This week, Dave Nestoff, director of product and engineering at Simplifya, discusses how he landed at a cannabis compliance software company after two very different careers — and why he loves working for startups.
Nestoff is a self-described renaissance man, and the nature of startups allowed him to wear many hats during his career. At Simplifya, he not only works on software engineering, but he also has a chance to flex writing skills cultivated during stints as a journalist and teacher.
Software development wasn't the first choice for Nestoff. A few years ago, he was working at a startup marketing firm that exposed him to the business' database and front-end side. It forced him to rethink his career, and he reinvented himself at a development boot camp in Chicago. Simplifya recruited him out of the boot camp because he had a unique perspective as a developer coming from a different career, rather than a green computer science major right out of school.
Simplifya is a software as a service (SaaS) company that helps cannabis operators remain compliant with state and local regulations as well as internal best practices. The platform provides self-auditing and assessment software in four different tools:
Nestoff says Simplifya is an out-of-the-box tool used by cultivators, operators and other cannabis businesses to remain compliant. It seems simple, but the software helps ensure that companies don't lose their licenses and can maintain their businesses using best practices.
Simplifya has been in business for five years and now has more than 1,000 locations. Its customers range from small, mom-and-pop shops to large multi-state operators and ancillary companies.
Documentation and compliance are more labor-intensive in the cannabis industry, and Simplifya is designed to help companies do more with smaller compliance teams.
Nestoff says that cannabis operators can help protect their companies by doing things right from an operational standpoint from the outset. The company will be better positioned when regulators start visiting the facility, particularly in states that have recently come online with legalization.
Simplifya's audits are simple and straightforward, with a series of yes or no questions catered specifically to each operator and the licenses they hold. It takes state and local regulations and transforms them to be relevant and digestible to each operator.
The company has customers in 21 states spanning cultivation, distribution, manufacturing and more. But, as Nestoff says, every operator runs the business in a unique way, which is why it is essential for Simplifya to be configurable to each operator.