PROVO, Utah – Sep 03, 2018 – While at the BYU Marriott School of Business, Darrell Swain pursued not only a diploma but also two successful business ventures. And in the seven years since his 2011 graduation, Swain’s entrepreneurial drive has shown no signs of slowing down.
His latest endeavor is conversation software company Tiled, which he started with a group of former and current BYU students in 2016. The team has created a product that enables people without coding abilities to easily create rich, interactive content that rivals the experience of using an app or a website.
“Since 2008 I’ve been working toward this vision to empower everyone to create online content, so Tiled is a fulfillment of a ten-year journey,” says Swain, who serves as president of the company. “We’re proud of the product and culture we’ve built at Tiled that focuses foremost on delivering real impact.”
Tiled has already benefited field and inside sales teams at companies such as Vivint Solar, Adobe, and McKinsey & Company. The companies use the software for sales pitches, recruiting efforts, and internal communications. Tiled enables brand and message compliance while providing flexibility to meet customer needs. The platform’s “MicroApps” can be shared with customers and provide insights on customer interactions with content.
The company recently received $1.5 million in seed money, which was led by Utah-based Kickstart Seed Fund. The funds will go toward expanding sales, customer success, and marketing within the company. Swain hopes these efforts will increase the company’s customer base, especially in the San Diego area where Tiled is located.
“We’re going after companies looking for an alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint,” Swain says. “Our platform takes content that doesn’t adapt well for conversations and makes it more interactive and dynamic.”
This financing milestone wasn’t Swain’s first interaction with Kickstart Seed Fund. In 2009 Swain teamed up with fellow BYU student Ben Dilts to launch Lucidchart, a diagramming software company that quickly earned the confidence of investors. Swain helped build a business around the technology Dilts had created. The duo’s efforts earned them a spot in the finals of the 2010 Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge, and Lucid continues to rake in awards as the company grows.
While a student, Swain explored other business ideas as well, including PictureThis. The interactive software enabled guests at special events to customize software experiences and create take-home photos. Swain and his team enhanced the guest experience at over a thousand social and corporate events, and at its peak, PictureThis had a presence in thirty markets in six countries. The software landed Swain on the Utah Top 25 Student Entrepreneurs list two years in a row.
“I was able to apply what I was learning in every class to the projects I was working on outside of school,” Swain says. “The entrepreneurship program at BYU Marriott is a unique, world-class program and was absolutely vital to every success I’ve had.”
In addition to the resources at BYU, Swain credits his family for inspiring his interest in technology. He grew up watching his mother go to work as an IT administrator for a school district in San Diego. He also has fond memories of building computers with his grandfather, which gave Swain an understanding of what happens underneath the keys. He uses this knowledge to solve everyday problems.
“What makes a successful entrepreneur is someone who recognizes other people’s pains and is crazy enough to try to build solutions,” Swain says. “The greater the pain, the greater the opportunity to find a solution. I’ve always enjoyed understanding what people are going through and finding ways to help them.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Maggie Kuta