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Innovation & Job News

GrindHub, business collaboration platform to replace company intranet, readies for alpha launch

Local entrepreneur (and creator of the DMV Startup Wiki) Brandon Luong is launching a product aiming to disrupt something most people couldn't even define--the company intranet.

An intranet is a private network set up and maintained by an organization. Large companies often have them to allow employees to securely collaborate on projects and files. 

But Luong says GrindHub, which is currently taking on alpha clients as it readies for its beta launch in July, is different.

Companies add whichever cloud-based services they use—email, accounting, database, analytics, CRM, project management and so on—to their dashboard on GrindHub, and can "do the work they need to get done with their teammates, or work on their tasks themselves." An administrator on the team determines which team members have access to which services, ensuring that the marketing team has access to MailChimp and HootSuite, for example, but can't access the company data that the accounting team sees.

Luong says that "there's no dominant player yet" in intranets for small companies--most companies are still stuck using something "closed, often expensive," or a group chat client instead of a true intranet.

"In terms of group chat," he says, "Slack is blowing everyone out of the water, but Slack is really just a group communication tool. You still can't do certain work [in Slack]. That's where I wanted to bring in GrindHub. We do have a small chat feature that will open up so many different paths."

GrindHub's pricing structure is based on the number of team members using the platform and the number of services the company wishes to integrate into its platform. One person with up to ten services is considered a "Firestarter" and will pay $10/month. Eleven to 20 users with unlimited integrated services is a "Bonfire" at $50/month; and the "Burning Man" model, for up to 40 users per month, unlimited services, analysis and a customizable dashboard, runs $99/month.

At press time, Luong had 35 organizations--with a total of 450 users--signed up to test GrindHub. By July, GrindHub will be at 50 clients and 1,000 users, with 20 to 30 outside services integrated.

Luong says, "I didn't want to build an MVP [minimum viable product]. I wanted to build an MLP—a minimum loveable product. If it works, but you don't really care for it, it doesn't matter if it works ... Because then, when you have to start paying, you'll be like, 'Well, it was nice, but it wasn't that nice.' I want to be able to make [GrindHub] to where you love and you really need this product." 

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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