George Phillips is the CTO at Cloud Cannon, a startup that began in Dunedin, went through Lightning Lab in Wellington, and is now tackling international markets. George will be mentoring Startup Weekend Dunedin, so we caught up with him to ask him a few questions.
1) In a few sentences, what Cloud Cannon and what you do at the company?
CloudCannon takes any static or jekyll site and makes them updatable for non-technical people. This allows developers to quickly build websites without learning any extra technologies. As a CTO I focus on the improving the product. As a Co-founder I have to dabble in all areas of the company.
2) What has the journey from idea to investor-backed startup been like for you at Cloud Cannon?
It is an incredible feeling to have such great people backing us. Just over a year ago we quit our jobs to focus on CloudCannon full time. Now we are an investor-back startup with 5 employees. The big step for us was going to Lightning Lab and the people that introduced us to. We gained so much confidence when industry leaders took an interest which pushed us to push the product globally. I am still as excited about the company as I was the day we started coding.
3) How has your life changed since founding Cloud Cannon?
Founding a startup is an immense change. Cloud Cannon has taken me around the world and tested me on the highs and lows of the emotional scale. It’s pretty amazing to look back a year and see what has happened, good and bad.
4) What are some of your favourite startups at the moment?
In NZ, all Lightning Lab alumni and Dunedin companies. Docker would be my Worldwide choice as we have recently undertaken a lot of work with containers.
5) What is your biggest piece of advice to first time startup founders?
Pick a market you are passionate about and have experience in. If you are only motivated by money you will not last. Without experience you are going to have to learn about creating a start up and your field. Having both of these things will make things a lot easier.
6) What are you looking forward to Startup Weekend 2015?
I’m looking forward to meeting more Dunedin people interested in entrepreneurship. I hope to see them create some great companies.
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