SolutionLoft is Driving “The Printing Press Revolution” Within Software

An army of engineers is building a library of reusable code to efficiently produce high-quality software at scale.

Denali Tietjen
Jun 15, 2017 · 3 min read

Rough Draft Ventures is excited to announce our support of SolutionLoft, a University of Pennsylvania-born startup transforming the way software is developed and leveraged. Founded by William Fry (’17) and Jacob Wallenberg (‘16), SolutionLoft is building a library of re-usable code to make software development faster, more efficient, and more accessible.

Co-founders Will Fry (’17) and Jacob Wallenberg (‘16)

Most software projects are currently developed completely from scratch, despite the fact that entire blocks of code have already been written hundreds — sometimes thousands — of times. To address this inefficiency, SolutionLoft has assembled an army of engineering students and recent grads from universities including Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, and Penn, to build a library of flexible, modular code that can be reused to produce everything from simple data scripts to complicated applications. When a proposal is submitted to SolutionLoft, the company’s proprietary code engine analyzes the request to identify any existing code to serve as the building blocks for the project. A developer then fills in the blanks writing any necessary original code.

“Think of it like the printing press,” Will says. “Before the printing press, writing a newsletter or manuscript meant writing the entire piece from scratch, which made it extremely costly. Gutenberg’s press enabled mass production, dramatically expanding the reach of literature. We’re trying to do the same for software.”

SolutionLoft is already 35% faster than traditional software development, but that number is only accelerating. The economies of scale here are really cool: The more projects SolutionLoft develops, the more unique lines of code they have, the more efficient software development becomes.

While SolutionLoft’s unique approach to software development can be applied to virtually every vertical within the $400B global software industry, the startup is currently focused on a $100M subset of that market: investment funds. SolutionLoft works with hedge fund managers and analysts to develop software for collecting and analyzing alternative data sources to understand and predict value drivers for their companies and investment prospects.

SolutionLoft’s genesis dates back to 2014 when Will was running his own development shop. He quickly realized the software development process was broken on both ends, especially for data projects: Developers were rewriting the same code for every new project and clients were overpaying for work that had already been done. Meanwhile, Jacob was working as a financial analyst where he experienced firsthand how much software could help investors but how difficult it was for them to access it. The two are now working on SolutionLoft full-time in New York City.

Having started SolutionLoft as students, the team credits much of their early success to the the support they received at Penn: Professor of Engineering Entrepreneurship Jeff Babin has been a close mentor, Will recently won the coveted $150K President’s Innovation Prize, and Wharton School Dean Geoffrey Garret recently joined the team’s advisory board, which includes notable developer Joel Spolsky, CEO of StackOverflow and Trello.

We’re excited to support SolutionLoft as they deliver on their mission of bringing the power of software to everyone. Welcome to the family, Will and Jacob!

To learn more about SolutionLoft, check out their website and follow them on Twitter!

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