ITA Spotlight: CapTech
Monday, April 8, 2019
Posted by: Kaylin Berg
Kevin Rischow, Director, Chicago Office Lead, CapTech, @CapTechListens
Strong capabilities are just one facet of effective consulting. To be a perceptive partner, we ground our efforts with empathy. Since our founding more than two decades ago, our growth is built on an unwavering belief of providing lasting value by delivering great work in meeting our client’s requirements.
In 25 words or less, what is CapTech all about?
CapTech is a team of master builders, creators, and problem solvers helping clients grow efficient, successful businesses.
How did you get started?
CapTech was formed as the result of a friendship between the company's founders, Sandy Williamson and Slaughter Fitz-Hugh, that began while both were employed at Andersen Consulting in Washington, D.C. In March of 1997 their paths crossed again in their shared hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Subsequently, this led to the creation of CapTech Ventures, Inc.
In your opinion, what are some of the pros and cons of being an Illinois business?
Chicago, and the State of Illinois, offers an amazing technical talent pool from the many top-notch universities. The variety of companies and industries also give a firm like CapTech the ability to showcase our technical leadership, innovation, and client delivery on a regular basis.
This is a very competitive market for talent which is why we are excited to partner with ITA to create more opportunities to keep talent in the Midwest. As we grow our Chicago office, we also continue to convince our colleagues in our other offices that the weather in Chicago is really only bad a few days a year!
What are the biggest challenges you face as you scale your business?
Chicago represents opportunity for CapTech in several varied industries and projects. Much like many other technology consultancies and clients, we are facing a very tight talent market. We will win based on our people and focus on hiring the very best who fit our values. We are also new to Chicago, so we are working closely with organizations like ITA to raise awareness about our offerings and our focus on innovation and technical leadership.
What motivates your employees to come to work every day?
CapTech employees genuinely care about the people we work with and for. “Human-centered” isn’t just an industry buzzword we’ve latched onto in order to seize the next cool thing. We’re a living, breathing example of that concept. From our work-life integration to our client-service model to our flat corporate structure, our people and our relationships shine — and are the heart of our success. Across the company, everyone has the encouragement and drive to be curious. Instead of being a threat to “how things are done,” we embrace ideas, growth, and change — brought by asking why and how. This heartbeat pulses through our employees and culture, fostering career growth, great client work, and a meaningful workplace.
Why does CapTech call Chicago its home?
CapTech has taken a measured approach to entering new markets. Chicago was identified as our next key area of growth, given the diversity of opportunities coupled with top-notch local talent. We also focus on giving our consultants the ability to not travel every week if this is their preference and match them appropriately to a client’s need. Chicago gives us the opportunity to truly create “work/life balance” for our team.
We also feel that our core values including integrity, servant leadership, and being a trusted advisor to our clients align extremely well with what makes Chicago the great city it is.
What do you do to encourage constant growth and change for your employees?
As an organization, we focus on six key values for every CapTech employee. One of these is “intellectual curiosity’ and we continually focus on creating and developing innovative solutions for our clients. As we have depth across many industries, we can bring new ideas and approaches from one industry to another given our technical talent to deliver solutions.
We also pride ourselves on our internal innovation challenges we do multiple times per year. Teams are given a topic, self-form, and create a working solution to solve the problem. Many of these challenges focus on our community engagement, including using Augmented Reality in a Children’s Hospital to provide a more caring experience to using new visual recognition to help with passengers boarding the least crowded subway car.
How does CapTech interact with the Chicago community?
One of our key pillars as a firm is community involvement. Last fall we held a companywide challenge to support local food banks, and the Chicago team raised enough money to provide over 36,000 meals to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
We are also excited to be part of ITA and become a key member of the Chicago technology community. We will be hosting trainings, meetups, and thought leadership sessions that are open to the overall Chicago Technology community.
What makes CapTech stand out?
By listening closely to client needs, we prioritize doing what’s right for our clients. We deliver results that are as purposeful and powerful as the organizations we support. We work alongside our employees, clients, and communities. Our skills-driven, horizontal structure enables everyone to do their best work. By leading with empathy — and collaborating across departments and offices — we enable everyone to excel. As a result, our employees and clients reach their potential, which furthers their own success within their community and respective industries. We find and encourage opportunities that make an impact, and we do our greatest work while fostering a supportive, caring culture.
What’s the coolest perk CapTech’s office has?
Besides a kitchen full of great food and drinks, great convenience for community, weekly game nights and monthly social events. There is outstanding chemistry amongst the entire office, and we focus on hiring for talent as well as fit.