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Planting The Seed For A Startup

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Christian Wielage was already in the midst of a successful career at IBM working as a budgeting and planning analyst when, in 2010, the 30-year-old made the difficult decision to start something new—though not entirely new.

Wielage’s father, Edward, had been one of two developers who’d created a piece of software called PlanGuru several years earlier at a small tech company that he started called New Horizon Software Technologies. The software, which was designed to help businesses improve financial decision making through financial forecasting and budget planning, lacked selling power, and that’s where Wielage saw an opportunity. It needed an injection of life, and, with his experience in budgeting and forecasting at IBM, he had the tools to make it happen. So he left IBM to pursue the formation of PlanGuru LLC with help from his brother Taylor, longtime friend Tripp Graham, and the two original creators of the software.

Founders:
Edward Wielage and Sally Sprankle

Founded:
2010 (as a rebirth)

Number of Employees:
11

Total Revenue:
Declined sharing for “competitive” reasons

Revenue Growth:
50% annual increase since company rebirth

After setting up shop in White Plains, Wielage, as CEO of PlanGuru, headed the effort to completely revamp the software, hire employees, and develop a sales strategy. The process was more of a rebirth than a typical startup.

“I couldn’t imagine a better decision. PlanGuru is now a time-tested approach to better decision making,” he says. “And here in Westchester you have all the amenities and benefits of the financial capital of the world, but at a lower cost.”

The company’s mission is to provide budgeting strategies, forecasting methodologies, and long-term financial planning for businesses of all sizes using the retooled software. PlanGuru also offers resources to its customers such as free trials of its business budgeting software and one-on-one meetings with budgeting experts. “We take an exercise that’s really difficult, and we make it really easy,” Wielage says.

In just a few years, the new team has been able to transform PlanGuru into a successful and widely used business tool, with the company seeing a 50-percent annual revenue increase since its reformation. 

Looking back at his career path, Wielage says, “When an entrepreneurial opportunity comes around, you have to be committed to it.” And he hopes that his com-
mitment to PlanGuru will allow the company to grow even bigger in the coming years. As of now, the focus is on improving a newly developed software called PlanGuru Analytics, a cloud-based dashboarding and reporting tool for performance review. “It’s a great product right now, but we plan on dramatically enhancing its functionality in the next year. That’s our new exciting thing right now.” 

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