what's in a name plaque

We continue our "What's in a Name?" series today with prooV, Vainu and Glympse.

One was born out of frustration with running proof of concepts, one named its company with the help of an app and one sees its name as an excuse to use a "cute animal nose in its logo."

prooV

Founded: 2015, launched in 2016

Headquarters: Tel Aviv, Israel

Number of employees: 35-plus

Co-founder and CEO: Toby Olshanetsky 

Co-founder and CTO: Alexey Sapozhnikov

Specializes in: prooV is the first Pilot-as-a-Service platform that brings together global enterprises and independent software vendors to discover, connect and execute Proof-of-Concepts (PoCs) through remote and secure testing environments. 

Founded by serial entrepreneurs who recognized the inefficiencies in the relationships between enterprises and vendors implementing new software solutions, prooV offers a new approach to testing, tracking and analyzing vendor solutions, accelerating the journey from request for proposal to proof of concept. 

Was this the original name? The company’s original name was Scalabill.it, which came from the fact that our technology — both our marketplace and cloud-based testing environments — allow enterprises to scale their IT and innovation capabilities, and startups to deploy their solutions on a larger scale by removing the unnecessary obstacles of the innovation process. 

The platform’s name was originally prooV by Scalabill.it. Over time, we saw that people related more with prooV rather than Scalabill.it and we decided to keep just that. 

Who named the company? The co-founders 

How and why did the company take on this name? Olshanetsky and Sapozhnikov founded prooV due to frustrations they experienced running proof of concepts, from both the enterprise and vendor sides, and the name “prooV” reflects the company’s entire service offering.

Running PoCs is an integral part of enterprises integrating innovative technological solutions, but one that is long and inefficient — a problem the co-founders constantly ran up against in their careers. The name prooV reflects the company’s offering and purpose — a way for startups and software vendors to effectively prove themselves to enterprises looking for new technologies to integrate.

prooV co-founders Toby Olshanetsky (CEO) and Alexey Sapozhnikov (CTO)
prooV co-founders Toby Olshanetsky (CEO) and Alexey Sapozhnikov (CTO).

What names did you consider before this name, and why were they not chosen? Several names were considered, with most of them being a play on relevant words to our industry and solution. One example was PoCible (pronounced: possible) — PoCs made possible. The reason PoCible and other options weren’t chosen was that prooV was the name the majority of the people we spoke with connected to most. 

What tech company names do you envy? In general, we like names that are also a play of words/meaning for the solution they provide, for example: Coursera, WeWork, Honeybook.

Glympse

Founded: 2008

Headquarters: Seattle

Number of employees: 50

CEO: Bryan Trussel

Specializes in: Location-driven customer experience. Our location platform connects consumers, service and delivery organizations, retailers and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

It enables location sharing and ETA insight (C2C, B2B, B2C and C2B) across a global ecosystem of automobiles, maps, navigation systems, wearables, messaging applications, voice/AI devices, household electronics, smart appliances and more. 

Glympse En Route, the company’s enterprise software suite, helps field service, sales and delivery teams around the world make contextual location data the focal point of their digital customer experience strategies.

Was this the original name? Before we were even incorporated, we bought the domain name trackya.com, and often referred to the company as TrackYa among our founding team. However, the company has been Glympse since the day we officially incorporated on Feb. 22, 2008.

Who named the company? Steve Miller, Glympse co-founder and CTO

How and why did the company take on this name? We knew we wanted to build our company around location-based data and technology. While we had a sense for what our core focus would be, we didn’t initially know exactly how our business would grow and evolve along with the explosion of mobile. 

The idea was for the company to have the letters GPS in its name. Steve wrote an app that searched the entire English language for words that met that criteria.

What names did you consider before this name, and why were they not chosen? None that were serious. We were all drawn to “glimpse” as the strongest result from our research because the word evokes connections to insight and knowledge. The meaning of the word “glimpse” — a quick, temporary view into something — mapped well to our intentions for the core tenets of the technology. We also love that the word is flexible enough to be a mass market noun or verb.

We decided to change the spelling to “Glympse” because we wanted our brand to be independent of the common word (and to avoid the obvious potential for SEO confusion).

Today our users say: "Glympse me when you leave!" or "Send me a Glympse!"

What tech companies do you admire or envy, and why? Tesla for being innovative and breaking trends. Slack for moving fast and winning by design. SnapChat for understanding their audience and staying relevant in a world of shiny objects.

Glympse

Vainu

Founded: August 2014

Headquarters: Helsinki, newly launched US headquartered in New York City

Number of employees: Around 100

Executive team: CEO and co-founder Pietari Suvanto; Chairman of the Board (and co-founder) Mikko Honkanen; Board Member (and co-founder) Tuomas Rasila

Specializes in: Data-driven sales prospecting software that collects exhaustive company information in a vast, searchable database. It’s a data-driven sales wizard that automates prospecting and delivers actionable insights to business development and marketing professionals.

Was this the original name? Sort of. More on that later ...

Pietari Suvanto
Vainu CEO Pietari Suvanto

Who named the company? The naming of Vainu actually happened several years before the product was developed. A sales director co-founders Honkanen and Suvanto worked with at a previous company were discussing how to use content online as a tool to generate sales leads. He said to his team, “I’m lazy and would love to have an automated way to have a Vainu (in Finnish, a hunch) to know what kinds of leads to act on.” 

That moment essentially sparked the idea behind naming Vainu as a product offering.

How and why did the company take on this name? The term “vainu” in Finnish refers to hunch, most commonly the scent of a game animal, as detected and followed by a predator or other hunting animal. 

“We settled on this as its name because of our extensive experience in the sales world and our personal familiarity with 'the hunt' for a sale. And, of course, it doesn't hurt that it gives us an excuse to use a cute animal nose as our logo!” said Chairman of the Board Mikko Honkanen.

What names did you consider before this name, and why were they not chosen? Vainu has always been the name of the product (more on that a little later). 

Initially, the company had the concept for Vainu and was debating naming itself Withinsight. It was a play on words, providing sales insight (With Insight) while also bringing their prospects within sight. But, when they actually filed, one of the co-founders thought it should be Withinsights. The pun was lost — and so, Vainu as a product and company name was born.

What tech company names do you envy? Personally, we love the name for Slush, a major tech startup event in Europe held at the end of November every year in Helsinki. If you’ve ever been to Helsinki in the winter — not many people have or would volunteer to go there at that time — the term "slush" is a perfect way to describe the environment.