RICHMOND - When we arrive to meet Suzanne Davenport, she confides in us that she hasn't told many people about her stealth startup. She's afraid someone will steal her idea because she's sure that there's a market for her idea. Davenport wants to revolutionize project management, tossing away software made for linear industrial production and replacing it with a simple online service that's tailored to the needs of today's service businesses.
If she's atypical in some ways, Davenport is a model startup founder in others. "After I got my MBA, people asked me, 'Why do you do this? Why don't you get a real job?" she told us. "My answer is that I can't not do this. I'm just driven to make this work."
Davenport's background also gives her an advantage that she shares with many good entrepreneurs: she is her own target customer. After years of doing project management, Davenport is developing the "system that I wanted to have for myself."
In a few months, her new site will launch at smartprojex.com. Until then, she'll keep honing the product and preparing the business plan from her home near VCU.
Image: Alexis Madrigal/The Atlantic.