Sleep, or snowboard? How does the need for a decision like that create a startup? That's the story behind Bellingham, Washington-based WompMobile (www.wompmobile.com), which was founded by Madison Miner. The company provides software which helps businesses to create and convert their existing, desktop websites into something that can easily be browsed and used on mobile phones.
If you're a beer enthusiast, and working in the high tech industry, how do you combine those two passions? Kerry Finsand--talks about how he created Taplister (www.taplister.com) to make it easier to find great beers on tap, and how it became a startup at Portland's Upstart incubator.
Explain what Taplister is all about?
Kerry Finsand: Taplister helps consumers discover craft beers on tap, and lets bars market what beers you have on tap to those consumers. It's all about discovery.
How do you encourage mobile users to frequent local businesses, via mobile phone? Seattle's Pirq (www.pirq.com) is figuring out how to best connect local merchants and mobile consumers, and is just now getting set to take on the nation with its mobile apps. We spoke with James Sun, the company's founder, to hear about where Pirq is and its plans to go national.
Let's start at the top.
Sure, your Twitter account might have thousands of follows, but, how much do those followers really care about your brand? Portland-based FollowerWonk (www.followerwonk.com) is looking to peel back the layers on Twitter, and go beyond those follower numbers to truly understand your Twitter followers and your social relationships. We spoke with Peter Bray, founder of the firm, to learn more about FollowerWonk and its software.
In recent years, cloud-based storage has become extremely popular, allowing users to store files to the cloud, and access those files from anywhere. However, what do you do if you already have lots of storage, want to access that storage from your mobile device or the web, but need better control over access to that storage (such as in an enterprise), and don't want to keep paying monthly for that cloud storage? One option is to take advantage of the software of Seattle-based TappIn (www.
With the explosion of video on the Internet, and a similar explosion in the number of video capable devices in the world, content providers and Internet service providers have a problem: how to serve video to all those different formats. How do you solve that problem? One way, is to tap the hardware and software of Portland-based Elemental Technologies (www.elementaltechnologies.com).
Last week, Seattle-based Estately (www.estately.com) announced an expansion into two new markets, in Austin and Houston, Texas. We though we'd catch up with Galen Ward, the co-founder and CEO of Seattle-based Estately, to hear more about the expansion, what the firm is up to nowadays, and where it is going.
For those who haven't tried out Estately, tell us what the site is all about?
Galen Ward: Estately makes it easier for people to find and buy homes online.
This morning, Portland-based Chirpify (www.chirpify.com) announced its first funding round, for its platform which enables e-commerce transactions directly over Twitter. We talked with CEO and Founder Chris Teso, who explained how the company's service really makes it easier to sell and purchase items directly from Twitter, and how the company came about.
Can you explain how Chirpify works?
Chris Teso: What we do, at our core, is enable transactions in your stream on Twitter.
Sometimes, it's difficult for people to find good financial advice, and you end up turning to your more knowledgeable friends for help. For Bo Lu and Jon Xu, they ended up being the more knowledgeable friends, and were constantly being asked for investment help. Tired of having everyone they know ask them that help, Bo and Jon, the founders of FutureAdvisor (www.futureadvisor.
Enterprise IT managers don't have it easy nowadays. It used to be a world of a few servers, storage, and a fixed network, and occasional firefighting of network issues, databases, and applications. Now, you've got virtual servers popping up everywhere, cloud based storage and compute resources, migrating resources across and enterprise, mobile devices, dynamic web applications, and much more. How do you get a handle on all of that? Seattle-based ExtraHop (www.extrahop.
Limeade (www.limeade.com) is a Bellevue-based startup which is tackling the employee health and wellness market. The firm is headed by Henry Albrecht, who previously worked at Intuit, and the firm's board includes John Keister of Marchex, Chris Ackerley of Ackerley Partners. We thought it would be interesting to catch up with Henry to hear about how the company is doing.
Describe what Limeade does?
Henry Albrecht: Limeade is a corporate wellness business.
