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Alex Iceman: Genium Is a Software Development and Agile Consulting Firm

Genium is a software development and agile consulting firm that connects innovative companies with world-class software engineers across the globe.

A tech startup, founded in 2017, Genium provides developers and engineers with a platform for management as well as client and IT support all in one place.

Tell us about yourself?

I’ve always been good with computers, but my first master’s degree was in biochemistry. After talking with friends and mentors, I decided I wanted to pursue a second degree.

I opted for math and computer science because I realized I could apply computer science to any and every industry.

I could work in aviation or gaming — my personal passions — or go into technology. Given my broad computer skills and true love of math, I was well-positioned to set off in the right direction.

Hockey is my lifelong passion. I play recreationally and am an American Hockey league referee. I have always worked on my own schedule and realized not all companies are supportive of that balance.

At one company, I often had to ask my boss to leave early to referee hockey games. I didn’t like that feeling, and my boss was not very supportive even though I was a dedicated worker and top performer. When we lost a major client, the company downsized and my role was impacted.

I didn’t know what to do. I asked friends how they had started working remotely and they recommended searching for freelance work on job-posting sites. I secured my first contract three weeks later, started working on my own schedule and had the flexibility to pursue my work and my passions.

Now, I enjoy building a culture and processes that support a culture where team members can thrive personally and professionally.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

I have four quotes that I live by: Never take “no” for an answer (never give up). You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take (or we lose most of the battles in our head). Stay true to yourself (remember your essence and who you are as a person).

Trust your judgment (don’t doubt yourself too much and trust your decisions and instinct).

What problem does your business solve?

Providing organizations with long-term support for IT projects at a more affordable price tag.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

At the age of 18, I saw a friend running his own business with his father, and at the time, I made a promise to myself to run my own business before I turned 25.

When I moved to Silicon Valley, I knew my company had to be in tech, and since I have a degree in engineering and math, the choice was obvious — an IT company. That’s when I started my first consulting company at the age of 25.

When organizations have a hard time hiring high quality technical talent in local markets, they turn to Genium.

As a software consultancy, we build and deploy teams of highly skilled engineers. We handle all of the background work involved in finding the best of the best talent — from recruiting to hiring, including extensive background checks.

Many of our clients deal with highly sensitive data and they need the best technical skills to build high quality software and minimize risks. Clients get top technical talent without having to worry about the logistics of finding the best fit for their short or long term needs.

What is your magic sauce?

It’s all about your first major client.

When my major client came and asked to build a mobile app and servers to service 12 million users, it was a breakthrough. All I needed to do was deliver at exceptional quality and on time.

My team successfully did this, and the client is still working with us. That was a perfect match for us and our expertise.

We used that as a good example of our target market. In general, our market is mid to large tech companies with occasional startups. We target companies that have 100+ employees in the US that have a sizable engineering department.

Since Genium works with high profile clients that require exceptional software architecture and high quality, we tend to work with stable companies that value quality.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

One project we’re working on that I am particularly proud of is an internal project that is helping children and families in need get into IT.

We have a dedicated person who works to identify the best candidates to join the program. After individuals are selected we run them through a mentorship program where we identify the technology to start and help them learn the basics of software development.

On top of this we mentor them on soft skills, team works, modern tools, collaboration, presentation and help with their resume. We add them to our internal projects as peers and they work side by side with our top engineers.

We also work with multiple organizations to provide the first job opportunity and get them into teams to gain that vital experience. This is a competitive process and opportunity provided only to the once that desire to succeed and work hard.

The other project is called Toosa.com a product we have to help brands and influencers streamline their communications.

It’s a proprietary platform used to manage personalized communication via text messages at scale. It’s essentially, a tool to communicate with thousands of people with a click of a button.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

It’s always a learning journey. In my type of work (CEO), you always deal with the most difficult problems. There are countless roadblocks no matter the size of the company.

It’s the mindset to wake up every morning and be ready to open that tough email and deal with the problem one at a time.

I’ve been close to a bankruptcy when a major client went underwater, and we didn’t see it coming. I didn’t foresee this and allowed three payroll invoices over $100,000 to be overdue.

Eventually, they didn’t pay, and I had to finance payrolls myself. At that time, we had a team of 11 engineers in San Francisco. I took out multiple loans and burned a lot of credit cards.

It took me a couple of years to pay 80% of that back. But I made sure my guys were paid and their families were taken care of. It was one of the most difficult times for me.”\

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Let’s connect on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexiceman/

Written by Mark Smith

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