FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A Fresno State grad is making a difference in Fresno by heading up a new local tech start-up in Downtown Fresno.
Eric Santos, 27, is the CEO of Benchmark Intelligence, and in just a year and a half, he and a group of local millennial's have built a tech company from the ground up.
"We had an assumption when we created this that our customers would text and they validated that for us," said Santos.
Benchmark Intelligence takes data from social media and text messages to tell companies what customers really think about their stores.
"Here's a comment from the Laguna Beach location-- Love your food, Winky face heart emoji," said Santos.
And with big name clients on their roster, they're already making a difference in the customer service industry.
"So now they have real actionable insights that they can take to improve the customer experience at each location in their chain," Santos explained.
The data is so valuable companies like Deli Delicious and Me-N-Eds are already working with the start-up. And just last week they got $500,000 in seed-funding from a Fresno-based venture capital firm. This makes them one of the few local tech start-ups backed by Fresno investors.
"Things started looking really good for us because we were able to raise funding from local investors and then keep our company in Fresno and hire locally," said Santos.
It's a big deal for the small company that had to move to Colorado and then Ohio to get the company going.
"He came back to Fresno because he wanted to make a difference in his community. He gave up a lot of money to relocate back to Fresno and so that was impressionable to us," said Eric Nasalroad, San Joaquin Capital.
Santos said the goal for the company in the next five years is to increase significantly, and they already have interest from companies outside this region.