Recipe for Entrepreneurial Success

Gwen Shields


Start-up companies don’t become booming businesses overnight.

Strategies take time to plan and execute, and must be bolstered by a strong marketing foundation and an effective, sustainable approach to communications. Altitude Marketing has the secret recipe for entrepreneurial success and more proof that it works.

Before joining the Altitude Marketing team, I ran Kestrel Communications, a national PR and marketing firm specializing in technology companies. I brought a few of my “start-up” clients with me to Altitude. Out of the five of these clients, 4 of them have risen to the top by merging with big-name corporations like IBM, SunGard, Citrix and GE, and the 5th is still on the rise, positioned to be bought by Microsoft.

This is a testament to our ability to help start-up companies achieve real results.

The most recent of these mergers involved Datacap, a provider of data and document capture solutions, which has just been acquired by IBM. Datacap was positioned as a strong player in the ECM market, and will now become the basis of IBM’s document capture strategy. For more on this story, click here.

Altitude clients in all industries are seeing success and growth. Health Market Science in King of Prussia, PA just received another round of funding from Cross Atlantic Capital.  HMS (an INC 500 company) and Adaptik Corporation, another Altitude client, were both named in the Deloitte Fast 50 (2009), a prestigious rank of fast growing technology companies. Adaptik was also named in Inc. Magazine’s 500/5000 fastest growing companies in America along with our very own EcoTech Marine which came in at 302 this year.

Our experienced team established the marketing foundation for these companies that has fostered tremendous growth, resulted in mergers with multi-billion dollar firms and earned them esteemed national recognition.

So what are the main ingredients in Altitude’s recipe for entrepreneurial success?

First, preheat the oven with some background research. We can get smart about different technologies quickly. We can’t expect to help a company grow if we don’t understand their industry and exactly how their product or service benefits the market.


  • 2 cups of talent. The sign of great leadership and entrepreneurship is the ability to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Trust their expertise and judgment and empower them to do what you hired them to do.
  • 6 tablespoons of focused strategic vision. New businesses think they can do everything at once, when what they really need is a solid 3-5 year plan.
  • 12 oz. of properly crafted brand messaging that resonates with investors and customers and vaults our clients into a position of prominence and strength in their market sector.
  • 1/3 cup of budget awareness. We work with the small budget of start-up companies. In the early stages of starting a new business, we know companies need to get the biggest bang for their buck.
  • A pinch of candid counsel. If we think you could be doing something more efficiently or effectively, we tell you and help you execute.

Bake for 45 minutes. You will start to see a golden brown crust of opportunity and growth.

Gwen Shields

As Altitude’s COO, Gwen Shields oversees client-facing systems and processes to improve service and retention, ensuring production operations run smoothly and effectively. Her exceptional problem-solving skills and technical knowledge allow Gwen to understand and guide Altitude’s core base of technology-focused clients.
Gwen earned her bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and worked in information systems and tech sales before becoming a part of Team Altitude in 2008.