G&W Portfolio Founder Feature: Chelsey Roney, Co-Founder and CEO, Proxi

Who is Chelsey Roney?

Chelsey Roney brings her business-building and strategy experience to Proxi, where she serves as CEO, growing the business through sales and marketing. After graduating from Texas A&M, Chelsey joined Boeing where she worked in financial planning and analysis and Microsoft where she worked in a demand center that focused on B2B omnichannel marketing. She grew and sold two businesses: a SaaS business in the University space, and a local services business. Chelsey is also an active member of her community, dedicated parent, and passionate supporter of women and business. Her persistence, attention to detail, and deep knowledge of finance and marketing  have helped Proxi grow more than 100% month over month.

What is Proxi?

Proxi is powering the future of personalized navigation, already helping thousands of people visualize their ideas and revolutionize their list of places through interactive maps. We provide the easiest software anywhere to build, crowdsource, and share interactive maps for brands, businesses, and communities. The co-founders of Proxi are Chelsey Roney and Melinda McClure Haughey.

What is a fun fact about the Proxi team?

To support ourselves while launching Proxi, my co-founder and I worked part-time for the landscaping business I owned. We always laugh because landscaping is just about as different from building a software company as you can be, but we were able to straddle both companies to make it work! When Proxi was accepted into Techstars, I made the decision to sell the landscaping business, and both of us jumped into Proxi full-time.

What inspired you to start your company?

We founded Proxi with the inspiration to bridge the gap between local experts and the people who seek valuable information about their communities. Our vision is to empower individuals to create and share meaningful maps easily. By doing this, we’re enabling a deeper connection between people and their surroundings. Proxi’s mission is to simplify the process of community storytelling, making it accessible to everyone.

How will Proxi change the world?

Proxi is more than just a map creation tool; it’s a catalyst for redefining how people interact with their surroundings. Our platform simplifies local place visualization and collection of data. We aim to use this foundation to revolutionize real-world navigation. The data we gather about local places will empower us to provide personalized recommendations, fundamentally altering how individuals explore and connect with the world around them.

What is the hardest part of being a founder? And what’s the most rewarding?

The most challenging aspect of being a founder, for me, is fundraising because it diverts my focus from building, which I love. On the flip side, the most rewarding part is teamwork. Building and leading a cohesive, high-performing team is immensely fulfilling. Celebrating our collective victories and witnessing the synergy among team members is the ultimate satisfaction.

What is the most important life, career or startup lesson you’ve learned, and who (or what) taught it to you?

Early in my career at Boeing, a mentor told me: “Be the most prepared person in the room.” This advice has been instrumental in both my professional and personal life. Knowledge and preparation typically leads to more successful outcomes and reduces stress. Being prepared can significantly impact your career and personal life.

What is one thing you wish you’d known at the start of your startup journey?

Prioritize building relationships. Success in the startup world often hinges on the people you know. Engaging with customers, industry thought leaders, mentors, and investors is vital. Networking and forming meaningful connections can open doors and accelerate your startup’s growth.

Why do you do what you do?

My passion lies in the process of building businesses. I’m driven by the challenge of identifying customer needs, strategizing execution, and developing revenue-generating solutions. Entrepreneurship is a part of my DNA, with my entrepreneurial journey dating back to my elementary school days. The satisfaction of solving business puzzles and creating meaningful impact is what fuels my love of building.

Where do you go for inspiration?

For inspiration, I head outdoors for a run without headphones(crazy, I know). The simplicity of the act, the rhythm of my breath, and the sound of my feet hitting the pavement provide mental clarity. During these runs, I often find myself compelled to stop and jot down ideas or thoughts on my phone. It’s a practice that invigorates my mind and puts me in a better mood.

Why Graham & Walker Loves Proxi

Graham & Walker is proud to be an investor in Proxi for their exceptional execution capabilities, driving a shift in how individuals interact with their communities. Proxi’s approach to visualizing and collecting data on local places aligns with our belief in technology’s potential to enrich everyday experiences. We are consistently impressed with Chelsey and Melinda and are thrilled to see Proxi’s continued growth.

Learn more and connect:

G&W Team

Never Miss a Story

Sign up to receive email updates.