Damon Deru Joins Orkid Solutions, Inc. as Chief Product Officer, Spearheading Innovation for Small Business Success

Damon Deru, CPO of Orkid

PROVO, Aug. 30, 2023—Damon Deru, seasoned entrepreneur and business mentor, was recently appointed as Chief Product Officer (CPO) to Orkid Solutions, Inc., an HR services aggregator designed for small businesses. In this strategic role, Damon will play a crucial part in ensuring that Orkid’s suite of services continually meet the evolving needs of small business owners.

Regarding the hire, Justin Atkinson of the Orkid Board of Directors stated, “As we continue to look for ways to serve the small business community, Damon was the perfect fit to ensure that our services will focus on helping small businesses scale their employee and administrative offerings. Having built small businesses himself, Damon understands the unique struggles that small business owners face, and plans to focus his efforts on uniting technology and white glove service in a way that will help small business owners thrive.”

Deru began his career as a trader and Registered Investment Advisor at a prominent wealth management firm based in Salt Lake City, UT. In this role, Deru recognized the prominent need for advanced trading software tailored to the intricate demands of wealth management, which sparked his transition to technology entrepreneurship, founding his first tech venture, TradeWarrior.

Established in 2010, TradeWarrior quickly gained loyalty and recognition from wealth management firms nationwide for its innovative trading software. This remarkable trajectory led to a merger in 2017 with Chicago-based fintech startup, Oranj, that was eventually acquired by global financial technology company SEI. Following this successful venture, Deru’s started AdvisorPeak with a focus on building advisor  technology that anticipates and streamlines an advisor’s trading operations. In 2021, AdvisorPeak was acquired by Addepar, a leading wealthtech firm managing over $4 trillion in assets on its platform.

Deru then stepped into a new role as product advisor and co-founder of ControlQore designing project management and payment software for general contractors. Deru later co-founded and served on the advisory board of BroodStack, a company that offers outsourced software development services with offices in Utah, South Dakota, and Trivandrum, India. Following his time at BroodStack, Deru brought his skills to the nonprofit sector as a board member for EnLevo, aiding in technology and fundraising efforts in support of their mission to build more sustainable lives for Guatemalans in remote villages.

“I’m eager to join Orkid Solutions and contribute to the growth and success of small businesses,” Deru shared. “Orkid’s dedication to empowering small business owners resonates deeply with me, and I’m eager to merge my experience and insights with their forward-looking approach. By combining technology and unparalleled service, we’ll forge new paths for small business success and longevity.”

Deru’s appointment as Chief Product Officer marks a significant milestone in establishing Orkid’s organizational structure and service foundation. 

About Orkid Solutions

Orkid Solutions, Inc. focuses on relieving small business owners of daily burdens by identifying blind spots and filling operational gaps. Following a comprehensive analysis, Orkid strategically connects business owners with its network of top-vetted partners, eliminating guesswork and equipping executives with the tools to efficiently scale their operations and adapt to ever-changing needs. Visit orkid.com to learn more.

Apple Attacks the ‘Lifeblood’ of the United States Economy

Saving the Pear from Apple: Where we’re at and why we care

Provo, UT—In the United States, it costs tens of thousands of dollars to defend a trademark opposition. For a company like Apple, with tens of billions of dollars in resources, attacking the trademarks of small businesses is no problem. Sadly, most small businesses can’t afford to defend themselves against this type of litigation, and, as a result, must change their logo and branding or close their doors. Either way, the bully wins. 

Does  the international software giant really spend time and resources hunting down and filing notices of opposition against small businesses? Unfortunately for the young, Utah-local cooking app, Prepear, the answer is yes. “It’s unfortunate that a world renown brand, such as Apple, would directly attack a young, female owned startup such as Prepear, just because they can,” says A.J. Rounds, CMO of RevRoad—a partner with Prepear, “In this difficult time, regarding the pandemic, the world is rooting extra hard for small business, while Apple seems anxious to squash them.

Prepear is a cooking app that helps users combine every part of their cooking life in one concise place. Prepear users can discover, organize, shop, and cook all within Prepear’s uniquely built features. Pretty straight forward right? Just a small business simplifying the lives of America’s home cooks. Yet, here comes Apple (yes, 2 trillion dollar Apple) claiming Prepear’s obviously pear shaped logo is too close to Apple’s trademark logo. 

