Mobiplug recently finished the most recent TechStars program in Boulder. The company makes home automation available to everyone by using a gateway, cloud intelligence, and smartphones to leverage thousands of already existing products. This team has a decade of experience in building and selling software to consumers and leveraging the technology to major brands. I talked to Jeff Mathews, founder and CTO, about how TechStars helped them find the team’s third co-founder and recruit a seasoned CEO.
Q: How did you, Lee Taylor (co-founder and VP Engineering) and Mike Soucie (co-founder) become a team?
A: Lee and I met in the Bay Area at what was his first job. It was late 1999 and we started on the same day, met at employee orientation for Palm. We still have a few Palm Pilots around the office and every now we will power them on and marvel that they don’t connect to anything! We met Mike at a TechStars co-founder dating event in April of this year. We knew we were in need of help with business development and marketing. Lee and I had a list of about twelve people we had found on FounderMatch that were on our shortlist and Mike was one of them. We didn’t get the chance to talk to him that evening but we invited him out for coffee afterward.
Q: And the rest is history?
A: Absolutely. It’s great that we had Mike on the team in time for the TechStars program. I think even having only two founders on a team can be incredibly rough. Three made it easier to work late nights and get it all done as fast as possible.
Q: Tim Enwall was one of our mentors-in-residence during the Boulder program this summer. Now he’s the CEO of Mobiplug. How did that happen?
A: I knew Tim already because I had worked with him during the first few years of Tendril, from 2005 to 2007. Our team arrived at TechStars and thought, “Tim’s here? Whoa!” It was just a small world moment. We did two pivots during the program and towards the end of our time at TechStars, we began meeting with him regularly and he was bringing really valuable information to the table. We had decided to aim a lot higher, go bigger on our product and it became immediately obvious that we needed his help. Because he was a mentor in residence, we had the chance to seize the opportunity. In 2008, I had built a company with the other two founders of Tendril and that worked out well. But I’d lost touch with Tim over the years and TechStars gave us the ability to get to know him as part of our team.