Cesare Alessandrini is the founder and CEO of FileRight.com, a tech startup devoted to helping immigrants file their immigration paperwork. Alessandrini has been part of several startups, but FileRight.com, which he launched in 2011, is the first startup of his own. Alessandrini relocated the business’ headquarters from Silicon Valley to Henderson earlier this month. In this Q and A, Alessandrini offers his advice for other entrepreneurs.
Question: How did you come up with the idea for your startup?
A: My parents are immigrants. They came in the late ’60s on a ship from Italy. They came to improve their life and their family’s lives in America, you know, chasing the American dream. My mother was a cafeteria worker, my dad worked in construction and labor and landscaping.
They spoke no English, and throughout my childhood it was very stressful when it came to forms, whether it was DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) forms, insurance forms, or other forms…..One of the biggest things I remember was immigration paperwork, and you have folks who don’t speak the language trying to get through this process, and people take advantage of them. I would say that was the seed.
And then I had to go through the process again with my wife, who immigrated from Argentina. Going through the process again, filing out the paperwork for my wife (around 2011), it was at that very moment when I came up with the idea that there’s got to be a better way through technology.
Q. What did it take to be able to see that idea through?
A: It took time. Getting an engineering team together, working nights to gather the funds and spending time on developing it. (Alessandrini said he never raised money for the startup and self-funded the entire project.) It took me about four or five years to get it done. We launched in 2011.
Q: What do you wish you had known now when you were first starting your startup?
A:One of the things that I’ve learned is that there are talkers and there are doers. Be careful for the folks that are big talkers, I would say, really eloquent speakers, but they aren’t doers. I think that’s one of the biggest things (that I’ve learned) over the last 10 to 15 years of creating businesses and working in different aspects of companies. I’ll take doers every day of the week (in terms of team building). You need executors. If you have all idea people, you’re going to fail pretty fast.
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