But does Apple really think Prepear’s logo could create confusion with their own? Here’s exactly what the megacorporation has to say:

In most cases, these company logos do not resemble Apple’s at all, nor are they in the same line of business. Yet, Apple has been going after dozens of small businesses, forcing them to pay for a very expensive legal defense, or abandon their trademarks (which also comes at substantial cost).

A 2019 release from the US Small Business Administration stated, “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy: they create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. A new report shows that they account for 44 percent of U.S. economic activity.” This information highlights the importance of small businesses for the U.S. economy. 

Prepear has already spent thousands of dollars and been forced to lay off a team member due to this expensive battle with Apple. So why fight it?

“I feel a moral obligation to take a stand against Apple’s aggressive legal action against small businesses and fight for the right to keep our logo. We are defending ourselves against Apple not only to keep our logo, but to send a message to big tech companies that bullying small businesses has consequences.”

Natalie Monson, CEO at Prepear

Prepear has since generated over 260,000 signatures on their petition to Save the Pear from Apple

Join their fight for small businesses by signing the petition and sharing their story. 

###For media inquiries, interviews or additional information, please contact Communications Specialist  Bri Ray at bri.ray@revroad.com or by calling  888-920-7623

Forbes Says Hello to Hallo After a Successful Raise of $1.4 Million

Forbes says hello to Hallo after a successful raise of .4 Million

Forbes recently released an article congratulating Hallo on a successful raise of $1.4 Million. 

Article author, Fredrick Daso, wrote, “Language has proven to be both an obstacle and a conduit towards integrating oneself among a foreign nation. Dent and Beh saw the chasm between these linguistic worlds and built a bridge called Hallo to connect them. Hallo bills itself as the ‘future of language learning,’ allowing native English speakers to teach users through the startups smartphone app. Founded in April 2017, the Provo, Utah-based company has recently raised a $1.4 million seed from Kickstart as the lead investor with participation from RevRoad and Tamarak.”

Recognizing the $60 billion global language learning market that is up for grabs, Forbes highlighted the innovative ways Hallo teaches English to language learners across the globe. 

Read the full article here.

Portfolio Company Growth Series: Savology

Savology prepares fast and free personal financial plans. In just 5 minutes, a user can receive a comprehensive plan, holistic report card, and personalized recommendations to improve their short term and long term financial wellbeing.

Savology joined the RevRoad portfolio in October 2019. In a recent case study, CEO Spencer Barclay had this to say about his experience, “We were at a point where we needed either an investment or a partner that could help us get to launch. We joined RevRoad in July 2019 and in 3-4 months we had over 1,000 users.”

Hear Spencer Barclay’s full RevRoad review here.

Brand Refresh

One of the first steps the marketing team took with Savology was collaborating on a brand refresh. 

Brand Color Exploration

Finding the primary and supporting colors for a company’s brand.

Logo Revamp

View the before/after of the Savology logo below.

As you can see, the initial logo color was bright and disjointed. The initial font was fairly thin, spacey, and difficult to read; however, the hexagon, abstracted money sign, and simplicity behind the idea were strong.

The revamped logo highlights all of the strongest features of the initial logo, yet the slight changes help accentuate Savology’s true tone and overall brand. The rebranded logo allowed Savology to better fit within the fintech industry and target the desired audience. The font was also given a custom upgrade to make it more difficult to replicate. 

Product Design and Development

Step two was designing and developing a working product software that takes each customer through the financial plan process quickly, efficiently, and easily. With the help of both the RevRoad and Savology UI/UX teams, the full Savology software was built. The clean and clear design layout makes navigation and function simple.

Screenshot of the Savology Software

Marketing Site

Savology came to RevRoad with a simple, entry level website. In collaboration with the RevRoad marketing team, a custom marketing website was built to motivate potential clients to fill out a free financial plan.

Savology Marketing Website

Social Posts and Templates

Growing a social media presence can be helpful when establishing a company within a specific demographic. One of the hardest pieces of social media is knowing where to start. Below, you’ll see examples of some custom instagram templates RevRoad designed and delivered to help Savology maintain a clean, professional aesthetic digital platforms.

Savology Social Media Templates

Press Release and Launch

On October 24, 2019, Savology officially launched to the public. The RevRoad Marketing, PR, and Communications teams worked with Savology to make some waves. The successful launch resulted in Savology being mentioned on 80+ media outlets including Forbes, YahooFinance, Business Insider, Market Watch, MorningStar, and Entrepreneur.

Read the full press release here.