Before any entrepreneur became successful there was a time they did not know what to do. And then the aha moment happened. How?
About 2200 years ago Archimedes stepped into his bath and exclaimed, “Eureka!”
It means “I found it.” At that moment Archimedes found a solution to a problem he had been pondering for a long time.
It was a moment of sudden discovery. The eureka effect. A moment of deep insight. It’s an epiphany which translates as “striking appearance.” In that moment a previously unsolvable problem becomes suddenly clear and obvious.
Funders and Founders, July 2014
[optinlocker] How much time do you spend working online in the course of a typical business day? How do you use your time online?
Do you currently use any mobile apps to run your business? There are a few of Mobile Apps that are utilized on a daily basis to operate our business. The main app that is utilized is the Mindbody Express App—while it has it’s various limitations, it is a good tool to do visual check-ins after classes have started. I would say that 99.9% of the time the only task that the app is used for is when administrative staff goes and does visual checks of members participating in class. Although, the Mindbody Express App can do other things— it’s not stable enough and the UI is not easy to use. We also use a Kiosk App to allow our members sign themselves into class and Wunderlist which sends push notifications when enabled and alerts of tasks that need to be completed.
Responses provided by Amarit Charoenphan, Co-CEO of HUBBA
Tell Us A Little About Yourself and Your Startup.
Sawasdee krab! My name is Amarit Charoenphan or ‘Aim’ and I am the Cofounder & Co-CEO of HUBBA, Thailand’s 1st coworking space and largest coworking space network (6 locations in 3 cities) for tech startups. I am also the 1st Thai Startup Weekend Facilitator and Organizer.
My coworking spaces are located in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Vientiane, but sometimes I can be spotted in Singapore, HCMC, KL, Jakarta, Bali, Seoul and San Francisco as a conference warrior. I normally operate across Asia as we try to orchestrate the expansion of HUBBA in Thailand and in the region.
What has your experience as an entrepreneur been during the last year?
Every year has been challenging but last year was one of the toughest yet. Due to the political crisis in Thailand in the beginning of the year, for the first 6 months of the year our membership base at HUBBA declined by 50%. We hustled hard to make ends meet and survived long enough to make it through those darkest days. Now we have fundraised and are on an expansionary phase to expand HUBBA to be the top coworking space for startups in Thailand.
Tell us why you’ve chosen to launch your startup in your specific area, and why you choose to work alongside other entrepreneurs there.
Thailand is an amazing place to be an entrepreneur (if you subtract the politics and the traffic) it offers great food, is still a very affordable city, has mountains/beaches, great nightlife and so many good looking people that are also very friendly and hospitable. What more can an entrepreneur ask for?
The reason I love to work with entrepreneurs in Thailand is because I love my country and I would just like to help these entrepreneurs succeed. I know from first hand experience how hard it is for a lot of us to strike it on our own without generous government support and programs, a stable political climate or economic growth, a thriving innovation, entrepreneurship and research culture and a slow moving corporate culture.
What does entrepreneurial “action” look like in your community?
A big tech conference & party: Echelon Thailand 2014, Thailand’s biggest international tech conference attended by 750+ attendees. Doubling in size this year!
What does entrepreneurial “success” look like in your community?
Looks like Moo, CEO of Ookbee.
Briefly explain a financial challenge facing your community:
There are very few qualified, highly skilled angel investors and groups in Thailand that really knows how to mentor and support a startup to really scale up. Most of our angel investors have not launched a startup before because most of the successful Thai startup founders are still working on their product and are first timers. Therefore, there are a lot of wealthy people in Thailand, but there is not a lot of smart angel money.
Briefly explain a technical infrastructure challenge facing your community:
In Thailand there is a lack of development talent as the Thai universities are not adapting their curriculum to respond to the fast changing needs of the tech community. Therefore, only a few graduates really love coding and have the cutting edge expertise that is sought after in startups (most are self taught or were working on their startup). If you meet any startup in Thailand, one of their biggest complaints is not being able to find talented individuals to join their team.
What kind of fun facts make your area noteworthy?
Thailand is home to the 2nd most “Instagrammed” location in the world.
We are also the 1st country to have a country specific 500 Startups Fund (500 Tuk Tuks) in Southeast Asia.
