The Complete System Administration Tutorial

If you are the system administrator for your review process, this post is for you. There’s a lot to this post, but your role is a mission critical one and I’d hate to leave you without all of the information you need. I recommend you bookmark this post and refer to it if you’re ever unsure of what to do. Of course, if your question isn’t answered here you can always send us a message and we’ll help you as quickly as possible.

Here’s a summary of what’s covered:

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The Complete Reviewer Tutorial

If you are using to review submissions, you will want to bookmark this post. All of the major features that you can take advantage of as a reviewer are outlined below.

This comprehensive tutorial is made up of five sections:

  1. A Tour of the Main Submissions Page
  2. Diving into the Full Submission
  3. Ranking Submissions
  4. The Dashboard
  5. Progressing Through Your Review Process

By the end of this tutorial, you will have seen and learned of just about everything you’ll need to know to start reviewing. Of course, if anything is unclear or you have any questions whatsoever, please reach out in the comments below or via email.

Let’s get started!

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New Features: List View, Bulk Actions, and Dashboard Upgrade!

The following will be live shortly. We just wanted to give you a heads up so that you can hit the ground running when these improvements go live.

We’ve been listening closely to your feedback and working hard to continually improve our product. We’ve taken your feedback and turned them into some great new features! With this most recent release, we focus on making the process of handling larger volumes of online submissions more efficient for administrators and reviewers, as well as upgrade the Dashboard to include new and useful information to help you stay on top of your review process!

Let’s dig into the details with some pictures and helpful explanations of what’s changed and how it benefits you.

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Duncan McDowell Joins Full Time!

An image of Duncan McDowell, co-founder of

Image is from the original article written by Trish Crompton at the Communitech Hub.

At, we do things differently than most startups.

We didn’t go for funding right off the bat. The team worked full-time at incubators and accelerators and came aboard full time as needed. We bootstrapped. It’s not the way you’re necessarily advised to do things in a startup world where a sizable round of VC funding is the holy grail.

Fortunately, we don’t really care. The way we’re doing things has led to the best in class team decision-making platform, and customer service that would blow you away. Oh yeah, people have been more than happy to pay for since the beginning of our beta. Unconventional is just fine when it’s working.

The last to make the leap to joining full time is Duncan McDowell, manager of the startup services group at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener-Waterloo. Check out this great Q & A featuring Duncan McDowell, where he dishes out some priceless startup advice and speaks about his ambition to build into a billion-dollar company.

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Making Decisions and Closing Review Process Stages

We’re almost there! By there I mean we’ve almost completed an entire stage of a submission review process together. Of course, this is just one stage of a review process that I created. is meant to be flexible, so don’t worry if your review process looks a bit different.

Today, I’ll show you how to move the submissions that will be continuing on in your review process to the next stage, and how to stop submissions that aren’t successful. My next post will show you how to send customized feedback to every applicant, and that will more or less wrap up the major tasks you’ll complete in a typical review process!

If I’m losing you here, it’s probably because you’re just joining us now. Peruse the links below to get up to speed.

Alright, let’s get to it!

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8 Decision-Making Insights from a Nobel Prize Winner

A picture of Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. He is an expert in decision-making.

If you are a decision maker, or aspire to have such a responsibility in your career, this post is for you.

Daniel Kahneman is a winner of a Nobel Prize. He is the author of, Thinking, Fast and Slow, the book where many of these ideas are shared. You can actually read the book for free in PDF here. Much of what dictates today’s decision-making strategies are born out of the ideas of Kahneman himself. If I had to pick one human being in this world to listen to on matters concerning decision-making strategy, Daniel Kahneman is that individual. He has dedicated his life to this and it shows.

So, let’s get into it and supercharge your decision-making abilities!

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Rating, Commenting on, and Ranking Online Submissions

Today, we get into the meat and potatoes of We are going to go into the full submission and take a look at our core features including rating, commenting, note taking, and ranking. This is where the organization that adds to the online submission management and group decision-making process becomes apparent.

If you’re joining in on our series of product feature posts for the first time, I recommend you take a look at some of the posts below.

Ok, let’s jump into the fun stuff!

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4 Pieces of Unconventional Business Advice

Unconventional advice has a special place in my heart. It seems more genuine. I feel like unconventional advice is born out of experience — often difficult experiences. Conventional advice on the other hand is easily echoed. Too often conventional advice isn’t well thought out but rather repeated because many other smart people have shared this advice in the past.

So with that I give you four pieces of unconventional business advice. Words from some of the brightest minds of the past and present.

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Everything You Need To Know To Make Great Decisions

If you can’t tell yet, we here at are firmly against the “gut decision” when the decision is of the complex and critical variety. We’re against it, and we don’t apologize.

These 6 steps of a sound decision-making process will give you everything you need to know about the entire decision-making process. Stop leaving decisions, the cornerstone of success, to chance!

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Easily Import Your Online Submissions Into

In today’s post, I am going to show you how to import your online submissions into for review. Today’s example assumes you are importing from .CSV and therefore not using our Wufoo integration.

You will be amazed by how easy it is to go from an intimidating spreadsheet to a user friendly online submission review environment.

If you’re new here, you may want to browse the following links to get caught up in this walk through series.

Great! Now let’s get going with today’s tutorial. This is where the fun begins!

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Gut Decisions – Trust or Bust?

The gut decision divides decision makers everywhere. Some decision makers swear that their gut can do them no wrong and that pouring over data sets and applying decision models is busy work. Others demand a more rigorous approach to decision making and dismiss gut decisions as a viable strategy altogether.

