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Fast-Growing Business in Ballston Offers Salesforce-Based Tools for Associations

by Jennifer Currier — January 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

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Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Fonteva Logo (via Fonteva.com)A software company based in Ballston is working to make its flagship association management application as efficient as possible via the cloud.

Fonteva, Inc. was founded in 2010. It focuses on “easy-to-use and innovative” software for associations, universities and governments to help streamline an organization’s management of members, alumni or resident services.

Its flagship customer relationship management (CRM) software is called MemberNation, a service for member-based organizations that create and manage subscriptions and services using online portals.

The application is completely built on the Salesforce platform. Using cloud technology, Salesforce serves as a host for other developers to solve management problems as they see fit, using and integrating the infrastructure into their own product.

MemberNation has been on the market for about three and a half years and targets both trade and professional associations. It can be credited with much of the company’s recent growth, making Forbes’ Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America. Last year, Fonteva was ranked No. 1527. The company made the top 500 in 2014, making the list — alongside a handful of other Arlington-based businesses — at No. 286.

Arlington proved to be an ideal location to encourage this growth. Its proximity to Washington, D.C. not only put Fonteva among a hub for the types of associations MemberNation primarily targets, but it also allowed them to recruit talent from the greater Metro area.

Most recently, one of Salesforce’s own joined the Fonteva team to help continue building and expanding MemberNation’s capabilities.

Chris Noone is now Fonteva’s Vice President of Business Development after being a Salesforce partner managing the company’s public sector.Fonteva Online Portal (via Fonteva.com)

“The Fonteva founders really saw an opportunity to build on the success of Salesforce and wanted to use it as a platform because of its ability to scale,” Noone said, describing the company’s beginnings. “They saw a niche space and an opportunity to go after this market. I saw what they were doing, I loved the idea, I saw the opportunity for growth, and I decided to jump on board.”

One of Noone’s first tasks is preparing to launch four new product lines based on MemberNation.

“We’re working on four different feature sets for our flagship product so that all the benefits of the cloud can come to realization,” he said.

One of the products, called Spark Framework, is Fonteva’s own platform for building new software and applications. The others are called Engage, Charge and Assemble Events and are applications that will provide additional accessibility, e-commerce, event planning and management services.

As Fonteva continues to expand and build on MemberNation’s capabilities, Noone said they’ve recently chosen to do so with product extensions available on the company’s own application marketplace to preserve the integrity of their original product.

“We want to initiate our own marketplace so if we want to keep innovating, we don’t have to make our base product slower or larger,” Noone said. “It’ll also allow us to provide our customers with options for the features they want.”

In his first week officially on the job, Noone shared his excitement for MemberNation’s success, but even more for pursuing new opportunities for Fonteva’s services.

“We’ve barely tapped the market, so we’ve got a long way to go to gain leadership in that space,” he said. “We’re constantly looking for new challenges, so it’s much more about messaging and focusing on a new customer base, but it’s not changing our delivery.”

“We don’t ever want to lose focus on what our true calling is,” he added.

Photos via Fonteva.com

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