Founder Spotlight: Dann Angelo De Guzman of CloudSwyft
Raising the bar for how organizations acquire and nurture technology talent
By Glacer Barnett
Dann Angelo De Guzman is one of the youngest tech entrepreneurs in the Philippines. At the early age of 23, right after completing a degree in engineering, Dann adopted the rocky path that was the entrepreneurial life, and began his first enterprise tech company. The road had many ups and downs, however, from receiving little funding for support, to Dann’s lack of experience in manoeuvring through the obstacles. As a result, it wasn’t long before Dann decided to change his mode of transport through this road; gaining the knowledge and skill, he efficiently built a new apparatus—CloudSwyft.
CloudSwyft is a software (SaaS) company that takes the pioneering role for Cloud-based IT assessment and training. Dann built Cloudswyft with a simple but bold vision: He wanted to revolutionize the way organizations evaluated and developed on tech skills. Taking a look at companies and hiring, things are mostly done through psychological processes and written exams. In a world where tech skills are in demand, the hiring of technical talent becomes crucial. Thus, Cloudswyft builds assessment platforms that allows for companies to have their applicants prove their skill in IT. Dann sees to it that he should supply the pool of scarcity so that companies have a means of acquiring high-quality.
Founding Cloudswyft in April of 2015, it officially qualifies as Dann’s second entrepreneurial venture. The notion came to Dann’s mind when he was working for a company as a technology consultant. Fortunate enough to be a part of the Cloud Computing group in the company, Dann was involved with many different enterprise organizations in terms of their virtualization infrastructure(s). At that time, he got into a situation wherein he was tasked to construct a training program for his peers, one that would provide them with skill sets necessary for the handling of specific technology. To achieve this, Dann resolved to arrange for the distribution of hands-on environments using remote servers from the datacenters, instead of PowerPoint presentations for lecture; all that Dann needed to was to coordinate with datacentre IT staff to inquire over the company’s scrap servers for his trainees to use.
It took Dann a long 2-3 months to complete the training program by designing the entire hands-on lab infrastructure for training; after that, when Dann wanted to do the program again, a bulb lit up in his head that allowed for him to visualize the potential for business.
Failure as a necessary platform for learning
To Dann, the startup ecosystem, during its beginnings, felt like a startup in and of itself. All Dann could do was attend events and try to meet people to see if his path made sense in terms of what he wanted to do for a living. ‘’I was young and I didn’t know what I was doing, basically just preparing PowerPoint pitch deck for my first company, and I named it RocketLabs.’’, Dann voiced. He wasn’t experienced with networking, and only relied on his personal research about the values of the country’s top entrepreneurs. It was only when he attended an Ideaspace event that he was able to finally integrate himself into the community and attract potential investors for his first startup company. Unfortunately, lacking the prototype and traction, Dann’s inexperience eventually caught up to him, making him opt out of his own company.
Dann sought to build some experience off of his mistakes. He lives for the time when he will reach a point of success, so high that his mistakes will look miniscule in comparison, enough for him to just laugh them off. Thus, Dann doesn’t really believe in failure—living and breathing through mistakes and uncertainties is practically an entrepreneur’s way of life. To him, there would be no point to doing anything if everybody were just consumed by the worry of failure. Thus, as an entrepreneur, he sees the value in resilience, the drive necessary in taking the initiative to execute a risk, for a leap of faith is the only thing that can lead entrepreneurs to great heights of achievement.
A standard of honesty to achieve realistic success
A value that Dann has formed without the need for experience is honesty. It serves as a virtue that he is obliged to stick to. As an entrepreneur, while it might be difficult to avoid the habit of exaggerating, Dann believes that it is best to have a clear vision of the standard that entrepreneurs are setting up for themselves. ‘’That way, we won’t have to be pressured into living up to expectations.’’, Dann reasoned.
Being the eldest son in his family, Dann considers himself to be a self-made man. He has always wanted to hasten the trajectory of his success, and he realized that the only way of doing it was to becoming an employer and create jobs to make a huge impact. The circumstances played out a twist of faith—Dann couldn’t have imagined that he’d end up becoming an entrepreneur. He always figured that he’d just end up climbing up the vigorous corporate ladder, like most of the people in his line of work. From watching entrepreneurial interviews from the US (Silicon Valley) as a basic start to look into, Dann became catapulted to taking the role of founding a rising startup.
The journey of it becomes a reward for his sense of self-fulfilment—Dann feels grateful that he is granted with the passion to improve the efficiency of how things are done. Revenue can always follow after once you do it right. Thus, he makes it a point to channel the feeling of self-reward into an inspiration for making an impact in the industry.
“In addition, It’s all about the Team. In my view, taking care of the people and making sure they are all driven and passionate about CloudSwyft and our vision-mission will contribute to everything we do in our company. And with that, the execution strategy we can build upon working together towards realizing our goals for achieving ultimate success.”