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Meet Michelle Mikka-Van Der Stuyf of BizStrat Technology Corporation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Mikka-Van Der Stuyf.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Michelle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
BizStrat Technology Corporation was founded in 2012, to serve high-level project needs for ERP/MIS implementing companies who had millions of dollars tied up in projects that needed to go live after an acquisition. From there, the company continued to grow year over year both in product portfolio and customer base, branching into web-based systems, including website, e-commerce, video and social media integrations, event management and campaign systems. In working with the evolution of technology, whether for a patented product or service that needed legs, or a $100 million dollar company who needed technology strategy & solutions to grow their business, the key need for cutting edge and innovative solutions was the same.

Our difference is that each project is “discovered” and a custom fit of the best of cutting-edge technology on top of their existing investments in technology infrastructure “emerges”. Since these solutions are tailored to the business, and built for rapid growth, with flexibility, as the business changes and evolves their technology grows alongside them, with little downtime or pain points. Our business methods & processes are unique and feature a platform independent and single database methodology.

Our software suite, urEZsolutions, also follows this mantra, growing to fit the needs of various industries and provide simple, effective and cutting-edge solutions to very basic business challenges. This approach allows one project build to serve many audiences without re-building, re-designing or significant investments. Our addition of touch screen solutions was natural as mobile continued to grow and take hold, industries began to adopt kiosks and hospitality, ordering, and inquiry devices became more prevalent in the marketplace.

In our research & development area, we are working on new developments in the food & medical fields that will impact those industries significantly by providing them with creative, effective, and long-awaited solutions that will allow them to use data to grow and be more efficient. Our focus is on innovative solutions that drive success, and they are delivered in many sizes and colors to fit the needs of those who are deploying these solutions. We embrace the fact that “Change is Constant” and view it from a different perspective of “Opportunity” to grow which is the goal for all businesses, our strategic solutions allow them to have technology work for them, with them and achieve their business goals for their industries with cutting-edge solutions that work and position them for success.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Technology is an area that is never smooth or straight. The rate of change is fast-paced, exciting, and needs a level of engagement and awareness that exceeds many others. The road had several bumps and curves in it. First, the struggle with any new company is building a reputation in the industry, and I was fortunate to bring some clients who had known me, professionally, for at least a decade. The ability to start with a reputation among your first clients is key.

We also as they say “got out there”, becoming a nominee in 2016 and 2017 for the Chicago Innovation Awards, guest speaking, corporately sponsoring events in STEM initiatives, sitting on boards, exhibiting at targeted trade shows and broadcasting what we do and how we do it, and why it makes a difference. After 2 years, people knew me and the company and sought me out to talk about a project or a technology challenge. In addition, as we completed those early projects and grew our portfolio officially into areas where I had significant expertise and experience, transferring this to staff and the company as a whole was a carefully navigated landscape.

We built a product portfolio, a reputation, and a team all in line with one another. In 2015, we opened our first location, a 1,983 sq. ft. office space which provided us with the same innovative design, layout and creative flexibility in workspaces that fostered our continuous build on the newly innovative developments. Our development of our mission or value proposition was a large contributor to making this possible. We started and continue to align our products and services with “best of breed” and “never been done this way before” concepts. We drizzle that with the use of cutting-edge technology that gives our customers an advantage and competitive differentiation that makes them attractive to their customers. The other challenge we had as we grew was funding. As a female entrepreneur in technology, this is an area that is less accessible. I made the choice in two arenas for BizStrat Technology Corporation. First one was we didn’t want to be the classic model in several ways, but most notable in client growth. We didn’t want to be a pestering call or email to gain new clients who had never met us and we had never met them.

We wanted a company built on valued relationships. We wanted to be as invested in our client’s business endeavors as they were, in fact, in many cases more so. We view ourselves as a trusted advisor and leg to their business, sharing and applying our technology expertise and knowledge of new tools that fit well to our customer’s needs. Therefore, still today we remain a completely referral based company. All of our customers come to us from relationships with our existing customers, our vendors, our peers, and our valued partners. The second challenge was capital investments. We grew organically and strategically, not through a big influx of Venture Capitalist funding. There are definitely advantages/disadvantages to this choice, but for us, we built it, continue to grow it, and find creative ways to fund the research & development, prototype software, development and computer devices to move our product offerings along without giving up any interest in the company. We believe that when you have a financial investor who in turn gets the right to direct the company’s mission, you can start to make decisions for the wrong reasons and drift from your original purpose. We chose to stay true to decisions that are focused on doing the right thing and doing it the right way.

Please tell us about BizStrat Technology Corporation.
BizStrat Technology provides business & technology strategies, system designs, web-based systems, e-commerce, integrated solutions, touch screen software and software development. We specialize in building “best of breed” technology-based solutions to meet business needs. Our excitement includes working on cutting-edge technology inclusion, such as beacons for context-aware applications, integration of multi-faceted solutions to make a company’s online presence robust and user-focused and our own software modules from urEZsolutions, which focus on specific business challenges by segment and bring solutions to the market in a way that is not cost or time prohibitive to implement.

We are most proud of our ability to grow solely through referrals and bootstrapped funding. The referral basis means we are delivering excellent results that are exceeding customer expectations in all aspects of their business needs. The bootstrapped capital funding means we can continue to stay true to our mantra, to do it better and do it right. Our ability to strategically align a customer’s specific needs to the right fit technology, while maintaining the solution choices to be ones that will give a customer a leg-up set us apart from our competition. Our focus is continuously about past, present and future.

Our method is to utilize their existing investments, meet their current needs, and leave them with a solution that is ready to easily and rapidly grow with them and their business. Our other branch, in software specifically, focuses on a platform independent, single-database concept. This allows all users to gain the same benefit while allowing the user audience to be diverse in their needs by delivering the specific features from a single source from the beginning and getting the “biggest bang for your buck” when it comes to growing functionality. Those diverse features can range from an end user to an industry, to a community and include any or all of those from a single software-based solution.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Well, I had never thought about that before, so I would have to say my favorite memory from childhood is from 7th grade Science class with Mr. Gant. He was an extraordinary teacher, but it was the segment where we built rockets in class, that was to be launched at the end of the year that sources this experience and memory. There was so much that went into building this rocket: function, design, and the goal that it would take off and fly.

We learned about the rocket itself, the parts, and the planned function of it. We then assembled the rocket so it would actually work. Once that was done, it was functional but not attractive, so we had to choose a design, colors, and make it our own but yet cool enough that other people thought it was worth checking out. I guess in answering this, it would seem that software development and technology system design is so very similar. You first have to learn about what you need to build, “discovery”. Then you need to build it to function and do its job, “features”. Finally, you make it look good, “design”. Who knew that your career would stem out of building a rocket and launching it in 7th grade! You may be wondering… Yes, the rocket did launch and fly! In fact so well, that I didn’t get it back, it is probably still on the roof of Prosser High School in Chicago, IL.

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