What food is ubiquitous with entrepreneurial gatherings in your area?
Pizza and beer, just like any other ecosystem. However, sometimes we get fancy and order Northeastern Thai food (sticky rice, grilled chicken, Som Tum (spicy papaya salad) or a Thai style BBQ / buffet.
How do you personally identify with being an entrepreneur? Any final thoughts?
I live and breathe entrepreneurship. Having set up my 12th company, making my first angel investment and actively hosting more than 200 people and over 50 startup teams in all of our HUBBA spaces, I look at everyone in my startup community as a brother and sister.
Answer provided by: Nishika de Rosairo, CEO and Creative Director, dE ROSAIRO. Previous Employment: Strategic Human Capital Advisor for 9 years at Deloitte Consulting, Apple, Levi, Cisco, Salesforce and others.
How important is it to build your own brand?
When you’re in business, there are two types of brands you need to be fully aware of:
1. Your personal brand
2. The brand of your business
Spending time to create and understand both of these brand identities will be invaluable to you during the inception of your business. While these are two separate brand identities, they should be interwoven, and when they are developed in a way that they compliment each other they can give your business the competitive edge it needs.
So how do you create and manage your personal brand? Start by asking yourself a few questions: what do I want to be known for? What words do I want people to use when they describe me or talk about me? How should my brand identity match or differ to the brand identity of my business? Is it a good thing if these two brand identities match or differ?
I’m a strong believer of your personal brand identity shaping your business. Being in the fashion industry, I remember a time when I was walking a tradeshow in Los Angeles, and I met this designer from Paris who was selling beautiful high-end jewelry. I fell in love with her pieces, but there was a big disconnect for me. I couldn’t get past the brand identity of the designer in relation to the brand identity of her business. There didn’t seem to be a correlation, and in fact the two brands were quite contradictory. While the designer was dressed in very casual and rough street attire, the jewelry was delicate fine jewelry with precious stones. The disconnect between her personal brand and business prevented a positive brand experience when viewing her jewelry. To test my understanding of the role I believe personal branding plays in conjunction with business branding, I asked her how her sales were going during the tradeshow, and her answer was that they weren’t going well. I wasn’t surprised at her response, and it reaffirmed the need for a consistent brand experience extending from personal brand to business brand.
With my namesake brand dE ROSAIRO, from the very beginning I had to make sure that there was plenty of good overlap between my personal brand and the brand of my business. Luckily this wasn’t difficult for me to do, because the woman that I was serving through my brand was the woman who was an extension of me. If that was not the case, then I would have had to do a thorough analysis of the two brands to build them both in the right direction.
Creating the right brand identity for both yourself and for your business will be the most important thing you do at the get-go. Test your own brand identity by asking people (some who you know well, and others you don’t know well at all) to describe you using 3 words. That could be a great starting point to analyze your personal brand identity. The most important thing is to develop your personal brand identity to a point where it’s clear, precise, and is consistent with the business brand you are building.
What is the the Small Business Innovation Spotlight? A weekly newsletter featuring a real small business with a real problem. Have a solution? If you decide to build a solution for a featured small business problem, we’ll help you get in touch with the small business owner, and potentially feature you on apps.com and more.
Small Business Innovation Spotlight: Meet The Mtn. View General Store
We are The Mt. View General Store, a small shop in downtown Mtn. View where local artists sell their creations on consignment. Also, the only stop for all things Mtn. View. Souvenirs, shirts, bumper stickers. We just entered our third year of business. The thing I love the most is supporting local artists and exposing their work to the public. www.themvgs.com.
What’s the biggest challenge you face in trying to manage your business?
The biggest challenge is indeed getting customers to the store. I have consciously avoided paying for ad space and instead, created my own method of acquiring customers locally. Small figurines are placed around town in places like park benches, the bottoms of trees, in flower pots etc., that direct the finder to return the object to the store and they are rewarded with free candy or a discount on merchandise they purchase. Social Media also helps.
How many different software solutions do you use to run your business?
Presently only using QuickBooks (QB) Online and my POS system that tracks sales and inventory.
How much time do you spend working online in a typical business day?
I don’t have a lot of time during the day to work online.
Do you currently use any mobile apps to run your business?