Earlier this week, Seattle-based Dynotag (www.dynotag.com) announced the launch of its service, which uses the now ubiquitous QR codes, and puts a consumer spin on them. We talked with Murat Divringi, CEO of the company, to learn more about what exactly the company hopes its QR code tag products can do for consumers, and why the firm thinks QR codes are ready to gain the attention of consumers for their own use.
The online, daily deals and offers market is a very competitive one, with major companies like Groupon and LivingSocial--plus countless others--looking to occupy the space. Portland-based Forkfly (www.forkfly.com) is looking to take a different angle on the market, helping to enable local publishers to create their own, deal sites. We spoke with founder Paul Wagner about the company.
Yesterday, Seattle-based Verdiem (www.verdiem.com) announced new support for the Mac for its power management software. We thought it might be interesting to catch up with the company and where it is nowadays, so we spoke with John Scumniotales, the firm's CEO.
Today, Seattle-based Mpire announced it renamed itself AdXpose (www.adxpose.com), and gained a new funding round. To hear more about the company name change and funding, we spoke with Kirby Winfield, CEO of AdXpose:
First, for those not familiar with what you're doing now with AdXpose, what does your company do?
Kirby Winfield: We're an advertising analytics solution. What that means is our mission is to collect, structure, and make actionable digital advertising data.
Last week, Seattle-based Skytap (www.skytap.com) announced another round of funding, $10M in a Series C funding, for the firm's cloud automation software efforts. To hear more about the company, we spoke with Scott Roza, CEO of the firm, along with Sundar Raghavan, Chief Product and Marketing Officer.
How does Skytap fit into the cloud automation software market?
Sundar Raghavan: The cloud computing market is a broad term, and there are lots of companies playing different roles.
Yesterday, Portland-based Urban Airship (www.urbanairship.com) announced it just closed a new $5.4M Series B round of funding. We caught up with Urban Airship's CEO, Scott Kveton, to hear more about the company as well as the funding round.
What is Urban Airship all about?
Scott Kveton: Urban Airship today powers some of the world's most successful mobile apps.
For this morning's interview and profile, we thought we'd chat with Matt Compton, CEO of Portland-based ShopIgniter (www.shopigniter.com), a developer of social e-commerce software. We spoke with Matt about what the firm is all about.
What is ShopIgniter?
Matt Compton: We're a social commerce software company, at a very high level. We believe that the social web is helping to transform e-commerce, and our software helps brand retailers to take advantage of that.
This morning, Bellevue-based Apptio (www.apptio.com) announced it had raised $16.5M in a Series C funding round for the firm, as it looks to expand and grow--despite still sitting on funding from its last rounds. To gain more insight into why the firm is raising funding, as well as to hear about how the firm has already been seeing great growth in the past year, we talked with Sunny Gupta, the firm's CEO.
Sunny, thanks for the time today.
This morning, Cheezburger Network, the Internet content publishing firm behind I Can Has Cheezburger?, FAIL blog, and a network of other similar Internet meme sites, just announced it had hired a new CFO. To catch up to what the firm's up to, we chatted with founder Ben Huh. (Photo courtesy Eugene Hsu)
Before we talk about the business, did you ever get an apology from Meg Whitman about stealing the use of FAIL blog?
Ben Huh: No, none so far.
Last month, Seattle-based MicroGREEN Polymers, a developer of plastics technology, announced that it had raised $6.9M in a funding round from Waste Management, WRF Capital, Northwest Energy Angels, and other investors. We recently caught up with Tom Malone, the firm's CEO, to learn more about the company's technology.
What is MicroGREEN all about?
Tom Malone: The basic vision is the idea of taking recycled plastic - P.E.T.
In our interview today, we chatted with Brian Goffman and Erez Barak, co-founders of Optify (www.optify.net), which is venture backed by Madrona Ventures, to learn more about the company and where it fits into the SEO and Internet Marketing area. Optify's local customers include AdReady, SchemaLogic, and Ubermind, along with a number of other firms.
This morning, Seattle-based Doxo (www.doxo.com) announced the launch of its firm, which is focused on solving that gap between all those people who pay their bills electronically, but still are getting paper statements. We spoke with Steve Shivers, CEO the firm, to learn more about the company, its team, and what it's hoping to do for the market.
