| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter




363 West Big Beaver
Suite 400
Troy, MI 48084

Vince Thomas

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
Continuous learning is at the very foundation of our culture at Billhighway. We challenge, and encourage, the entire Billhighway team to continuously learn and grow through every experience they encounter.

To speak more specifically I grew up in a business family. My father had several businesses and that's all we, my dad, brothers and I talked about. My brother and I began going to work with my dad at a very young age. So, once we were old enough to work independently in the family business my dad made certain we started below the bottom rung, and there was always an unspoken, self- imposed expectation that we work harder than everyone else. My dad's favorite saying is "There is always something to do." We learned that young and it has stuck with us ever since. This was the best education and business development program we could have had. We had a front row seat to all different types of businesses, similar to how professional athletes' kids get a front row seat and education watching their parents.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Billhighway's first customers were groups of college students living together in college housing. I originally started managing finances within these small unorganized groups before we branched out to larger more organized dues and fees based groups.

Where did you find your first employee?
I actually met her while I was interning at Prudential Securities while I was in college. She lasted 6 months.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Not yet. But we have a lot of energy around creating a great intern program where many interns will have the opportunity to become full time team members. We currently have one intern now and she is doing great.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
The original capital to start the company came from family. It wasn't much but got me through the early years alone. Since then we have organically funded the business through growth. I am very proud of the fact that we've grown the company this way. It takes a little longer and might not be for everyone but if you can get over the hump it's well worth it.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
If you are a technology or web-based company in Michigan you have the benefit of being a big fish in a small pond. There are nowhere near the number of these types of companies in Michigan as compared to other cities, so what we do is highly visible not only to our local communities, but it brings recognition on a national and international level as well. We stand out, and by standing out we increase awareness through local and national press opportunities which in turn affords Billhighway the opportunity to attract and hire extremely bright and talented people who in turn manage our business.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
I rarely look backward and talk about what other people or we should have done, but the first part of my answer goes back a long time ago to when Detroit was it. My wish is that the people here then had appreciated the unbelievable successes the auto companies created. I believe if Detroit would have held on to that appreciation, Detroit would be a much different place. But, like anything if you stop appreciating it, it usually goes away, and it did here.

Today, if I could change one thing in the region, it would be the mindset. I'd like to see more free flowing idea generation with action, both inside existing businesses and with the creation of new ones. People are capable of so much; I just wish they believed it. I spend a lot of time in places like Palo Alto and San Francisco, and the mindset there is no limits. No idea is out of reach, too crazy, not possible, etc. We need to get that back or forget it.

Signup for Email Alerts