Casey Eden, Founder & CEO of Orchestra
Casey realised early in his career he did not fit the corporate mould. Alongside founding Neighbourly, Casey has been intimately involved in an array of New Zealand tech companies including GrabOne. He shares some insight with Matchstiq into what ignited his passion for startups and what it takes to succeed, as well as where he hopes to take his latest venture, Orchestra. Enjoy.
How would you explain to a five year old what it is that you do?
Orchestra makes it easy for companies to do what the government requires them to do, whilst ensuring owners of the business also know what is happening with their investment.
“..my day is a combination of ensuring all parts of the business jigsaw puzzle are coming together as they should.”
Was building a tech company something you dreamed about doing as a kid? If not, what was?
Not at all. I dreamed of playing sports for a living. I got a sniff of that and whilst it was fun, I was not good enough to make a real career out of it.
I did always know I wanted to do something entrepreneurial and knew from my early stages of working in corporates, that I did not suit that mould.
Tell us a little bit more about your career journey and what inspired you to start Orchestra?
After coming out of the University of Cantebury with a basic BCom I initially started working for BP in their graduate program. Lots of good experiences were had, but the biggest learning was that I wanted to feel like what I was doing was material to a business.
After some time overseas I came home and started in a basic media sales role and very luckily ran into my long term business partner/mentor/advisor/friend Shane Bradley. That kick started my journey into tech startups.
Orchestra is the fifth tech startup I have been involved with and whilst they have not all been wildly successful, we have been lucky enough to have GrabOne and Neighbourly, with each and every one having taught us big lessons.
Orchestra is the result of solving a problem that I believe has always existed in the private company space, and an opportunity to work with an amazing group of people to tackle this challenge
Who have been your greatest role models and what have you learnt from them?
Shane Bradley obviously. Passion, determination and the art of good planning. Shane has taught me it is never too early to have an exit plan for a business, and to trust my gut when things don’t feel right. Make the hard calls and move on.
Where do you hope Orchestra will be in five years from now?
I hope Orchestra will be a vital part of private company compliance and stakeholder management in a number of countries around the world. I would still like to be a big part of the business but would hope that we have created a special place to work where employees are flourishing.
How does Orchestra build and develop talent and elevate people to be their best?
Orchestra is still in its early days but in our previous companies we have always tried to create environments where making mistakes is not a big issue. We want people to be bold and confident to make decisions.
We trust our teams to take charge of tricky and challenging situations and always look for ways to not personally be the centre of all business processes.
“I believe staff must play a role in establishing the culture of a business and must be confident to call out each other if things are not working.”
What does culture mean to you and how do you ensure this culture is maintained with everyone at the Orchestra?
The culture of any great company will always be evolving and this is healthy as a growing business is often changing shape and focus.
I believe staff must play a role in establishing the culture of a business and must be confident to call out each other if things are not working. Communication and honesty will always be at the forefront of a healthy culture.
Lastly, as Orchestra grows, what kind of talent do you want to hear from in the coming months? And what creative licence do they have to get your attention over an above CV’s?
I have always believed that you create jobs for great candidates. If you want to work for Orchestra we want to hear from you. Show us you know about what we are trying to build, and demonstrate that you are up for the challenge of an early stage tech startup.
If you have some experience in scaling a SaaS business internationally that would be a big plus too.