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January 19, 2021
A CHAT WITH INNOVATORS
El Toro: Disruptive tech
El Toro is an adtech company located in NuLu that applies new digital targeting strategies and massive amounts of data to an old concept — target marketing.
Louisville Future sat down with Stacy Griggs, CEO, and Sean Stafford, El Toro co-founder, to talk about the company—what is does, its unique culture and how it’s growing in interesting directions. (What's with that picture of all the bourbon? We'll get to that shortly.)
When asked about the tech behind what they do, Griggs said “We are a data analytics company that uses IP targeting to connect businesses and partners. We collect about two trillion points of mobile location data every week from people’s phones when they opt in. If you download an app on your phone, that app makes money by serving ads. We partner with about 10,000 different apps.”
The result? An 8-petabyte data lake on consumer insights, retail shopping patterns, etc., and nine patents on processes for mapping IP addresses to home addresses, device IDs to home addresses, and so on. El Toro's notable clients include Ford, Toyota, Walmart, and the University of Louisville.
The folks at El Toro make it a point to enrich the community around them. For example, they are partnering with other local tech businesses and Bellarmine University to coordinate a $1 million grant from the NSF to recruit low-income, high-achieving students into the STEM field.
Griggs is the inaugural chair of city's TechFirst committee, the goal of which is to congregate technology business leaders to develop meaningful growth initiatives within the region’s technology industry.
"I think we can build a billion-dollar business."
— Stacy Griggs, El Toro CEO
Company culture and growth
El Toro recently moved into a 30,000 sq-ft building in NuLu, which they share with other local tech companies Interapt and EdjAnalytics.
El Toro’s new office offers employees many of the perks that Silicon Valley tech companies offer—a gym, a café, a bring-your-dog-to-work policy—but there are a few benefits that you won’t see anywhere else.
One is a conference room that houses an entire wall of premium bourbons and ryes. “It’s partly an employee benefit but the real reason we have it is that we sell to ad agencies all across the U.S. When they come here, the first thing they want to do is try some bourbon. So we figured it would be a lot less expensive to have our own bar,” Griggs said.
The newest onsite benefit (which turned into a business spinoff) is an on-premises licensed and insured high-end hair salon. Sean Stafford led the effort; “I was the President of Sales for the last seven years. But I’m very much a start-up guy and I wanted to launch something new, something that can be a disruptive force. TRIM NuLu was what we called the salon in our building,” he said. “It started as a benefit—saving employees from having to take more time off to get a haircut. But then the concept grew and became TRIM.co.”
With TRIM.co, any companies that want to offer this service can sign up for it. The company supplies the space, TRIM.co supplies the talent and all the materials, including an intuitive app through which services are booked. So far, Texas Roadhouse, Humana, Signature Healthcare, and Yum! are onboard.
The innovative company is going full speed ahead. "I think we can build a billion-dollar business. I think we already compete very effectively with companies like Google and Facebook, so we just need to keep executing, keep innovating, and keep building," Griggs said.
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Yes, data can answer these questions
Flyover Future launched its inaugural Innovators Podcastwith Microsoft's Future of Work Initiative in Louisville. Each episode shares stories from experts at the forefront of data and artificial intelligence. Listen to gain valuable insight and inspiration for your own data strategy. Here are episodes that cover how data and AI answer important questions. Your next big idea is one podcast episode away!
At the beginning of every year, The Tech Tribune lists the best tech startups in cities around the country. This year, the list for Louisville includes companies that focus on healthcare, education, etc. You can see the entire list here.