American Dream Disruptor

Leah LeMoineMarch 2019
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Polish immigrant Tomas Gorny’s Scottsdale business-communications startup Nextiva doubled in size in two years.

 

Tomas Gorny knows how fickle success is in the tech industry. In a little more than a decade, he went from an impoverished Polish immigrant to a moneyed tech entrepreneur to a bankrupt idealist starting over after the dot-com bubble burst.

His fortunes reversed again with a series of startups that culminated in Nextiva, the Scottsdale cloud-based communications provider (business phone services, cloud storage, email marketing, surveys, analytics, etc.) he founded in 2008 that now has an annual recurring revenue of $150 million and counts Netflix, Target and Allstate among its 150,000 business customers.

“Businesses juggle an average of 12-14 applications to communicate with their employees and customers,” he says. “Most companies are failing to properly communicate because the tools they’re using are disconnected and siloed.”

Photo courtesy Tomas Gorny
Photo courtesy Tomas Gorny

Gorny was inspired to streamline these needs after his own frustrating experiences. “When looking for a new business phone service for one of my companies, I ended up settling on an expensive system and, when I needed service, they said it wasn’t included in my plan.”

In the past two years, Nextiva went from 500 employees to 1,000, earning it a nod from Deloitte as one of the 500 fastest-growing tech companies in the world and a spot on Entrepreneur’s 2018 Top Company Cultures list. “Silicon Valley isn’t the only place to grow a tech company, and we’re proving that every day,” Gorny says. In February, he hired American Express chief technical officer Phil Steitz and says he has no plans to sell Nextiva.

“Growing up the way I did and experiencing a variety of successes and failures…” Gorny reflects. “I take nothing for granted, don’t believe in an exit strategy, have never taken outside funding for Nextiva and am focused on building the most innovative company possible.”

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