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St. Pete tech entrepreneur tackles automation with new startup

Margie Manning

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Mark Lombardi-Nelson

There’s a skills gap in business today.

Many companies don’t know how to use their technology to grow more effectively, said Mark Lombardi-Nelson, a co-founder of Mr. Automation, a St. Petersburg-based startup.

Mr. Automation essentially connects businesses with new technologies to make more money in less time, Lombardi-Nelson wrote in a recent Facebook post.

“Businesses don’t understand the access to technology and the power behind what their software could potentially do for them. If they had a better understanding of their internal processes and of their internal operations, they would be able to grow faster and more meaningfully and serve their customers in a way that is far superior to the way they do now,” Lombardi-Nelson told the St. Pete Catalyst.

Lombardi-Nelson previously co-founded Shoot to Thrill Media, a web development company in St. Petersburg. Last month, he sold his share of the company to co-founder Matthew Foreman. Shoot to Thrill continues to grow, but Lombardi-Nelson said it was time for him to take his next career step.

Lombardi-Nelson co-founded Mr. Automation with Chris Packett, who was a lead developer at Bank of the Ozarks Innovation Labs, and with Jordan Armstrong, previously chief marketing officer at Social X, a St. Petersburg business consulting firm. They’ve bootstrapped Mr. Automation and have been building the products for Mr. Automation since the spring. November was the first month they went full-time on the new company.

The company’s scope of work ranges from process consulting to integrated software implementation, with an emphasis on building automated systems that accelerate business growth.

The first products they have rolled out are automated solutions for sales and support, including how to turn a prospect into a customer.

“There’s CRM [customer relationship management] connectivity that’s needed. There’s document management that’s connected. There’s financial management that’s connected. We’re able to create the infrastructure to provide a seamless experience from intro to exit on that, from a customer acquisition perspective. We saw opportunity there in terms of dynamic field reporting and real-time insights and the ability to create a single entry-point system so there’s no duplication or redundancy issues,” Lombardi-Nelson said.

Mr. Automation also has products to help companies support and retain their customers.

The company focuses on understanding the technology in the marketplace.

“We work with 75+ different apps right now, and that list grows on a regular basis. We’re continuously understanding the product road map of what features and functions are coming out, what the newest technologies are and how they are utilizable … We’re at the cutting edge of understanding what they are doing and how we can utilize them for other business,” Lombardi-Nelson said.

The work is important, he said, because the world is undergoing an automation revolution.

“The world of work is going to change significantly. My personal belief is that there are going to be three main roles that exist — technologists, creatives and trades experts. A majority of the other roles will merge into one of those three and automation will step in and play the game. We’re positioning ourselves to be able to facilitate that transfer, to empower teams to grow with it so they’re not made irrelevant, and empower people to step into that next significant industry shift,” he said.

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