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Slingshot Emerges

January 31, 2023 Elijah D. Humble
David Galownia in office

When you visit the website for Slingshot, a “software and app development company specializing in taking your vision from idea to launch,” you’ll see employees engaged in silly string battles, swordfights, and office chair racing. And for CEO and President, and College of Business Computer Information Systems alum, David Galownia, part of his entrepreneurial spirit arose from his love of auto racing, and is why his company’s tagline is “For Big Kids & Daredevils.”

Slingshot began as IgNew, which grew out of a project he participated in as a student at UofL. As of late 2022, the company has grown to become one of the top five Largest Software Developers in Louisville, according to Louisville Business First (, and was recently listed as one of four Kentucky-based technology companies to land in the Top 1000 Global Service Providers by Clutch, an influential B2B service review research platform.

Slingshot boasts a variety of clients from local institutions such as Churchill Downs and Louisville Metro Government, to niche industries like Armadillo Home Solutions and Zoeller Pump Company. It also partners with the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where Slingshot has a satellite office; they have a similar office in Nashville. Galownia said the mix of businesses and industries keeps it fun.

“There are some common threads, but process is constant,” he said. “We do research on an industry, talk to customers and clients…formulate ‘why build this thing for these reasons.’ If we don’t know an industry there’s no bias. We don’t get too invested or have that same attachment. We care about the client, not always their idea. We’re a fresh pair of eyes.”

Community Impact

Along with the successful growth of Slingshot, Galownia is proud of the impact he’s having on the startup community with Slingshot Ventures, a studio that advises and helps develop entrepreneurs in the area. “We want to serve as equity partners or co-founders and help do the work, provide professional services right out of the gate,” he said. Companies in their early stages “can’t afford anything or could fall into traps. Or maybe the product doesn’t fit the market, and there could be a constant rebuild.”

“We’ve seen results that some of these ventures are quicker to exit,” he said. “We try to take away unknowns and minimize missteps.”

And outside the Louisville area, Galownia also noted how Slingshot has identified and supported global pools of talent in Eastern Europe and Ukraine.

Just Do It

Regarding what he’s learned from his own experience getting off the ground as an entrepreneur, he offers some advice for younger business students. “Use youth to your advantage,” he said. “If you’re trying to start a business, just do it. Some are frozen at the starting line…throw yourself into the fire and have confidence that you’ll figure it out.”

“Go forward,” he added. “We’re all just trying to figure it out. Entrepreneurs are not always businesspeople. They see a problem and figure it out.”

Also, he said, if you do work for a company try to find a position in which you can get actual experience, compared to larger employers where you could be overlooked or challenged less. “You want to have a chance to do things. If you’re at too big of a company early on, with many supervisors for example…you will be able to do a lot more with a smaller company early on.”

Trusted Brand and Voice

Galownia said Slingshot is invested in marketing as opposed to direct sales. Slingshot utilizes a robust blog and the “Founder’s Fable” podcast to keep them top of mind, sharing their expertise in a regular way. “It has been really effective,” he said. “We’ve gotten some good leads and clients. It has helped our reputation and given us a great name.”

Positive Leadership at UofL

Another Slingshot client is College of Business professor and Department Chair for Management and Entrepreneurship Dr. Ryan Quinn, who was looking for an app that would bring his vision of Positive Leadership to life, “to take what he’s teaching and put it at his students’ fingertips.”

Galownia said the Leadership Amplifier app has different events and you can pick leadership traits to practice (empathy, sincerity, inject confidence, for example). “There are rewards, and we gamefy it to make it fun,” he said. “It’s not a dry, boring app. It’s been awesome doing a project for UofL.”

Dr. Quinn added that Slingshot quickly stood apart from the competition for the project. “They had the best proposal by a significant degree,” said Dr. Quinn. “Other proposals were basically word docs, but theirs was colorful and demonstrated real results. They got the whole design, from front to back end; not just the coding. We also kept hearing from more people around town that we needed to work with Slingshot, so they had a real reputation.”

Galownia is fond of his experience at UofL and singled out faculty such as Interim Dean Dr. Jeff Guan, Associate Dean of Operations and Administration Dr. Rob Barker, and Dr. Sharon Kerrick, Associate Professor and Assistant Vice President of the Digital Transformation Center, in the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development.

Building Culture

Slingshot has a reputation as a fun company, and Galownia is proud of the culture they have created and maintained. “We hire smart people and give them freedom to use their skills and feel comfortable,” he said, noting several hires have come from UofL. “I think you attract people in the way you act. Everybody has a voice. We want people to act like consultants, not order takers. We’re driven by impact for what’s best for our clients, and our employees are behind that.”