Read more about how Torrent came to exist, what we’ve been passionate about from day 1, and how quickly we’ve gone from 1 to over 50 team members.
The Torrent Story
Years before Torrent Consulting, Daniel McCollum and Phil Brabbs were new graduates diving into their careers. The Torrent story began when they met at a big consulting firm and quickly formed a friendship. They desired to make a mark in their careers and in their communities, but felt smothered by the confines of a traditional corporate workplace. They were frustrated that the corporate world focused solely on the bottom line and already had a sense that business could be both high profit and make a great impact.
Setting the Stage
Dissatisfied with the corporate career structure, both Phil and Daniel tried other options. Daniel opted to work at a nonprofit that consulted and implemented technology for other nonprofits. Phil worked a corporate job during the day and in the early mornings wrote a business plan at Panera that would later launch Torrent Consulting.
In 2010, Daniel and his wife moved to Malawi. Daniel took a leave of absence from his nonprofit job to spend a year teaching economic development in a developing economy. He saw the drastic, positive opportunity that business brings to communities, and it intensified his desire to use business as a tool to develop both people and communities.
Around the same time, Phil was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable form of cancer. The diagnosis threw everything in his life into question. He spent years undergoing chemo and two bone marrow transplants. The time away from work activated an urgent desire to build the kind of business he had been dreaming about.
Leap of Faith
In 2012, Daniel quit his nonprofit job and started as the only employee of Torrent Consulting. For a year, he took on projects and ran the business, talking to and planning with Phil each morning. Phil then quit his corporate job and joined, leaving behind both his life and health insurance. The first year of Torrent resulted in a $150,000 company that would quickly add a couple more people.
All About the Why
One of Torrent’s first hires was Tony Santoro, a social entrepreneur with a passion for coffee and making a difference in the world. A year later, Torrent would help Tony further grow his coffee roasting business. They would quickly add additional consultants and developers, and by the end of 2014, Torrent had 10 employees. Even at this early stage, Torrent set aside 10% of their gross profits to fund social entrepreneur projects through Torrent10.
Beginning 2015 with ten employees (including Daniel and Phil), Torrent launched into a season of rapid growth. They would end the year with 43 employees and revenues of more than $2.5 million. More importantly, they used money from Torrent10 to help launch Tony Santoro full-time to work on his social business, Enderly Coffee. Enderly is a Charlotte-based coffee roaster that supports mentoring and economic opportunity in a high risk neighborhood.