Founder Spotlight: Rodney Manzo, Founder & CEO of Anvyl
Rodney Manzo doesn’t think of himself as a founder. He prefers to think of himself as a problem-solver.
Rodney first encountered the problem that would inspire the launch of his company Anvyl over two decades ago while serving in the military. As an Engineer Officer in the U.S. Army, Rodney was responsible for moving people and equipment worldwide. As a result of his experience, he developed a passion for supply chain and became familiar with some of the fundamental challenges facing the industry.
We sat down with Rodney to learn more about Anvyl, his military and technology background, and the problems he’s trying to solve inside and outside the workplace.
From the Military to Silicon Valley
After studying Business and Systems Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Rodney spent the next five years in active military service with the U.S. Army, which included tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. During that time, he learned the ins and outs of procuring and moving large quantities of goods – a process he described as riddled with inefficiencies.
After completing his military service, Rodney received an M.B.A. in Finance/Operations from Columbia University and began working in Silicon Valley as a Global Supply Manager for Apple. Now responsible for managing hundreds of millions of dollars across the supply chain, Rodney again encountered many of the same issues he experienced in the military but on an even larger scale. More shocking to Rodney was that a technology-driven solution for these problems still did not exist. In 2017, after another supply chain leadership role at Harry’s Grooming, Rodney decided it was time to build a solution himself.
A People-Focused Solution
While supply chain is a critical business operation, it is also one that is often extremely inefficient. “Almost everyone and every organization buying or moving physical goods face the same supply chain issues,” he explained. “Not knowing what’s produced or when those goods are shipped, not knowing when they’re going to get their goods, having too much inventory – these are problems that hurt not only businesses but also the consumers buying their products.”
Rodney founded Anvyl to bring greater visibility and efficiency to how companies manage their supply chain. “We want to make it easier and more cost-effective for brands to find suppliers, move goods through production, and test and validate all the controls within the supply chain,” he explained. Rodney likened Anvyl’s automation and intelligence capabilities to how CRM has transformed the way businesses interact with customers and manage business relationships.
While technology is a core part of the business, Rodney thinks of Anvyl as a people-focused mission. “I want to alleviate for our customers the same pain and frustration I felt as a supply chain manager,” said Rodney. He has also channeled that ethos into Anvyl’s company and team culture. “Any business is only as good as the people that build it, and our mission is to empower our team members as they progress in their careers.”
Rodney also looked for investment partners that could more than just write a check. Having worked with a few of B Capital team members in prior roles, Rodney felt confident he would have the support he needed to help his business scale. “The partnership with B Capital isn’t about money. It’s about their team’s experience building amazing companies and their internal and external resources; it’s something that not many firms can offer”
While being an entrepreneur keeps Rodney busy, he also remains actively involved in the military community regularly speaking on panels and providing guidance to other veterans that are thinking about a career in tech startups.
What’s Next for Anvyl
As a first-time founder, Rodney remains less focused on his title of “CEO” and more on solving the problems he wished existed 20 years earlier in his career. “I believe Anvyl can become the global system of supply chain production and save companies billions of dollars, and we’re laser-focused on that mission right now,” he said.