EvoNexus

evonexusheader

EvoNexus is a non-profit technology industry association that works to accelerate the formation, growth, and success of the technology industry in the region. They deliver value to the industry through content-driven programs that provide access to capital, talent and business development. The EvoNexus program portfolio includes EvoNexus™, a non-profit incubator for high tech start-up ventures; MarketLink™, which introduces regional companies to multi-national corporations via high-tech speed dates; NextStage™, which prepares emerging companies for the next step in developing their business plan; and Special Interest Groups (SIGs), regularly scheduled panel discussions which examine key issues in the industry. EvoNexus San Diego was established in 1998 and reaches over 14,000 members nationally.

Technology

Tools and technology used:

Software:

  • Web Development
  • Web Services
  • Project Management
  • UI/UX Creative Design

Challenge

Launch a new website that enhances brand awareness and credibility, delivers an outstanding
user experience, and provides an integrated technology solution going forward.


EvoNexus’ original website was built in 2007, and did not benefit from newer technologies. As a
result, the site had many limitations, including that the site:

  • Utilized an outdated Content Management System (CMS)
  • Made applying updates difficult and costly
  • Did not easily integrate with other systems
  • Required a lot of HTML/coding
  • Offered poor navigation
  • Did not allow EvoNexus to showcase current initiatives and activities
  • Failed to optimize registration for users and sponsors
  • Did not reflect EvoNexus’ reputation for technical innovation

EvoNexus aspired to improve the website for several years, but struggled to find a cost effective solution that covered all of their needs. Most solutions required a custom CRM, not to mention other customized systems, which simply weren’t affordable. In addition, employees were simultaneously focused on other responsibilities and had competing priorities to the website. As a result, it had not been possible to dedicate the necessary resources to execute the redesign. In-house talent had drafted a new site design, but EvoNexus did not have the necessary web development resources to execute the project. Guidance was needed to help the in-house team select the right tools and software that would provide an integrated, cost effective solution to meet all of EvoNexus’ needs.

Solution
Engage Fairway Technologies’ website design, development, and deployment experts to move EvoNexus’ site from an outdated, monolithic system to a multiple best-of-breed system based on WordPress and GreenRope.

Fairway Technologies had worked previously with several of EvoNexus’ EvoNexus Incubator companies and established a positive reputation within their community, making Fairway EvoNexus’ top choice for this project.

EvoNexus’ in-house team had begun the design process and produced high quality mock-ups for the new site. Fairway’s Creative Director then used these design mock-ups to produce dynamic WordPress design templates. The result was a highly customized WordPress theme using CSS, HTML, and PHP, complete with a custom user-friendly administration tool. The site was also optimized for mobile and tablet layouts using responsive design.

EvoNexus’ original website relied upon custom software that had not been updated in years. The website redesign provided the opportunity to tap new technologies and implement improved systems for content management, customer relationship management (CRM), and event management. Fairway guided EvoNexus through the selection process and delivered a best-of-breed approach to meet their needs.

The systems chosen included WordPress, a popular, reliable and affordable content management system (CMS). WordPress integration utilizes customized post types to create a dynamic site that is constantly updated with fresh data. As a best practice, Fairway also organized EvoNexus’ online content and distributed the data throughout the templates, making the site easier to update and navigate.

Fairway also helped EvoNexus transition to GreenRope, an industry-leading, all-in-one platform that offers a fully integrated CRM, event management and email marketing automation suite. This new system is Software-as-a-Service, and thus is always updated to take advantage of evolving technologies.

Benefits

The new site is a major triumph for EvoNexus, and has exceeded their expectations and added value to the organization on many levels. The website differentiates EvoNexus from other tech organizations and provides benefits to its entire program portfolio. The site reflects EvoNexus’ brand and reputation as a high tech leader, and provides great data mining and analytics capabilities that had previously not been possible. It has helped expand EvoNexus’ reach far beyond San Diego and into the international market.

The EvoNexus staff enjoys more efficient use of their time now that manual tasks have been reduced. These new tools enable EvoNexus to continue to operate effectively using a limited amount of resources.

Other benefits include:

  • Media and articles are well-organized, making the site an organized content powerhouse
  • The fresh, modern, responsive design complements the newly streamlined backend
  • WordPress CMS makes updates quick, easy and cost effective
  • The CRM, GreenRope, has been provided pro-bono and is a system that enhances the management capabilities of EvoNexus’ substantial database
  • GreenRope also enables EvoNexus to streamline marketing and CRM operations, supporting greater efficiency and reducing unnecessary expenses
  • Content is well organized and pleasantly displayed allowing users to find important information about EvoNexus with little effort

Client Endorsement

“We are very excited about the new EvoNexus website. Our sponsors, clients, and staff agree that the redesigned site is a great improvement, and the tools the site uses is having a positive impact on the way EvoNexus interacts with the world. It was a major initiative, but with Fairway Technologies’ expertise and support, we got it done.”

– Michele Yoshioka Director of Programs, EvoNexus