alva interview: EntrepreneursTalk@Cass
Entrepreneurship, stakeholder intelligence and innovation were the big topics when alva CEO Alberto Lopez-Valenzuela was featured as part of EntrepreneursTalk@Cass, a series of interviews with some of the UK’s most innovative and inspirational tech entrepreneurs
“What’s going on externally matters much more than 15 years ago and company reputations can change very rapidly”
With reputation being such a prominent issue for modern businesses, a key theme throughout the discussion was the importance of understanding, tracking and analysing how various stakeholders perceive your business.
“We see beyond reputation, to how stakeholder perception impacts the value of a business”
This is vital, as these diverse stakeholders can directly affect business KPIs in different ways, depending on how the business projects itself to customers, shareholders, environmental groups, media outlets, etc.
“I think PR had been disservicing the market. We developed something that spoke the language of the business”
In order to service this rapidly evolving online landscape, businesses have had to move away from their traditional methods of relying on PR to set the agenda. As social media has shifted the power balance and given a voice to the masses, businesses need to have a more robust system of understanding stakeholder concerns. This stakeholder intelligence needs to be relevant and available to all the relevant senior figures within a company, including Communications, Corporate Affairs, Marketing, Risk and ultimately the CEO.
“When you combine the intelligence and analysis we have, with asking the right questions, you will get better data”
alva works with the largest global companies to understand their concerns and the needs of various different departments within each business. The data can then be filtered and analysed in a bespoke way that answers their questions and feeds directly into their KPIs.
“Our system can track any entity, whether it be a company, CEO, political party or politician. The system is flexible.”
The flexibility of alva’s technology means that the business is in an exciting growth period, including new offices planned in Asia and South Africa. Any business, organisation or personality can be inserted into the system, tracked for any number of issues and compared with their designated peers. This means alva is continuing to invest and develop innovative new solutions to help more global companies answer their business questions.
Watch a quick highlights video on the original idea behind alva and the hard work that goes into being an entrepreneur:
alva was initially incubated within the Peter Cullum Centre of Entrepreneurship at Cass, while Alberto himself became an entrepreneur after completing a MBA at Cass. Alberto is in no rush to return to corporate employment and is busy looking forward and identifying new ways to scale the busy over the next few years.
“I’m enjoying this far too much”
Despite the challenges of starting a business, Alberto is keen to point out that if you put in the hard work you can reap the rewards.
“It’s a great thing to do, but you have to be massively resilient and you have to be obsessive to make it work”
EntrepreneursTalk@Cass (in partnership with Thomson Reuters) are intimate, in-depth interviews with some of the UK’s most innovative and inspirational tech entrepreneurs.
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