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Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Olivia Bushe, CEO of Flow Forma, a no-code process automation platform that has raised over $4 million in funding.

  • Olivia’s Background and Leadership Evolution: Transitioning from CMO to CEO, Olivia brings a wealth of experience in tech marketing and a unique perspective on leveraging technology for competitive advantage. Her journey underscores the potential for marketing leaders to ascend to top executive roles in tech companies.
  • The Importance of Marketing in Tech Leadership: Olivia’s marketing background is highlighted as a strength, particularly in a field where technical founders often overlook the significance of marketing. Her approach reflects an understanding that market demands and customer needs drive successful tech innovations.
  • Influence of Local Leaders: Unlike conventional choices, Olivia draws inspiration from Mark Murphy, CEO of Fenergo, a fellow Irish tech leader whose company achieved unicorn status. This preference for a relatable, local success story emphasizes the impact of community and proximity in shaping entrepreneurial aspirations.
  • Emphasis on Practical Learning: Olivia values practical and actionable insights, as demonstrated by her preference for “The Qualified Sales Leader” by John McMahon. This approach to leadership and development, focusing on applying real-world lessons, is a key takeaway for B2B founders.
  • Flow Forma’s Origin and Mission: Originating within Ergo, Flow Forma was developed to address a gap in the market for a business-centric process automation tool. This focus on empowering business users without IT dependency is central to Flow Forma’s value proposition.
  • Construction and Healthcare as Key Industries: Flow Forma has seen significant adoption in the construction and healthcare sectors, where the need for digitization and process automation has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend highlights the broad applicability and impact of no-code solutions across various industries.
  • Global Expansion and Product Evolution: With plans to open a New York office and expand globally, particularly in the US, Flow Forma is poised for a new phase of growth. The company’s commitment to scaling its team and rolling out the next generation of its product underscores its ambition and vision for the future.
  • Challenges of Educating the Market: Initially, introducing no-code process automation required educating potential customers about its value and applicability. This challenge was particularly pronounced given the nascent state of the market in 2016, illustrating the hurdles in pioneering a new or emerging tech category.
  • Vision for the Future: Flow Forma aims to further its mission of making process automation accessible to business users worldwide, with aspirations of achieving significant growth and potentially unicorn status. This vision is supported by a recent $4 million investment, fueling the company’s expansion and product development efforts.


Identify and Target Niche Markets:

Flow Forma's success in the construction and healthcare sectors, traditionally seen as lagging in tech adoption, illustrates the effectiveness of identifying and targeting niche markets ripe for digital transformation. B2B tech founders should consider sectors that may have been overlooked by competitors.

Global Expansion Mindset:

Flow Forma's strategic move to expand into the U.S. market and open a New York office reflects the necessity of thinking globally, even for startups based outside major tech hubs. Founders should plan for international growth early in their company's lifecycle.

Incorporate Customer Feedback for Product Evolution:

Flow Forma's commitment to listening to customer needs and staying close to the market for product development is a key factor in its innovation. Founders should establish mechanisms for continuous customer feedback to guide product iterations and enhancements.

Overcome Market Education Challenges:

Initially facing the challenge of educating the market about no-code process automation, Flow Forma's experience underscores the need for clear and effective communication strategies to explain new or complex products. Founders should invest in educational content and outreach to build market understanding.

Accelerate Time to Value:

By ensuring that customers can see value from their product within six weeks, Flow Forma addresses a critical aspect of customer satisfaction and retention. B2B tech founders should focus on minimizing the time to value for their products to enhance adoption and user satisfaction.