Steve, thanks for sitting down with us. What's the story behind the company?
Steve Shivers: We started Doxo in late 2008.
As part of our news coverage, we are regularly profiling local high tech firms to hear what they are working on. For our profile today, we spoke with Nathan Rothman, founder and CEO of Seattle-based Optimum Energy (www.optimumenergyhvac.com), a firm which develops software to help manage energy usage in commercial buildings.
What is the idea behind Optimum Energy?
Nathan Rothman: We are in the HVAC -- heating, ventilation, air conditioning -- sector.
We recently ran into Kelsie Greear, the founder of Seattle-based Cheese9 (www.cheese9.com), an online community site focused on community. We caught up with Kelsie to hear more about his startup, as part of our ongoing interviews with local startups and companies.
This morning, Seattle-based Zulily (www.zulily.com) announced it had received a Series A funding from Maveron, for a new startup focused on private-sales of products for kids, babies, and busy moms. The firm's co-founders--Darrell Cavens and Mark Vadon-- are both previously from Blue Nile. We spoke with Cavens, the firm's CEO, about the new company and its funding.
Thanks for the time. What is Zulily all about?
Darrell Cavens: We're really excited to be announcing our new site Zulily.
Today, Portland-based JanRain (www.janrain.com) announced it has raised $3.25M in a Series A funding round from DFJ Frontier, RPM Ventures, and Anthem Venture Partners. We caught up with the firm's CEO, Brian Kissel, to hear more about the firm and the funding.
As part of our coverage, we regularly run interview with local companies and entrepreneurs. Today's interview is with Aaron Finn, CEO of AdReady (www.adready.com), who tells us a bit about AdReady and how it fits into the online advertising market.
Tell us a bit about AdReady?
Aaron Finn: We're really trying, at a very high level, to make display advertising as accessible as search advertising. We're really opening up the demand for display advertising.
This morning, Seattle-based AppBank (www.appbank.com) announced that it has created a new service which allows people to easily create their own applications in Facebook, and share in ad revenues from those applications. The firm is the latest startup of Fred Hsu, a serial entrepreneur who recently moved up here to Seattle, and previously had success as co-founder of Los Angeles-based Oversee.net. Fred is CEO and President of the firm, and talked with us last week about today's launch.
2008 Interview Index
October 13, 2008 Burry, John (MobUI)
October 7, 2008 Bay, Anthony (MOD Systems)
September 17, 2008 McCann, T.A. (Gist)
July 23, 2008 Johnson, Derek (Tatango)
July 15, 2008 Schneider, Ken (Adapx)
July 2, 2008 Ciccotosto, Max (Wishpot)
June 12, 2008 Castro, Alex (Delve Networks)
May 22, 2008 Pereira, Anil (SecondSpace)
April 30, 2008 Rice, Dave (Dipiti)
February 4, 2008 Whitley, James (GoLifeMobile)
January 29, 2008 Heuss, Greg (Eyealike)
January 28, 2008 Merritt, Kevin (Blist)
2007 Interview Index
December 5, 2007 Van Etten, Phil (Azaleos)
October 31, 2007 Shen, Dan (Zoji)
October 1, 2007 Shah, Meetul (Knouen Technologies)
September 25, 2007 Selig, Adam (Visible Technologies)
September 20, 2007 Silk, Scott (Action Engine)
August 27, 2007 Parks, Charlie (YourList.com)
August 24, 2007 Almodovar, David (Oregon Investment Fund)
August 13, 2007 Jaech, Jeremy (Trumba)
July 25, 2007 Cantu, David (Cozybug.com)
July 16, 2007 Crabbe, Jim (Konnects)
April 5, 2007 Kelmann, Glenn (Redfin)
March 30, 2007 Pandey, Ashish (MegaBuzz)
March 23, 2007 Yerkes, Phil (Movaya)
March 9, 2007 Bernstein, Daniel (Sandlot Games)
February 26, 2007 Sun, James (Zoodango)
January 8, 2007 Pollard, John (Jott Networks)
January 4, 2007 Herst, Josh (TripHub)