Companies started by founders who are still in college tend to meet one of two fates after graduation: the founders work on it full time, or they let it die to pursue other careers.
But these five college friends who launched their SaaS company while at Texas A&M University went on to other full-time jobs while continuing to run their startup on the side — and that commitment paid off seven years later when they sold the business.
The company was Select-A-Sis, a web-based voting and data management system that helps streamline sorority recruitment processes. It was founded in 2011 by Chelsey Roney, Julie Sewell, Aaron Roney, Ryan Haughey and David DeTomaso, and sold in February 2018.
The team bootstrapped the company. While DeTomaso had already graduated by the company’s launch, the rest of the founding team embarked on their senior year while getting Select-A-Sis off the ground.
The founders weren’t looking to sell before group management software and payments company Togetherwork approached them with an offer, Chelsey Roney said.
It was a $1.2-million deal that appealed to the founders because it amounted to nearly five years of revenue. The five-person leadership team brought in $250,000 to $300,000 in annual revenue, she told They Got Acquired.
Togetherwork, which provides SaaS solutions to groups and organizations, purchased Select-a-Sis as part of a quadruple deal, alongside Bidlily, ICS, and Greek Resource Services. The website now redirects to OmegaFi, which is part of Togetherwork.
“This acquisition enabled me to get on this track of entrepreneurship”
In the year before it sold (2017), 841 organizations signed on to use Select-A-Sis’s platform, and it managed almost 14.5 million votes.
“Usually, small businesses aren’t overnight successes,” Chelsey Roney said. “It took seven years, and it takes a longer time than people think. If you want something to work, you can’t give up.”
Outside of the founding members, Select-A-Sis didn’t have any other employees at the time of sale. None of the founders from Select-A-Sis joined Togetherwork through the merger.
“The rest of the team stayed in their full-time jobs after the sale, and I did too for a bit, but after a while, I decided I wanted to use the proceeds from the sale to buy another small business,” Chelsey Roney said. “The business I bought with that money is about to sell, and I’m doing another startup. This acquisition enabled me to get on this track of entrepreneurship.”
A previous version of this story left out founder Ryan Haughey. We share more about our reporting process here.