WillowTree Apps

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WillowTree Apps

Tobias Dengel
CEO

Location: Charlottesville, VA
Founded: 2007
Industry: Software design and development

AIMING FOR THE BIG FISH

Tobias Dengel believes that WillowTree Apps can help Fortune 500 companies take advantage of the mobile wave in ways that their internal teams and existing consultants cannot. Because of the limited screen real estate, mobile demands design-driven software development, and that is where WillowTree excels. Apps development and design is a huge growth market, Dengel says. In fact, he advises a budding entrepreneur to pick a market that is growing over 100 percent a year — a hypergrowth market. He also advises placing the company outside of the major software development urban areas. Doing so allows the business operator to control costs, and more importantly, hire, develop and retain great talent without the risk of that talent constantly being poached.

Quick Tip: “Focus on developing a confident and authentic approach to communicating your ideas.”

One challenge to WillowTree’s success is going against well-known brands in the space, like Accenture and Cognizant. Those companies usually have long-standing and senior-level relationships with clients, whereas the WillowTree team has to prove itself every time. Dengel believes that it will take WillowTree a long time to penetrate these large clients, but once it does, and executes well, there will be many opportunities to expand these relationships.