Entrepreneur: Paul Dietzel II
What they do: Give nonprofits, charities and political campaigns the ability to accept money through websites, social media sites and mobile devices
Revenue: $1 million projected this year
Next Goal: Rolling out in six different languages and about 60 countries through a new client
The "aha" moment
When Paul Dietzel II (his grandfather is the former LSU football coach) was designing and building websites in Los Angeles, he was unimpressed by the software typically used for fundraising by political candidates. Some were difficult to use, while others were very expensive. He decided he could put together a team to build a better mousetrap that wasn't necessarily the cheapest or packed with the most features, but was streamlined and user-friendly. In doing so, they created a solution for political candidates, causes, churches, nonprofits and charities that Dietzel says is less expensive than most of the competition. “Anedot,” the name of the company Dietzel founded, is an anagram for “donate.”
Dietzel pitched his idea to Lod Cook, the prominent LSU graduate and businessman who is the vice chairman emeritus of Pacific Capital Group in Beverly Hills, Calif. Cook loved the idea and became Dietzel's first partner and investor. They agreed the company would be based in Louisiana, the state Dietzel calls home. The service Dietzel developed can be imbedded in the client's website or Facebook page, for example, enabling the user to donate money securely without ever leaving a trusted site. “For all intents and purposes, the donor doesn't have to know that we exist,” Dietzel says.
Hitting the market
Since 2012 is an election year, Anedot has concentrated on the political world. The company didn't start accepting clients until August of last year, but Dietzel says it now has them in nearly every state, thanks to word of mouth from political consultants. Prominent clients include U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. And Anedot is bipartisan, working with the Louisiana Democratic Party and the state GOP. The company has even signed up Mayor Kip Holden and Metro Councilman Mike Walker, who are running against each other in this year's East Baton Rouge Parish mayor-president race. One client that Dietzel isn't ready to identify will be launching soon in six languages and about 60 countries.
“We want to become synonymous with the word “donation.” If someone wants to make a donation, no matter where they are, they have a very simple and easy means to quickly donate to that cause or group.”
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