVia’s click forensic capability provides us with tremendous peace of mind.”

Read the CMEA Capital case study

To learn more about Citizen Developer, CMEA Capital, and their deployment of TrackVia cloud-based data management systems, click here