Reflections from Ekos CEO, Josh McKinney
Seven years ago today, we officially launched Ekos out into the world. (For a blast from the past, check out the announcement press release.)
Back then, co-founder Greg Forehand and I had one goal: to help craft breweries better manage their operations. We had a passion for the growing craft industry and wanted to see it thrive with the help of technology. Quickly, we learned that the need was much larger than we anticipated and the opportunity for creating an impact was much greater. By the end of our first year, we had almost 100 breweries using our platform — far beyond what we could have imagined. That proved to us that we had found the sweet spot that very few founders can actually claim they have found: a mix of passion and purpose.
A question I get a lot is, “Where did the name Ekos come from?” The answer always sounds obvious when given, but Ekos is short for ecosystem. From the beginning, our vision has been to build an ecosystem for craft producers and business owners. Over the years, that vision has evolved. While we were originally focused on craft beer, we started to receive calls from meaderies, cideries, wineries, distilleries, and kombucheries. Their message to us was the same: “We need help with what you are doing for breweries!”
The passion that unites the Ekos team comes from a desire to help makers of all kinds. As our team has grown, we’ve been able to improve our product, increase our industry knowledge, and expand the types of customers that we can serve. We exist to build technology and relationships that enable makers all over the world to make more. (We proudly support makers across six continents. Call us if you want to be our first Antarctic customer!)
Today I am proud, honored, and humbled to be celebrating seven years of Ekos. As a company, we have built a strong foundation and are set to make an impact that will last well beyond my lifetime. I would be lying if I said I knew where we would be today, but now I know that I can dream big because we are just getting started. For as much as we’ve grown in the past seven years, I know our next years will be filled with even more innovation and technological advances that will enable our customers to expand, grow, and achieve their dreams.
Now, more than ever, Ekos is looking to the future and developing big plans for how our technology will transform the craft beverage industry. Creating an ecosystem has always been the backbone of our company, but we are ready to take that concept to the next level. Last year, we saw our industry innovate overnight to meet the challenges of reduced in-person and retail purchasing. As innovation continues to accelerate, we need to rise to the occasion and help our customers stay on pace with monumental change. That’s why we are building an ecosystem for makers and business owners that will connect craft producers to retailers, customers, suppliers, and beyond. Our platform will connect the disparate, complex pieces of the craft supply chain into one centralized hub and will enable every maker, no matter their size, to generate more revenue than they thought possible and gain more insights into their operations than even the largest of Goliaths.
Whether you’ve been with us from our humble beginnings or just stumbled upon Ekos for the first time today, we would love for you to join us on this journey. Together, the Ekos team and our customers are headed places that no one else has been. While we aren’t perfect, we strive to be better than yesterday. My commitment to all of our employees, customers, and partners is to make sure that Ekos is the best company and platform for you and your greatest ambitions.
So, to all of our current and past employees, partners, and customers: Thank you all for the memories from the past seven years and the opportunity to serve you. Thank you for helping us get to this milestone and for playing an important role in our story. Our best is yet to come, and I, for one, can’t wait to show the world what’s next. Onward and upward!