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Founder Friday with Amy Benson, CEO of Diolog

Someone once told me the startup journey is just one massive game of trial and error. I think this is good advice to go by because you should never assume you have something 100% right, just always keep trying to make it better. 

Amy Benson 

Australian entrepreneur Amy Benson recognised a significant gap in the investor relations industry and recently unveiled her venture, Diolog, with a clear objective: to enhance investor communications. 

Drawing on her background in private equities and communications, her specialized expertise played a pivotal role in addressing the challenges of outdated investor relations practices, making them more accessible to everyday Australians. Amy’s journey into entrepreneurship began after working in various roles encompassing communications, business strategy, and investor relations. While at a private equities firm, she noticed the shortcomings of the prevailing one-way communication strategies adopted by companies. The absence of transparent and open dialogue hindered clients from nurturing relationships with their stakeholders. This realization became her driving force, leading to the birth of Diolog.

Diolog stands as the world’s pioneer in two-way investor communications software, empowering listed companies to foster trust, bolster confidence, and enable deeper engagement with their shareholders. The market reception since their July launch has been nothing short of astonishing. Amy expressed enthusiasm about collaborating with a diverse clientele who share the vision for improved communication within the industry.

The beginning

Amy Benson recounted her journey into entrepreneurship, stating, “Before beginning my entrepreneurial journey, I worked in various positions in communications, business strategy, and investor relations.” She continued, “While working in a private equities firm, I noticed how broken the one-way communication strategies companies had unanimously adopted had become.” Amy attributed her observations to her time at the firm, saying, “The lack of transparent and open dialogue prevented our clients from nurturing relationships with their stakeholders, and finding a solution became my fixation.”

Amy shared how her groundbreaking idea, Diolog, was born: “This was how the idea of Diolog came to life.”

Describing Diolog’s mission, she stated, “Diolog is the world’s first two-way investor communications software enabling listed companies to build trust, increase confidence, and facilitate greater engagement with their shareholders.” She proudly noted, “The reception we’ve had in-market since our launch in July has been astounding.” Amy also attributed the success to the company’s vision, saying, “We’re excited to be working with such a broad range of customers who each share the same vision for better communication in the industry.”

“I can’t stress enough how important building your network is as a business strategy. There’s no better place to learn or bounce around ideas than with your industry peers. Having a solid network you can tap for advice will ultimately help your business grow, and getting their honest, constructive feedback could save you time and money in the long run. I should also note that your network does not solely have to consist of people within your specific industry, they could be other founders, business leaders, ex-colleagues, university friends or simply people you admire. Reaching out and asking for support or advice is free, why not use it as a resource? “

Bridging the investor gap

There’s no better place to learn or  bounce around ideas than with your industry peers.

Amy Benson emphasised the significance of networking in the realm of business strategy: “I can’t stress enough how important building your network is as a business strategy.” She stressed the value of networking with peers in the industry, saying, “There’s no better place to learn or bounce around ideas than with your industry peers.” Amy also highlighted the advantages of having a solid network for advice, stating, “Having a solid network you can tap for advice will ultimately help your business grow, and getting their honest, constructive feedback could save you time and money in the long run.” She encouraged diverse connections, explaining, “Your network does not solely have to consist of people within your specific industry, they could be other founders, business leaders, ex-colleagues, university friends, or simply people you admire.” Amy urged proactive outreach, stating, “Reaching out and asking for support or advice is free, why not use it as a resource?”

She addressed the challenges of investor communication, noting, “A lack of accessibility and infrequent touchpoints mean many investors don’t trust the companies they invest in.” Amy emphasized the negative repercussions on both shareholders and companies, stating, “But these pauses in the conversation don’t just impact the shareholder, they are equally as harmful for the company.” She underlined the importance of open communication, saying, “In short, if a company doesn’t get to know its investors, it will never understand what they truly want, and share prices will suffer as a result.” Amy highlighted the paramount importance of open lines of communication, stating, “For this reason, establishing open lines of communication is paramount to the success of both parties and the ecosystem as a whole.”

Amy proudly introduced Diolog’s groundbreaking technology, stating, “Diolog is the first technology in the world that facilitates two-way investor communication.” She explained the company’s innovative approach, saying, “Through the development of our unique two-way communication technology, we are setting a new bar for the industry and reinventing how companies communicate with their investors.”

Navigating challenges

Reflecting on the challenges of founding and leading a startup, Amy Benson shared her insights: “Founding and leading a startup is no easy feat.” She stressed the importance of belief in one’s vision, saying, “From the obvious financial and logistical aspects to recruiting and decision-making, there is no better way to overcome them than by strongly believing in your vision.” Amy recognized the inevitability of setbacks and advised maintaining motivation and passion, stating, “I’ve learned that without the drive and willingness to reach your end goal, you’re likely not going to make it. Setbacks will always be there. But success will also come naturally if you can maintain that motivation and passion, so take small steps every day so that everything else can fall into place.” She shared the wisdom she had received, remarking, “Someone once told me the startup journey is just one massive game of trial and error. I think this is good advice to go by because you should never assume you have something 100% right, just always keep trying to make it better.”

Amy’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

Offering advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs, Amy emphasized the importance of problem-solving: “My best advice is to concentrate on pinning down the problem you’re trying to solve.” She underscored the need for clear communication, saying, “You have to be able to talk about it in plain English so people can visualize that problem. That way, they’ll understand there is a gap in the market. This is critical when it comes to pitching. In the end, if you demonstrate a clear understanding of the problem, other people – especially investors – will believe you can solve it.”

Amy also outlined her leadership philosophy and its impact on her startup: “One of my biggest goals as a startup founder is to lead my team by example and bring the company mission to the forefront.” She stressed the significance of passionate leadership, saying, “If you lead well, with passion and drive, your team will follow and your business will thrive.” Amy concluded with a reminder of the incremental nature of success, stating, “Rome wasn’t built in a day but a brick was laid every hour.”

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