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Helping Beaverton teachers help their students

Helping Beaverton teachers help their students

Across the country, schools are abandoning cumbersome textbooks in favor of equivalents that can be downloaded and printed out for […]

Category: Tag: RFPIO

Helping Beaverton teachers help their students

Helping Beaverton teachers help their students

Across the country, schools are abandoning cumbersome textbooks in favor of equivalents that can be downloaded and printed out for free. And this isn’t just for cost savings — found that Eureka Math, an online distributed math program that teachers can download and print out for free, was more aligned to national education standards than some traditional textbooks.

On the one hand, students no longer need to lug around 20-pound backpacks and schools are able to save substantial cash on textbooks that are not only expensive but also quickly become outdated. At the same time, however, schools are increasingly desperate for paper.

With 94% of US teachers spending their own money on school supplies — at an average of $479/year — RFPIO decided to step in and take care of their paper needs. RFPIO, including both founders and individual employees, collectively donated over 20 boxes of paper to Ridgewood Elementary School in the Beaverton School District. To put that into perspective, we managed to fill 2 cars with paper that we dropped off the Friday before school started. 

Sometimes it’s the little things that really make all the difference. If you want to support teachers, check out Donor’s Choose. You can donate to specific districts, projects (books for libraries, STEM tools, etc), or simply choose any classroom you deem worthy of your dollars!

Join RFPIO to make the magic for Camp Kesem

Join RFPIO to make the magic for Camp Kesem

We recently had the honor of attending the annual Make the Magic fundraiser put on by the University of Oregon’s Camp Kesem organization. The event was held at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland on a Friday evening last month.

RFPIO has worked with Camp Kesem before, through the encouragement of our Customer Success Manager, Ryan Slee, who has been involved as a volunteer with the U of O chapter since 2012.

Kesem is a nationwide organization that conducts free summer camps for children dealing with the loss of a parent to cancer. Ryan is passionate about the organization and the kids they are able to support.

“Camp Kesem is a spot for the campers to seek strength, find strength in themselves, find strength in others, and build a long lasting support system with fellow campers who are going through the same thing.”

Through Ryan’s dedication we were introduced to Make the Magic, and were happy to offer our support, make up our own camp nicknames, and have some fun for this worthy cause.

Make the Magic Kylie Schultz

About Make the Magic

This was a beautifully put together banquet that was well-attended by about 200 people. The posh Multnomah Athletic Club provided a perfect backdrop for an elegant evening with dinner, drinks, presentations from a camper and parent, and a silent auction to raise money for the organization.

At RFPIO, we keep it pretty casual, so it was nice to see the team dress up and bring their loved ones, especially for an important cause like this.

Over 5+ Million children have been affected by a parent’s cancer. – Camp Kesem website

One of last year’s campers spoke to the crowd about her experience at Camp Kesem and how it’s changed her life. She explained that because of her stepmom’s cancer, she has had to be strong for her younger siblings, and Camp Kesem has provided her with a chance to let down her guard, have fun, and connect with other kids who know what she’s going through.

Her stepmom followed with a presentation of her own about how brave her daughter has been in the face of this difficult situation. They were powerful stories that highlighted just how much these families are facing, and the relief that Camp Kesem provides.

The night closed out with a silent auction full of prizes like a wine tasting package and a set of Oregon Ducks football tickets.

Make the Magic Tyler Kamerer

Making an impact

Ryan said it was one of their most successful fundraising events for Camp Kesem. “We are so pleased at the turnout and participation at this year’s Make the Magic. Through the silent auction, we raised $65,000, which is the highest amount we’ve ever raised and a record breaking number among the whole countrywide Kesem organization,” he said.

“I’m also very proud to report that we had a record number of camp counselor alumni attendees. People who get involved with this organization remain deeply connected to it.”

Make the Magic Mitchell Hipp

Ways you can help

There are several ways to support Camp Kesem. The University of Oregon chapter has created an Amazon Wishlist for this year’s camp, with items that you can donate directly. “These items are inexpensive and can go a long way in making it a memorable experience for the kids. The tealight candles are especially important because they are part of a remembrance ceremony. Any help is appreciated,” Ryan said. Find your nearest Camp Kesem chapter here.

Magic events for the Kesem organization are held across the country throughout the year. You can see if there’s one near you on their events page.

The RFPIO team is proud to partner with Pledge 1% to support non-profit organizations on a quarterly basis. Take a look through our blog to see other orgs to which you can donate time, money, or resources.

If you belong to an organization that is looking for corporate sponsorship, please send information via email to or call our RFPIO office line at 971-470-3112.

