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Canay Deniz, co-founder Ren, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #347 - Canay Deniz: Systematizing Luck to Push Sales

Canay Deniz

October 12, 2023

11:31 - How taking a break helps you have new ideas

21:20 - AI’s role in Ren

27:38 - From Switzerland to the US

34:18 - Iterative product-market fit

41:31 - Acquiring Fortune 500 companies as customers

About Canay Deniz:

Canay Deniz is the co-founder and CEO at Ren, the intelligence tool that alerts you of actionable news about clients, prospects, and key contacts and helps you reach out in a timely and meaningful way. Canay holds a M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering & Business from ETH, and previously worked at the data intelligence company Teralytics before starting Ren in 2019.

His startup, Ren, which aims to systematize serendipity, was itself born out of a lucky coincidence: a friend of Canay introduced him to his now co-founder, Lionel Hertig, and this encounter led him to take the entrepreneurial plunge.

What is serendipity, you may ask? Generally, it’s defined as a happy coincidence, but for Ren’s purposes the concept (at least when applied to the business world) can be broken down into 3 main elements:

  1. Finding the right people: Usually instead of 1 database, we have several, stored in a bunch of different places. Ren helps you centralize your contacts and prioritizes different types of people based on your personal goals. If you regularly cold email C-level people, then Ren will know that a contact’s job position is an especially relevant piece of information to consider.  
  2. Reaching out to people at the right time: We have access to an unprecedented amount of information, but you can’t read everything all the time — it’s impossible to monitor the entire world. That’s why Ren has partnered with media organizations and built an AI that reads all the news for you. It selects news not based on your interests, but on your prospects’.
  3. Reaching out in the right context: It’s always best to sound like you have a pertinent reason to reach out to people, and aren’t just trying to land a quick sale. But how do you, for instance, find the news that impacts the company you care about but doesn’t directly mention it? Ren’s AI does it for you, and it also summarizes what happened and how it impacts your prospect.

Ren’s goal is to give sales a human face and make it pertinent and beneficial for all parties involved. And it’s not just useful for sales people: the fundamental act of selling is a skill required for many aspects of a company’s operations, like hiring and fundraising. Currently Ren is focused on the English-speaking market, which they feel is big enough (at least for now), and their target customer is a relationship-based senior professional handling big deals in their day to day.

Memorable Quotes:

“A random email from a buddy led me to becoming CEO of Ren.”

“Perfect is the enemy of done.”

“We need to be very careful not to confuse traction with being pulled in 5 different directions.”

If you would like to listen to more episodes on sales, check out our latest conversation with Lars Mangelsdorf.

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