Founders : Emerging Technology

37 Founders | Page:

James Fisher of Roadtrippers

How did you start your business?
We worked on some mockups of our product, a tablet-friendly website, and found a technical co-founder to create a prototype, then searched for accelerator programs around the country to give us a boost to start-up. Eventually, The Brandery pulled us here and Over-the-Rhine made us stay. 

How did you come up the idea for your business?
My co-founder (and fiancée) Tatiana and I spent a lot of time road-tripping around America over the past few years, but were frustrated with the fragmented tools for discovering interesting and independent places to visit. We noticed a huge gap in the market for a platform that sits the center of road travel planning.

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
No doubt The Brandery has been the single biggest resource for us. We also have a great relationship with the folks at Cincytech, Taft Law and many other, great forward-thinking firms here in town. We have benefited from funding, legal help, introductions and a great workspace.

What does a typical day in your business look like?
Every day we meet The Brandery in Over-the-Rhine, and work primarily on product development and building relationships with partners, curators and users. We tend to work late, so 4 p.m. is beer o’clock, then we work right into the evening.

What’s next for you and your company?
Roadtrippers is live at the moment, but we don’t bring too many users in at once; we’re still testing betas on batches of users. We plan to close our seed round, increase partnerships with state tourism departments nationwide and create some buzz around our upcoming launch.

Interview by Robin Donovan

Questions with James Fisher of Roadtrippers

Company:
Roadtrippers

Phil Storage of StoreFlix

How did you start your business?
I’m a 23-year veteran of consumer packaged goods industry and clearly understood the need to visually verify retail initiatives. Up until now, there has been no user-friendly and fast way to collect, manage and communicate this information to sales teams.

How did you come up the idea for your business?
We started with the vision of being able to instantly see how products are merchandised at any retail location on the planet from the StoreFlix website. To do this, we invented a patent pending tagging process that assigned tags or labels to images and videos collected at remote retail locations. Once tagged, real-time reports can be created and the visual content collected can be shared on a social network for business.

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
We used several local resources, including local creative database/web developers and Fusion Alliance for mobile app development. In addition, we partnered with the city of Mason for office space and regional networking. We are providing Mason with the first social network for municipalities.

What inspires you?
We’re inspired to wow clients with our technology and to reinvent how companies manage retail execution. We invent everyday at StoreFlix and love it. 

What’s next for you and your company?
Social, photo and mobile is where the web is going. We continue to innovate around these three key areas. 

Interview by Robin Donovan
 

Questions with Phil Storage of StoreFlix

Company:

Jason Haines of boostchatter

How did you start your business?
My partner, Tommy Tayman, and I are actually still in sort of a stealth mode while things are being developed, but we started putting things together on what we wanted to develop during this past Christmas. We locked ourselves in a small office in Knoxville and spent a few days hashing out the idea. We then spent three weeks locked up building the core infrastructure and getting the basics together.  It took us back to our college days when we would wait until the last minute to do a programming assignment and then spend all night putting something together.
 
How did you come up the idea for your business?
I’m partner of Cincinnati MasterCraft, a local boat dealership.  I oversee the marketing efforts and we are active users of social media.  The idea came from trying to find a way to engage our social media users more.

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help? 
We haven’t quite utilized much yet.   But Cincinnati has a large amount of design talent and this is where would could use some love.  After getting some of the final core features implemented our next step will be to polish off some of the user interface and design aspects.

What inspires you? 
First and foremost, my wife and two daughters.  Also, I’m inspired by reading about other startups that succeed and just trying to do something big.

What’s next for you and your company? 
We will be launching a private beta soon.  We’re also looking to join a startup incubator to help with the launch.

Interview by Robin Donovan

Questions with Jason Haines of boostchatter

Company:

Phyllis Smith, founder of LSP Ware

How did you start your business? 
LSP Ware is an internet based software system that provides scheduling, tracking and billing for providers of language services. The program has actually been in use since 2008, when I was working as the CFO for a nonprofit that provides language services, including interpretations. The software system we were using didn’t meet the needs of the agency, its customers or its linguists. I knew there had to be a better way.

How did you come up the idea for your business?
My husband is a very talented software engineer with over 20 years of experience in project management, architecture, coding and design. He volunteered his time to help us out as a non-profit, creating the first version of LSP Ware.

We knew that we had some potential when I saw how much it helped the agency. When I began receiving letters from the linguists and customers telling us how much they liked the new system, I knew we were on to something. 

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help? 
When I decided to try to sell the product that we had developed, I didn't know where to start. I went to a SCORE seminar and was paired with a mentor. He has been an invaluable resource and cheerleader for the company. Through him, I learned about Bad Girl Ventures and became a finalist in the fourth class. Taking the classes through Bad Girl Ventures was an incredible experience. Besides making contacts, the class opened up so many resources that I never knew about. 

What inspires you? 
To think that an idea that came from a quick conversation with my husband and is now a product that helps linguists and language-service providers manage their business is pretty incredible.

What’s next for you and your company? 
We are updating our website and will be launching a marketing campaign to introduce LSP Ware to language service providers, hospitals, schools and any businesses with internal language-interpretation staff. As the non-English-speaking population is growing, there is more need for language services. Our program can help the providers in these niche markets operate more efficiently.

Interview by Robin Donovan

Questions with Phyllis Smith, founder of LSP Ware

Company:

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