Join RFPIO to support the Beaverton education foundation

Join RFPIO to support the Beaverton education foundation

Like Van Gogh, Da Vinci, and Michaelangelo before us, last week the RFPIO team picked up our brushes and spent an afternoon painting office rooms at Terra Linda Elementary School in Beaverton. This artistic volunteer project was facilitated by the Beaverton Education Foundation (BEF).

The BEF is an organization that coordinates supplemental academic programs for all 53 schools in the Beaverton school district. “BEF helps bridge the gap between what public funding provides and what is needed to provide a well-rounded, quality education,” according to their website.

Executive Director Kristine Baggett says one of the ways they do this is by organizing micro-projects that attract volunteers outside of their immediate scope (parents & school staff). And that’s how RFPIO got the chance to help.

Volunteer Paint Day RFPIO

Baggett said Terra Linda is the host of this summer’s Camp Achieve program, for students who need a little extra help getting up to speed in all school subjects before the start of the year in the fall.

The school staff wanted to make sure the facility was bright and fresh for hosting the camp so they started painting and realized it would require a few more hands. They mentioned this project was long overdue, only to say the paint was “older than the volunteers!”

The RFPIO team spent the afternoon at Terra Linda, spread among two office rooms where we taped cabinets, learned the art of cutting in the edges, and updated the gloomy walls with a fresh coat of bright paint.

Terra Linda Elementary volunteer painting RFPIO

How you can help the Beaverton education foundation

If you have a team of volunteers, the BEF has opportunities throughout the year to help, including signature programs like their long running phone-a-thon in October, hosted by local high schoolers, Camp Achieve summer camp, and after school programs for Beaverton middle schools.

You can also offer assistance throughout the year with micro-projects like the painting day at Terra Linda Elementary. These projects vary in scope and can be anywhere from a couple hours, to helping out for a few days. Another way to help is by making a tax-deductible donation on the BEF website, directly through the donate button or to fund a specific micro-project of your choice. The micro-projects are often matched by local corporate donors, to maximize the effort.

To our local Portland and Beaverton readers, please join us in supporting the Beaverton Education Foundation ( to help give area students a more well-rounded and positive educational experience.

RFPIO headquarters outgrows office in under a year

RFPIO headquarters outgrows office in under a year

Just a year ago this week, we made the announcement that RFPIO headquarters had moved into a larger office to make room for growth. Well, surprise! We did it again, after only 11 months. This will be the sixth HQ space. As I write this, I’m proud to announce that we are also moving our Coimbatore office into its third new space. Hello from India!

Sometimes people ask me if I had expected the company to grow this quickly. I may not have been able to see the future, but I always knew our product and our people would be successful. It’s no surprise to my team that my expectations are high, and they’ve consistently impressed me with their responses to the all the challenges that come with growing a company.

In the blog about last year’s move, we asked all the HQ employees what they thought of the new space. We couldn’t do that this year, or it would have been way too long. Instead, I want to talk about some of what’s changed and what hasn’t, and what you can expect from us in the future.

Holy Smoke RFPIO

Our India team observing the Holy Smoke ritual before officially moving in

How RFPIO has changed

Office Space
This new HQ office more than doubles our last space, giving us the room to accommodate almost three times as many people. We are already taking to it like fish to a fishbowl, and made a new hire in just the two weeks we’ve been here.

Now we are getting settled in to our new workspaces, taking in the magnificent Oregon views (a new benefit—lots of windows and outdoor space), and enjoying the extra room to stretch our legs. We’ve also upgraded some amenities. In the last office we were excited about having a sink and a full-sized fridge. Now we finally have a dishwasher. For a startup, these conveniences mean a lot!

Our user list has grown massively over the last year, in both volume and company size. We’re now at over 25,000 users on the platform and we’ve signed on Fortune 500 enterprise clients like Google, Visa, Salesforce, and Adobe. We recently announced a multi-year partnership with Express Scripts, one of Fortune’s top 25, and a major player in the healthcare industry.

Just this week we attended RSA 2019 to spread the word of our response management platform for security questionnaires and similar business requests. One of the things we were proud to share with conference-goers was our newly announced SOC 2 certification. This was a rigorous process that ultimately ensures our commitment to security for all of our customers.

Former Office RFPIO

We had to get creative about workspaces before the move

More change

Growth: Team and Revenue
In July of 2018 we announced our partnership with K1 Investment Management for a $25M round of funding. This strategic partnership has helped us scale the company wisely, while increasing our revenue ahead of schedule, keeping us in a strong financial standing. Our projections for growth have us more than doubling our revenue and current staff count by the end of 2019.