I use the mobile app for my POS system that shows a dashboard of the day’s sales. I also just installed the QB app but have not used it much yet.
What features of your current small business software do you love?
I like the snapshot feature on my POS.
What features of your current small business software do you hate?
I hate that the two programs can’t talk to each other fully.
What would an ideal software solution for your business look like?
Ideally, I would like to have a program that could be tailored to my business. The programs (POS, QB, and Bank) would all talk to each other and there would be one central place to find all information needed.
How much, if anything, would you pay for this solution?
I would prefer not to pay additional costs for a program I already purchased. But, if it performed the way I needed, I would be ok with a minimal monthly fee, no more than $10.
Do you have any additional thoughts you’d like to share?
I think it’s fantastic that Intuit is trying to be a resource for small businesses. It would be great if QuickBooks could be customized for my business model.
Learn more about how you can solve small business problems.[/optinlocker]
Meet Startup Weekend Alumni and LaunchKey Founders Devin Egan, Yo Sub Kwon and Geoff Sanders. LaunchKey is the first fully decentralized auth platform for the post-password era.
First off, what is LaunchKey? What is your one‐sentence company pitch? “LaunchKey is a technology platform that has eliminated the need for passwords.”
What problem is LaunchKey trying to solve? “The driving force behind LaunchKey has always been to get rid of passwords. But we knew when we started that the technology needed to be one that could secure devices or things, so we built it in a way that could do both.” -Geoff
What value proposition does LaunchKey offer over competitors? “Better security, more capabilities and a superior user experience” – Devin
How did you become part of the LaunchKey team? “Yo and I met at Vegas Jelly which was a tech meetup that used to happen at a coffee shop. Devin was also active at the Jelly, but we didn’t meet him until he joined our team at Startup Weekend. Yo and I didn’t know we were even going to Startup Weekend until 2 days before it started.” – Geoff
What was the hardest thing for you to overcome at Startup Weekend? “Trying to build a functioning application with people I’ve never worked with before was a bit daunting. You have to assign out roles and really place trust that the other pieces are being done plus regular check-ins to keep track of pace.” – Yo
Team makeup ‐ then and now? “Well then it was just the 3 of us being scrappy for 54 hours. Now we have an incredibly talented team of 14 people. We have more Python Developers, Mobile Developers, an Embedded Systems Engineer, and a Director of Business Development.” -Geoff
Any other Startup programs? (Digest, women, education, week?) “No, since Startup Weekend we have been in heads down mode building the platform and team.” – Devin
Has your startup had a “near death experience?” along the way? “<chuckle>Ha! We are a seed stage startup so we are always close to death” – Geoff
How long after Startup Weekend did it take LaunchKey to become fully functional? “It took us about 4 or 5 months to get funded, we all had to keep our day jobs until that happened” -Geoff
What are your short-term future challenges? Longer term? “Short-term is going to market. We have put in a lot of hard work building the technology, now we have to build a bigger customer base” – Geoff
“Long-term is meeting the demands of an ever changing technological landscape.” – Devin
Proudest achievement? “Building a legitimate solution to the biggest problem facing the online world. But…we take it personally when a breach happens at a company that isn’t our customer. We feel like we let them down by not getting our solution in front of them soon enough.” – Geoff
- July 2012 – Pitched, built LaunchKey prototype, and won Startup Weekend Las Vegas
- July 2012 – Company founded in Las Vegas
- December 2012 – Initial investment led by Vegas Tech Fund, with participation including Ludlow Ventures and Prolific VC
- January 2014 – 1st hire, lead mobile developer
- March 2014 – 1st public version of LaunchKey mobile released
- December 2014 – Venture Seed round of 3 million led by Metamorphic, with participation including Eniac Ventures, Crosslink Capital, and Pantera Capital.
- January 2015 – Team expanded to 14
Products shipped: LaunchKey Multi-Factor Authentication
- 12/14 – $3 million venture seed led by Metamorphic, with participation from Eniac, Crosslink, Pantera
- 12/12 – 750k seed from Vegas Tech Fund, Ludlow Ventures, Kima Ventures and Prolific VC
Industry: Cyber Security
City: Las Vegas, NV
Country: United States
Platform: Agnostic. We have SDKs for implementation in every major language with our mobile application being available on iOS, Android, and Windows phones.