Crain’s Chicago Business writer, Meribah Knight, talks to Kerry Frank about revolutionizing the airline industry.
Her story reads like so many others in today’s world of explosive startups, but when Kerry Frank and her husband, Dude, started their company in 2007, the only space that met the company’s “office budget” was their basement. From humble beginnings, and driven by an enormous idea to transform 90 lb. paper-based flight bags into digital information that pilots could access on the new (at that time) iPads, Kerry Frank started Comply365. Now with nearly 70 employees and a recent round of investment from Drive Capital, Frank has come a long way.
With no background in software development, but certain that her idea was one who’s time had come – to streamline operations dragged down by slow, manual paper processes – the aviation industry was the perfect target. Facing a highly mobile industry with tight regulations, heavy fines and a need for fast, efficient, secure systems, together, with Kerry as CEO and Dude as Comply365’s Chief Technology Officer, they took a layman’s approach that required their products be user-friendly and device agnostic. By creating a system where pilots and crew members could access all their crucial documents, forms and training from anywhere, airlines could provide their crews with tablets and never worry about being out of compliance or need to print a document again. After seeing Comply365’s flagship product, airlines wanted more.
Chris Olsen, co-founder of Drive Capital, saw the potential in Kerry and her idea for the future. “Kerry is a force of nature. We went out scouring the world for best-in-class companies doing this. When we meet Kerry it was an aha moment.” Olsen sees plenty of room for growth. “Anywhere you see a pen and paper still existing – a pilot with a flight manual, an oil worker carrying an operating manual or a health care worker taking inventory with a clipboard – all of those are opportunities for Comply365 to go an earn that real estate,” he says.
Surrounded by a world class team, including board members like Joe Graziano, the former CFO of Apple, tech entrepreneur Rob Ryan and Chris Olsen from Drive Capital, Kerry is dedicated to revolutionizing how enterprises work – one piece of paper at a time.