Honors and Distinctions
We know we’re a great company, but outside validation assures us that we’re on the right track. This year, RFPIO was named one of Oregon’s Top 10 Best Tech Startups, in good company with several local peers. We were given the distinction of market leader on G2 Crowd’s Best RFP Software grid, and have received almost 100 unbiased reviews on G2 Crowd and Capterra from our amazing customers.

RFPIO_James and Stephen

James and Stephen enjoying the view

How RFPIO has stayed the same

Customer support
We’ve added team members to all of our teams, which means that we can offer more to our customers than even before. The product is being innovated upon more rapidly, our internal processes have gotten tighter, and we offer more support services for all types of companies. Everything we do is in service to our customers and their needs.

Employee-focused culture
Much like our focus on customers, our employees make this company what it is. We still do quarterly philanthropy events, holiday parties, and team outings. Our benefit package has gotten more substantial. As a commitment to transparency we’ve implemented a monthly all-hands meeting and we’ve started a new lunch & learn program to keep everybody up to date on product news.

Our new HQ office is located in the neighboring building to our former office. This means we are still in the heart of downtown Beaverton, which connects many public transportation options and major highways. We’d grown accustomed to our proximity to the neighborhood food carts, so our walkable lunch options remain close by.

New RFPIO Office_Hakeem

Hakeem getting settled in to his new space

The future of RFPIO

As I said before, I’m not sure exactly what the future holds, but I am confident that by this time next year we will be a bigger, stronger company with even more to offer. With teams across the U.S. and in India, we are innovating around the clock.

I’m so proud of what our technical, support, and revenue teams have built and introduced to the market. I’ve been humbled to hear customers say that we’ve brought them relief and have given them more time with their families—that’s the best compliment I can receive.

This new office marks a new chapter in RFPIO’s history, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. As I often say, folks, this is just the beginning!

If you’re in the area and would like to drop in, we would love to see you. The new RFPIO headquarters office is located at:

4145 SW Watson Ave. #450
Beaverton, OR 97005

Looking forward after securing $25 million in series A funding

Looking forward after securing $25 million in series A funding

Closing Series A funding is a big deal for any company. Which is why I am proud and happy to announce that RFPIO is beginning a thrilling new chapter. We have secured $25 million from K1 Investment Management (K1), so that we can further revolutionize the proposal management industry.

Did I ever think RFPIO would grow to this point? The answer is yes.

Even when I was running demos by myself in our first office, an 84-square-foot closet, I had no doubt that we would become such a compelling force. I recognized the growth potential in every team member who drove our mission forward and every client who was positively impacted by our dedication.

As I look back at the mere 18 months of our company’s existence, I am very grateful. As I look at the road ahead, I’m excited to see RFPIO’s growth story truly unfold.

Growth highlights from an unforgettable first 18 months

It’s hard to believe that this great journey with RFPIO began 18 months ago, with only four of us: AJ Sunder as CIO, Sankar Lagudu as COO, Manish Bafna as VP of Technology, and myself as CEO.

Every workweek was a learning experience for us, and there were many memorable “firsts” that got us to where we are today…

The first paying customer

After running a successful beta program for six months, we won our first paying customer, Stephen Marsh from Smarsh. Stephen was so impressed by RFPIO’s ease of use and intelligent capabilities that he decided to sign on and invest in our company through Archivist Capital. It was the best validation we could have asked for. Today we have hundreds of happy customers.

The first employees

It gave us immense pride when we hired Mitchell Hipp as Senior Account Executive at our Beaverton headquarters, and Emmanuel Rajayah as Senior UI Developer at our Coimbatore office in India. This was the first time people put their trust in our leadership team. We have not lost a single employee since we started RFPIO.

rfpio team's funding celebration

The first Fortune 500 company

Signing a Fortune 500 company made our team feel like we could conquer the world. LinkedIn was the first enterprise company to use RFPIO, and many others have followed: Google, Adobe, Atlassian, Change Healthcare, ServiceNow, Siemens, Tenable, Zoom Video.

The first 1,000 users

The day we realized RFPIO had 1,000 users was just cause for celebration. Our users feedback has helped shape and strengthen RFPIO’s platform and that will carry on as we reach unexplored heights. Now we have more than 12,000 users.

Series A funding: The ingredient we needed to scale

While the Seed round of funding through Elevate Capital was primarily focused on building a strong foundation, this Series A round will be more of a strategic partnership for our organization’s next big leap.

Our new investor, K1 Investment Management, is completely dedicated to funding and supporting SaaS companies. The K1 team uses RFPIO for managing their own RFP responses—early on, they believed in RFPIO’s mission and wanted to help us succeed. We were drawn to their expertise in the software industry, so it was a natural partnership. This Series A funding will allows us to make an even bigger impact.

