We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Levi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
While I have had several jobs working for others, I have mostly been driven to build my own businesses. I started selling greeting cards door to door when I was 12, had a lawn mowing business at 14 and a sizable paper route at 15. I owned a bar in college at 19 and started my first technology company at 26. My dad was career Navy and mom stayed at home with my sisters and I as we moved around the world. Being adopted at a couple days of age, the drive to start companies wasn’t genetic, but my parents always encouraged me to explore and make my own decisions. I moved to Dallas in 1989 with no job and a dream of writing software. Sterling Software took a chance on a young ambitious kid and gave me the start at my dream job as a software developer. From there I left in 1993 to start Aztec Systems where we incubated many software products and several separate companies. So, the “thought process” is – I only see the world as a place to explore, create, incubate, grow and make a difference through my own lens. Nothing else makes sense to me.
What should our readers know about your business?
Currently I am building and growing PlantTAGG, an artificial intelligence and data science driven mobile platform that helps gardeners achieve a better understanding and higher levels of success with all of the plants they own. PlantTAGG is a culmination of my life’s work in software, consumer engagement technologies and raw data science. Throughout my career in software I have earned 15 US patents for software innovation which Im extremely proud of. Innovating and building software companies is hard – and today harder than ever as “the world is flat. There are millions of smart tech entrepreneurs with grit and hustle working on world changing innovations in garages all around the world. It takes more hustle and forethought than ever to identify, incubate and build world-changing technology solutions. At PlantTAGG, we believe we have a lead position as the most advanced mobile gardening companion and we are running as fast as we can to stay ahead of other aspiring entrepreneurs in the space. Its important to approach software innovation knowing there are people smarter and better equipped to pass you somewhere in the world so you must run FAST and take risks that may not be obvious to out maneuver the competition.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My wife, boxer and I live near White Rock Lake, which, in my opinion, is the most beautiful place in all of DFW. On any given day you will find people cycling, running, kayaking, walking and exploring nature. WRL is a microcosm, of culture, ecology, history and wonder to thousands of Dallasites every week. The Dallas restaurant scene is terrific and we love live music at The Rustic, Love and War, Legacy Hall and our favorite, the Thursday concerts at the Dallas Arboretum, which deserves its own mention as a destination for amazing flowers and plants. We also love to go to Ft. Worth a couple times a year for food, music and culture. If you are a sports fan, you can find anything you want in DFW as every pro sport has a team here.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents have always been encouraging and supportive, while not always in agreement. Early in the launch of my first technology company I had a great mentor George Hunter who always made time for me and helped me find my way in the Dallas entrepreneurial and early-stage technology community. I also have to recognize the folks at Sterling Software for giving me a chance to pursue my dream to create software. The biggest influence has been becoming a part of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and the people and experiences which have helped shape the past 10 years of my personal and professional career.