As Featured In:

INNOVATE® Austin Volume 2

Purpose-driven, impact-oriented, and one of the area’s most connected innovators, Andrew Tull is among the most accomplished entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and innovators to know in the Austin area and the state of Texas. Recognized for creating innovative, successful businesses such as Tailwind Business Ventures, and working tirelessly to make a meaningful, positive impact in Texas through organizations such as Texas Search and Rescue (TEXSAR), Austin Bridge Builders Alliance (ABBA), and Mobile Loaves and Fishes.

Andrew found his calling by recognizing that he was blessed to have the opportunity to meet and authentically connect with business leaders in a variety of industries across many businesses and geographies and develop long term, meaningful relationships with them. Understanding that the ability to connect two talented and smart people that previously may never have had the opportunity to create something unique and real has been something of a lifelong passion project for Andrew. In Texas, he has found himself involved in a number of organizations, all with a mission of helping others in some meaningful manner. These range from understanding the homeless challenge facing every city in America today to helping bridge the gap between churches and business and communities, to ‘Texans Helping Texans’ with Texas Search and Rescue. In 2016, after noting that companies were struggling in their relationship with software developers and technology itself, he co-founded, with James Bindseil and Paulo Vieira, Tailwind Business Ventures. Tailwind is Texas’ only software and technology development company personalizing every experience so that your work in technology, with them, is like working with family.

Tailwind partners with premier technology providers to integrate disparate systems, add new functionality, and customize features to provide unique capabilities that enable companies and brands to differentiate themselves in their marketplace. They do this through what they call Humanizing Software.

Tailwind was started with the desire to achieve a better tech-life balance. This concept materialized when the three industry veterans noticed their industry is transactional in nature, robotic versus human, and success or failure as a matter of business. This unsettling realization united these experts to change the nature of their industry by putting integrity and relationships back to the forefront, guiding the way for S.a.a.R – Software as a Relationship™. S.a.a.R™ moves businesses forward by putting people first in a model that leverages a tight partnership, with transparent and frequent communications. This unique approach reduces overall risks and development costs, achieving a true tech-life balance and redefining what the ideal partnership really is. With the vision mapped and S.a.a.R™ acting as the compass, Tailwind Business Ventures was born.

“We consider each of our clients as partners,’ shared Tull. “Beyond a mere vendor, we are a true extension of your team. From conception to deployment, we care about your success and as your partner, our long-term success is tied to yours. We are committed to moving forward together because it’s not just business – it’s personal.”

“Software as a Relationship moves business forward by putting people first in a model that leverages a tight partnership, with transparent and frequent communications. This unique approach reduces overall risks and development costs, achieving a true tech-life balance and redefining what the ideal partnership really is.”– Andrew Tull, Partner, Tailwind Business Ventures

Working primarily in high touch, personal, fields of technology, Andrew’s work finds Tailwind in Finance, Healthcare, Education, and the Public sectors. Developing technology and solutions are the heart of both industries primary to Texas and where the experience people have with technology is paramount.

Reducing overall risk and development costs to achieve a true tech – life balance, Tailwind solves real-world business challenges through three areas of focus:

  • Solution Design — From the very start of your solution design process, the latest UX tendencies are put into practice. Through product definition, business analysis, prototyping/ideation, and documentation, your business moves forward.
  • Software Engineering — Integrate web apps, mobile apps, and enterprise software for the best version of your brand. They leverage the right types of technologies and frameworks for your business’s digital transformation.
  • DevOps & Cloud Migration — Scale to meet the growing demands on your business. Migrate existing workloads to modern architectures and put your business in a position to grow into the future. From bare-metal and updated manual environments to fully automated cloud ones, they are enabled to help.

Many people have become quite familiar with the various ‘As a Service’ type offerings that exist today…. You can have software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and more. These offerings have become more prevalent as they offer a fundamental value-added service about providing something that has already existed (software, hardware) and make it more easily used for a variety of different types of entities, from individual business owners to multinational corporations. In Steven MacDonald’s SuperOffice article from November 2, 2020, he discusses how Saas can help companies increase growth rates by 19.6%. Tull is a huge fan of a Service First mentality, especially with his own set of four favorite words to use whenever he makes a new connection, “How May I Help?”

He does not use the word “you” nor ask of “your business” and he does not apply a typical sales-oriented ask of the specific technology or software problems your organization may be struggling with in any specific way; his relationships are started and continue in an open-ended way, just asking the question, and seeing where it leads.

“It’s the start of what I believe is fundamentally important in terms of building a deep and long-lasting relationship with people…one connection at a time. Getting to meet with various people of quite diverse backgrounds, with varying talents and capabilities, and – here’s the fun part – getting to genuinely listen to and resonate with their individual *story* is one of my absolute favorite activities to do. After hearing their story, having the opportunity to ask this simple question of how I can help, and then, most important, actually *doing something about it*, is a personal passion of mine.”

This is what gave rise to Tailwind’s identity of not just providing software as a relationship, but humanizing software.

From 2005 to 2008, I experienced a significant life change in my personal life, which necessitated me to be a single dad for my two daughters. I had to quickly learn to adjust my life and focus away from ‘just work’ to ensuring that I was trying to build the right type of life for myself as well as both of my children. This led me to several business opportunities, but most importantly, the opportunity to have my ‘now’ wife and her son – now my son, come into my life and ‘recomplete’ my family. What was once three was now five….and much stronger. With that experience came the learning of how important it is to focus on what is most important in life, while also trying to better understand others’ personal life journeys, and if/where/how I could make an impact to listen, learn, and if possible, ‘help’ them in their journey.

A fan of Dan Mannion’s thesis that ‘Your Network is Your Net Worth,’ Tull is committed to the power of trusted referrals in your network, based upon those relationships that you have built over time. This leads Tailwind to the intersection between personal passions and work, and a big part of why Tailwind Business Ventures coined the phrase “Software as a Relationship.” Each of the founding partners has a fervent and fundamental belief that the relationship with the people that we have been given the opportunity to do business with is something not to be taken lightly. They truly believe in the power of a long-standing relationship; one built upon mutual trust, respect, accountability, and integrity. With a strong foundation built upon the power of the relationship, the inevitable business issues and challenges become more manageable, and there is almost always a straightforward path to success.

TEXSAR, Texas Search and Rescue, might be the best reflection of what Andrew embodies. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit in which Tull is extensively involved, TEXSAR is a first responder organization headquartered in Austin, Texas. They provide specialized services such as ground search and rescue; flood and swift water rescue; K9 search, rescue, and recovery; disaster relief services; wildland fire; aerial search; UAV support; and dive team operations, serving everyone in the State of Texas and deploying at the request of law enforcement, fire departments, and emergency management agencies. A fully self-sufficient, including incident management team (IMT) capabilities, logistics, and communications, TEXSAR’s services are free to requesting agencies and are staffed by volunteers, such as Andrew, who are trained to provide the care and support desperately needed and essential in such cases. With teams in Central Texas, Houston/Galveston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and the Coastal Bend, TEXSAR deploys at the request of the Governor of Texas; state, local and federal agencies; local law enforcement; and relief organizations (e.g., American Red Cross). When deployed, the organization operates strictly using the Incident Command System (ICS).

This is Andrew Tull, this is Tailwind Business Ventures – there to serve, to work with you, and to humanize challenges. With Tailwind, and Andrew Tull, Austin is creating an ecosystem with technology where Software is a Relationship like any other you have with people. They aren’t just in business, it isn’t just business, it’s all, always, personal. It’s humanized. Humanizing software and helping humanize Austin.

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