We are looking at scaling the entire business, to include not just revenue and customer base growth but company expansion as well. As the India and Beaverton teams grow, our focus will be on establishing a solid middle management team. Global expansion is happening as well, and we are looking at options for another RFPIO office where our second largest customer base is located in Europe.

RFPIO is already the first artificial intelligence (AI) enabled solution in our industry, and we have dramatically improved the way organizations respond to RFPs. Being able to invest heavily on the product side will allow us to enhance our technology, then move into offerings in adjacent areas of proposal management. This funding gives our product more horsepower to fuel our customer’s goals and aspirations.

We’re just getting started

As we enter this new world of growth and expansion, we remain loyal to our people. The key to RFPIO’s success is the team standing proudly behind us. Every one of us is driven by passion for our product and our clients. The positive vibes we have in our office speak through our technology and service.

We are an intrepid team. Everyone here is invested in RFPIO’s success.

Read more about RFPIO’s $25 million funding announcement on:

The Wall Street Journal

The Oregonian


Portland Business Journal


Team Spotlight: Meet RFPIO’s Senior Sales Director

Team Spotlight: Meet RFPIO’s Senior Sales Director

It seems like just yesterday was my first day at RFPIO. (It practically was—I only started a few weeks ago.) But in that short time we’ve hit some major growth milestones. We celebrated a significant sales goal, won an award, and added three new members to our team.

One of those additions was David Blume, our new Senior Sales Director. When he first came to meet with the team, he ended up unexpectedly spending the whole day with us. By the time I met him that afternoon, he showed no signs of “all day meeting with new people” fatigue.

senior sales director rfpio

It was immediately clear that David knew the proposal management space and was invested in making it easier and more strategic for companies to respond to proposals and increase revenue.

In a surprise to pretty much no one, sometimes sales and marketing departments can be at odds. But when I asked what kind of advice he’d give to the marketing department, he didn’t skip a beat. David offered valuable ideas that we’ve already incorporated into our strategy.

Once he officially joined the team, we sat down to talk more about his experience, and the time he almost met Tom Cruise. (We’ll save that story for another day.)

What attracted you to RFPIO as a company?

I have over ten years of experience in proposal management, and I’m passionate about the space. I was looking to work with a company that had a fresh perspective on solving traditional problems, and that’s what I saw in RFPIO. I really like the team and I think we offer something very unique in the space.

What are some of your planned initiatives for the sales department? How do you plan to take the RFPIO sales team into new markets?

I want to focus on communicating the strategic value of proposals. I think it’s fair to say that the RFP response process is not always considered to be a strategic way to win business.

In terms of the market, many B2B companies that include RFPs as part of their sales process are using manually intensive methods to complete them. Which means the market for an easy to use Cloud-based solution is underserved.

So, at a high level, my plan is to identify organizations that are not using response automation solutions, and then work with those companies to demonstrate to the sales department the true value that they can deliver.

hakeem and david

You have a lot of experience in the proposal management space. What are some things that you’ve seen change over the years?

In some segments of the market, there’s a trend towards shorter and shorter response times for RFPs, and a move away from organizations requesting a detailed narrative around the value and benefits their prospective vendors can bring.

Today they often lean more toward a checklist-based spreadsheet response which can take some of the value out of it because they’re just weighted and scored. This means greater focus on price and not value.

You previously worked in the proposal management industry in the UK. How does that market differ from other regions, in your experience?

There are more similarities than differences when you look at the people and process aspects. But spelling is another issue!

How has technology changed the space?

You still need to qualify opportunities and agree that these RFPs are worth responding to, and that it’s business you want to win.

The role of RFP automation adds something to the equation to buy you more of the most precious commodity: time.

Automation has historically focused on a few areas. One is around the management and organization of content, which is used as the basis for answers in a response. The other is an effort to improve the workflow of communicating internally with your contributors.

And the latter, in my experience, is one of the most challenging parts of the problem, because most RFP responses depend on the expertise of people in the business. But asking them to commit sometimes substantial amounts of time on a regular basis is a big ask. So automation has evolved (and specifically RFPIO’s!) to improve not just communication and collaboration but also making the management and progress of those submissions more transparent.

konnor and david

You’ve been involved with sales enablement for some time. How can RFPIO’s solution enable sales teams in the RFP process?

Many sales leaders acknowledge that RFPs are part of doing business. Some regard it as a necessary evil, and some see it as critically important to the process.

