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In the realm of angel investors, guys like Dan Martell are few and far between ­– an execution expert with a deep background in building both services and products businesses who revels in taking an active role in his investment companies. The best example is his most recent gig as co-founder of San Francisco-based startup Flowtown. During his talk at last weekend’s LessConf, Dan shared a wealth of information on how to approach your own startup ­– including great advice on pivoting your startup for maximum success (even if the case study was Steve Bristol’s social networking site for penguins). Dan sums it up by saying: “Do what you love, not what you’re good at.” A radical take on the topic for sure, but he proves the point. Enjoy the video interview below:
For anyone who thinks hot startups only come from the US, we recently interviewed the founder of Balsamiq Peldi Guilizzoni. Beyond having a great story on how he transitioned from Adobe exec to startup founder, Peldi has built a company that literally hit the ground running. Following their launch in June 2008, Balsamiq booked more than $160K in revenue before the end of that year with zero outside investments. And according to numbers shared at LessConf, revenues are now above $2M and Balsamiq continues on a rocket pace. Their flagship product Balsamiq Mockups is a collaboration tool allowing designers and business types to quickly iterate on user interfaces and wireframes very early in the development process – when changes create the least amount of drama. Interestingly enough, the Mockups output is purposefully “rough and low fidelity” to encourage maximum feedback without anyone calling someone else’s baby ugly. It’s an ingenious…
When looking at the ATDC roster of companies, it’s easy to find two types: B2B players like ScanTech Systems and FTRANS, and green tech superstars like Suniva. What’s less common are the all-the-rage social media and advertising startups – and for the simple reason that few rise above niche players. But the story’s a little bit different if you’re Dave Williams and you built and recently sold 360i. That’s a different level of credibility in a space filled with so-called “social media experts.” Yet like most startups, Williams and his BLiNQ Media team faced a moment of clarity when building BLiNQ Ad Manager. He knew the space, had the requirements and knew how to get the app approved by Facebook – he simply needed a better product. To get the project on-track, he reached out for Jacksonville Beach, FL Rails super-shop Hashrocket. Within six weeks, Obie Fernandez and his team…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 22:04

2010 ATDC Graduate: Izenda

Written by Dave Walters
Izenda is the classic startup story of one man’s technology vision. Founder Sanjay Bhatia was running his company literally in a spare bedroom with two contract developers. But clearly their work in the area of reporting tools for ASP.net applications was enough to gain entry into the 2010 ATDC class. Bhatia’s product Izenda Reports is an alternative to high-cost business intelligence systems, and allows IT directors or independent software vendors to make quick decisions based on a low-footprint installed system. Enjoy the video below:
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 21:39

2010 ATDC Graduate: Purewire

Written by Dave Walters
Paul Judge, Ph.D. had a different ride than the traditional ATDC company – his startup Purewire was actually acquired during his participation in the program by California-based Barracuda Networks. The SaaS service sits between a company’s network and the Internet to protect users from phishing, malware, identity theft and other security risks lurking on the web. As Barracuda’s new Chief Research Officer, Judge has combined the two companies’ research and threat analysis teams to form a new group called Barracuda Labs. The technology developed by Purewire – in combination with Barracuda’s 85,000+ customers – make for a strong market offering targeted to network administrators. Enjoy the video interview below:
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