EDai, a Richmond-based software company specializing in data and economic development information, has been awarded a $75,000 Commonwealth Commercialization Fund grant by the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corp. The grant will support the company’s efforts to bring a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product to the market.
Set to launch in July, EDai was founded two years ago by Sean Brazier, who previously worked as a lead strategist for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and played a crucial role in attracting Amazon’s HQ2 to Northern Virginia. Realizing that economic development data was traditionally presented in cumbersome PowerPoint presentations, Brazier envisioned a more dynamic approach to using and showcasing the information.
After leaving state economic development, Brazier established a consulting practice, during which he developed the EDai platform. Several clients have already utilized the tool, but Brazier is confident that the product can stand on its own, prompting him to seek the grant.
Brazier’s journey with EDai included participating in Covintus and Lighthouse Labs, as well as bringing on Zach Paul, a database expert, as a partner. Together, they are rebuilding the software on a platform that will work as a scalable, stand-alone SaaS product.
The EDai platform is designed for mid-sized market economic development officials and companies that lack in-house expertise. By offering easy access to valuable data and presenting it in a meaningful way, EDai aims to democratize the information. Brazier emphasizes the importance of creating an intuitive, user-friendly interface for the platform, as its users are not expected to be database experts.
With no current revenue, Brazier remains uncertain about seeking additional funding. He intends to better understand the platform’s demand before considering raising more capital. As EDai approaches its launch date, the potential impact on the economic development industry is a testament to Brazier’s vision and determination to transform the way data is presented and utilized.