But the one thing that I’ve found is that few sales leaders know, from a dollar standpoint, the value of business that is influenced by RFPs or proposals in general. When they find out that number, win or lose, it often shocks them.

I think those companies that have recognized the importance of this function, understand that a well-articulated proposal is necessary to encapsulate all of the reasons to do business with you.

What’s the weirdest RFP question you’ve been asked?

It’s sometimes the questions that aren’t asked that reveal the most about your chances of winning. Here’s a useful tip: always check the File properties of a Word or Excel-based RFP. We once received an RFP that was authored by the other shortlisted vendor!

What’s something people may not know about you?

I really enjoy riding motorbikes and owned a couple of Triumphs in the UK. Now I have a US motorcycle license and I plan to buy another Triumph early next year. In my head, I see myself as Tom Cruise in ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’, but my wife thinks I’m more like Wallace and Gromit riding their bike and sidecar.

david blume rfpio

Connect with David on LinkedIn

The RFPIO team gives back over 600 meals to Oregon Food Bank

The RFPIO team gives back over 600 meals to Oregon Food Bank

The ROI of compassion has been in full swing since January and we are excited to share our progress. ROI is a big driver in the business world, so we put a spin on that concept by creating a campaign that focused on an investment in our community. The RFPIO team committed to this campaign as part of our Pledge 1% participation in promoting a culture of giving.

As a growing local company, we are grateful for the support we have received from the tech community since we first launched the RFPIO platform last year. This is our way of paying it forward by pledging our 1% community involvement to the Oregon Food Bank.

food donation bin
Oregon Food Bank takes a holistic approach to ending hunger by bringing our community together to provide food, education and hope to our neighbors in need.

Last year, the Oregon Food Bank Network distributed more than 1 million emergency food boxes to people facing hunger throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington. On a monthly basis, Oregon Food Bank helps 1 in 5 households struggling with hunger.

We kicked off the ROI of Compassion in January, because it is one of the most challenging times for food banks. Giving skyrockets during the holidays and drops off at the beginning of the year. Giving food to families in need is a worthy effort any time, so we extended our campaign to run through the end of Q1.

food drive
During that time the RFPIO team has raised nearly $200 online for the Oregon Food Bank. With the help of our partners at Regus and our fellow office neighbors, we also filled a food bin with in-kind donations.

Since a $10 donation provides 30 meals, we are excited to announce that the combined effort so far has brought over 600 meals to families in our community.

But, as you can see…our work isn’t over yet!

The campaign runs until March 31 and we have a big goal to reach. We hope you’ll join our culture of giving, so we can make a bigger impact on Oregon Food Bank.

pledge one goalHere Are 3 Ways You Can Join the ROI of Compassion



Donate food to our office bin!


Donate online at Oregon Food Bank!


Leave a review on G2 Crowd and we’ll donate $5!

Join RFPIO and Oregon Food Bank in the ROI of Compassion

Join RFPIO and Oregon Food Bank in the ROI of Compassion

There’s no better way to ring in the new year than by inspiring others to give. As a local company, we understand the importance of community. We have been very fortunate to receive incredible support from the tech community since we first launched the RFPIO platform a year ago.

Now it’s our turn to pay it forward in a different way. To kick off 2017, the RFPIO team is giving back to our amazing community with our Q1 initiative…

We talk a lot about ROI in the business world, focusing on what the ultimate reward will be for the effort we put in. The “ROI of Compassion” puts a little twist on the concept we know well, by channeling the return back into the community for the generosity we invest.

As Salesforce partners, we work with Pledge 1% to participate in the culture of giving. Though it was challenging to pick just one cause—as there are so many important causes in need of resources—the RFPIO team has decided to pledge their 1% community involvement to the Oregon Food Bank.

Did you know that January is one of the most challenging times for food banks? Giving drops significantly after the holidays—so let’s change that by bringing some warmth and cheer to the people that need it this time of year.

Oregon Food Bank takes a holistic approach to ending hunger by bringing our community together to provide food, education and hope to our neighbors in need.

Last year, the Oregon Food Bank Network distributed more than 1 million emergency food boxes to people facing hunger throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington. On a monthly basis, Oregon Food Bank helps 1 in 5 households struggling with hunger.

It’s time to add value back into our community with a little time and kindness. We hope you’ll join our culture of giving through mid-February, so we can make a bigger impact on Oregon Food Bank’s needs.


Ready to join the ROI of Compassion initiative?

Donate online at Oregon Food Bank!

Every $10 donation provides 30 meals.


Stop into our office and donate food to our bin at:

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #400
(Regus Building)
Beaverton, OR 97006

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