A Slice on Joe Stecher, Founder of Tackle Ai
Growing up, Joe Stecher had no idea what he wanted to do. He was envious of friends who grew up knowing exactly what direction they wanted to go in. Stetcher entered college in an academic exploration program, basically sampling a bunch of majors attempting to find “the one”. It was here in the academic program, trying to figure out his path, that Stecher started to take a look inward, at what his passion really was. “I started looking at ‘What does my family do?’ My dad actually ended up starting his own business, he was working for ‘the man’ at a grocery chain in management. He was doing great but decided to start a side business in vending. One day, the [grocery store] chain got bought out, and the new owners fired all the managers including my dad. Overnight he was jobless from a place he had worked at for 20 years.”
What Stecher witnessed next can only be described as true entrepreneurial spirit, as his dad pursued his side vending business full-time, and was able to successfully put Stecher and his two brothers through school. “I think maybe, that’s partly where I get it from, I think the exploration program helped, but I always liked business I kind of gravitated towards it, and I fell in love with real estate.” The first company Stecher founded was in real estate, and he recalls the first building he bought as a “dumb” 22-year-old as just two units. “I remember the bank was working against me, my girlfriend (at the time) was working against me, I literally went through so much trouble trying to buy this thing. My girlfriend was like, ‘Why the hell are you putting yourself through all this? Don’t do it, back out.’ But I said no, I persevered, and I still own that building today and have grown it to 100 units.”
It was this first experience that really set Stecher’s journey in motion. Loving the energy and flexibility that being an entrepreneur provided him, is partly why he still maintains the lifestyle. Stecher’s current venture is Tackle Ai, a next-generation artificial intelligence that can find any kind of data on any kind of document without having seen the document before, and without any human interaction. With human error somewhere between 10-30 percent (especially when the document is particularly mundane), it’s easy for databases to get corrupted with misinformation. “It doesn’t have to be a structured form like a W2 or W9, it can be an email, PDF, PowerPoint presentation, doctor dictation note, etc. and the AI can go read through it and pull out information that’s important.”
Tackle Ai is Stecher’s fourth startup, and he’s learned one or two things along the way. First, be sure to find your passion, do some market research, and see if there’s a market fit that supports that passion. He also shared that let’s say you do find that passion, but realize there isn’t a market that supports it? “Don’t do it. You’re going to be losing money, losing time, and banging your head against a wall wondering ‘why.’” Finally, Stecher urged anyone starting out in their journey to get used to rejection.
Joe Stecher received his degree in Business and Marketing from Bradley University. His father was an entrepreneur, which he credits a great deal of his natural business acumen to. He has founded four startups, with the latest one being Tackle Ai, a next-generation artificial intelligence that can find any kind of data on any kind of document without having seen the document before. Connect with Stecher on Linkedin.