One meeting turned Megan O’Rear’s life upside-down.
“I came back from that meeting and resigned,” she said. “I thought this was something I needed to do. There’s a gap, and I want to fill it.”
After 14 years working in sales for Vantage Group, O’Rear had amassed deep industry knowledge in the electrical supply space. Yet, an idea for a disruptive technology platform – one that would revolutionize how electrical distributors and manufacturers work together – had been percolating. And that pivotal meeting with some key players further validated her idea.
She approached Angela Hurt, founder and CEO of Veracity Consulting, for advice on where to go next.
“It’s really about transparency and trust,” she said. “I know Angi, I trust Angi, and I felt that if her team wasn’t capable of developing this, she would let me know.”
‘This has legs’
O’Rear named her new venture Celerity Enterprises, meaning “swift movement,” and the team at Veracity got right to work helping her define her idea and the path forward. The first step was with Veracity’s Innovation Hub, where Vice President Pat Shore used the innovation process to explore the viability of the platform—which, he said, didn’t take long.
“If you follow the innovation concept correctly, you reach a go/no-go decision point fairly quickly,” Shore said. “That’s when we reached that point: Yes, this has legs to it. Your concept and your platform definition meets the market, and the market has said, ‘Yes, we want this and need this.’”
The team worked with O’Rear to fully understand the special pricing agreements (SPAs) in the electrical industry – the source of so much inefficiency that the platform hopes to solve – and then began to identify the major root issues. By better understanding the market, the team then validated through distributors and manufacturers that the opportunity is indeed huge (it’s a $71 billion industry in the U.S. alone)—and ripe for a complete solution. She also started an SPA Advisory Council to invite additional input and buy-in from manufacturers, manufacturer rep agencies and distributors.
Next up, O’Rear will raise the necessary capital, and the development team at Veracity will then begin designing and creating the platform that will form the core of Celerity’s solution. O’Rear said her experience with the team to this point has only validated her choice to partner with Veracity.
“I’m looking at Veracity to be that driver for innovation,” she said. “They’re nimble, they can move, they’re agnostic in their space. They’re going to go out and create the best solution based upon those requirements that are needed, instead of me trying to fit into a box. And I think that’s a key differentiator.”
The best foundation for disruption
While launching a new business is full of risk and hard work, O’Rear sees a massive potential for her platform and hopes to eventually expand to other industries encumbered with the same process. That potential is possible, she said, because the right steps were taken at the beginning of the process in the Innovation Hub.
“We all have a current paradigm, and in order to evolve and change, you have to shift that paradigm and the questions you ask,” she said. “And that’s been a huge change for me. Once you get a taste of it, you look at things differently. And for me, that’s been advantageous in more ways than just the obvious.”
Of course, even the best idea goes nowhere without the right founder at the helm. Shore said that wasn’t a problem with Celerity.
“Megan was the easiest entrepreneur I’ve ever worked with. She is engaged, it was her idea, she knew in her gut there was goodness here. She basically said, ‘I’m an open book. Pull what you need from me.’”
Connect with Megan O’Rear and Celerity Enterprises on LinkedIn, and learn more about the Innovation Hub and how you can cultivate real innovation in your company
About Veracity Consulting
Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Kansas City, Veracity is a tech consulting team of problem-solvers and truth-tellers who deliver customized IT solutions for its customers. The company helps bridge the gap between business and technology while always staying transparent and authentic—simply doing the right thing. Learn more about the Veracity Innovation Hub.