Who’s right?

Well, it depends. Sometimes, making a quick decision based on your gut is the best approach. Other times, you put yourself at risk by failing to collect and analyze relevant data before making a final decision. So, let’s take a closer look at when you should and shouldn’t trust your gut decision. Continue reading

Wufoo Form Builder Integration with

Wufoo is an easy to use drag and drop form builder and we integrate with it! For those of you collecting and reviewing online submissions and applications, that means that every time someone submits an application using your Wufoo form, all of that data is automatically imported, organized and ready for review within For an integration so powerful, it’s amazing how easy it is!

If you’re here for the first time, welcome! You may want to browse the three posts that precede this one. I’ve provided a link to each of those below for your convenience.

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s dive head first into this Wufoo integration, shall we? The word “integration” is much more intimidating than the actual process of integrating, I promise. Continue reading

5 Ways B2B Software Is Bringing The Sexy Back

A recent Inc. article titled, Why B2B Startups Are Suddenly So Sexy, declared that B2B software companies are finally being seen as sexy by some investors. That’s all well and good. However, the biggest issue has never been investors failing to perceive the allure of a meaty B2B solution. Afterall, great B2B companies tend to generate revenue before a major round of funding anyway!

The real problem is that people looking to start a B2B company and people who have already started one don’t think they themselves are sexy. They look longingly at their B2C comrades. Their Twitter followings are in the thousands. They are getting covered on all of the major tech sites. Their blogs are littered with comments. Every slight tweak to the app is met with praise from the young and hip around the world.

B2B software companies would probably describe their company as producing something useful, practical, and better than what is currently being used. But definitely not sexy.

Well fellow B2B software companies and those aspiring to join the ranks, I am going to help you hold your head up a little higher around those boastful B2C’s!

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Online Submission Software System Administration

An important part of adopting new cloud-based submission management software is ensuring that your current process can be carried over to this new platform. Not only should you be able to carry it over, but it should be quick and easy to do so. We know that if  it’s difficult to even get this new platform up and running it just isn’t worth the hassle of switching.

We get it! We’re living in a time when it’s becoming more common for technology to just plain work. You expect it, and you have every right to expect this much.

In last week’s post, I showed you how to set up a custom review process. This week’s post will take you through the system administration menu. In coming posts I’ll show you how to supercharge your experience by enabling powerful integrations with companies like Wufoo, MailChimp, and Constant Contact. Together, these posts will show you just how easy it can be to set up your entire online submission review process.


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The Application Management Software Checklist

Today, we are accepting more applications for grants, business incubator and accelerator programs, and competitions than ever before. This is a great thing of course – it means more money, mentorship, and prizes for all! However, with a change in application volume comes a need to improve the application management process. Even if your particular team isn’t seeing this dramatic increase in applications, it is always worth looking at your process and looking for inefficiencies that can be fixed by better application management software.

We’ll take a look at some of the benefits of using up to date application management software, and some capabilities you should be looking for in a product.

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Creating an Online Submission Review Process

Many organizations, whether a non-profit or for-profit, want to step into the modern era by moving their online submission review process off of their desks, away from legacy software, and into an elegant online submission management platform.  The initial enthusiasm to make this move is often stifled when it becomes obvious that it will be difficult to migrate their current review process over to this new submission management system. They are either going to have to change the way they work or fight an uphill battle and force this modern cloud based platform into submission.

Both options sound terrible to us!

So, today’s post is going to show you just how easy it can be to create a submission review process with multiple stages. You will also see how easily the decision criteria your review team currently uses to evaluate submissions is transferred into, so that you aren’t changing the way you work. This post combined with others to come will take you through the entire workflow.

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Startup Incubator Success Tracked in

In a great post by Jesse Rodgers of TribeHR, he mentioned the importance of identifying performance metrics for your startup incubator. This can help to determine how effective the startup incubator is (or isn’t). At the core of his message is measuring certain performance metrics at the application, in program (accepted), and out of program (graduated) stages and everywhere in between. In this post, we will show how can serve a secondary function of tracking startup incubator success.

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8 Decision Making Insights from a Game of Poker

Using data and logic pays off at the poker table, and we think it will pay off for your organization as well. Whether you are a foundation or non-profit reviewing grant applications, a startup incubator or accelerator reviewing applications from budding entrepreneurs that want access to your programs, or a business making big decisions around strategy and product – making use of as much relevant information as possible within the time available will improve your outcomes over time. It’s important to find a way to implement solutions, software or otherwise, to aid in the management of these submissions, applications, and group decisions. Continue reading

How We Think About Decisions – the Fast, Slow, and the Lazy

In the book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, author and Nobel Prize laureate Daniel Kahneman identifies two thinking systems we possess called “System 1″ and “System 2″. Each system is responsible for a very different kind of thinking – one system isn’t fundamentally better than the other. The trouble occurs when one system jumps in to do work best left to its buddy system. This happens more than we would like to admit, and so it is critical that we have a basic understanding of these systems, the tricks they can play on one another, and how to limit the negative effects of these tricks.

Lucky for you, that’s what we’re going to cover today!

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Business Intelligence 2.0 – Start Making Better Decisions Today

In this post, we introduce Business Intelligence 2.0 (BI 2.0). In order to do so, we’ll talk about what business intelligence (BI) is, what the “2.0″ represents, and how BI 2.0 differs from its predecessor. Most importantly, we’ll discuss how BI 2.0 can help your organization to start making better decisions today!

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