PrattFolio: Entrepreneurs: Art of Enterprise: Ingenuity to Industry
Before the term was a tech-business buzzword, Peter Harvey (B.S. Structural Engineering) was leading the charge in “big data” analysis as founder of Intellidyn, a direct marketing and data services provider for corporate clients. In 2000, Harvey left the corporate world to launch his business, which went on to become an Inc. 500 company, and in 2005, Harvey was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for Realizing Business Potential in the metro New York area. When the recession hit in the late 2000s, Harvey bounced back with the launch of Boston-area-based Intelli-Global, building on his previous company’s strengths in analytics and marketing to focus on consumer experience and help businesses create relationships with their customers.
What inspired you to develop Intellidyn? It was the challenge of creating a business from an idea, with no funding, and I wanted to build a marketing company that was unique to the industry.
How did you determine the need for your company? I was leading marketing and technology operations within Fortune 500 companies and saw gaping holes in what service providers were offering—there were few that had the ability to create and execute unique marketing strategies.
What obstacles did you need to overcome starting out?
First, feeding my family, starting with no revenue and one employee: myself. Next, getting agreements with suppliers to provide massive amounts of data to me on the promise that I’d generate the revenues to pay them back. Third, changing my work and management styles from being a corporate executive to being an entrepreneur, at a time when there was no roadmap.
What aspect of running and growing your entrepreneurial business have you found the most challenging? And what have you found most satisfying? The most challenging: unforeseen events. Getting through the economic downturn from 2007 to 2009 was brutal. Every week, a client would call and tell me they were filing for bankruptcy.
How did your time at Pratt contribute to your desire to be an entrepreneur?
I was in the architectural engineering program. As an engineer-ing student, I learned how to approach and solve problems. As an architecture student, I learned how to be wildly creative, at first not so much on my own, but in watching classmates. Also, the New York City urban experience was great.