Candl Investor Weekly Update #16 – February 10th 2017

Calendar Tetris

In the last 20 days, we have met more than 300 entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, strategic partners, and all-around great people. Our calendars look more like Tetris boards than anything else, and our minds are a little scrambled from the very useful (but very dense) feedback we’ve received.

I apologize if we are a little slow to respond to emails/queries but I think we’ll be back on track next week.


  • We are specifically seeking connections to executives at Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T who can help us establish a Wholesale Reseller Agreement.
  • If you are planning to travel internationally in the next several months and would be interested in participating in a Beta Test program, let us know.


  • Our primary goal for week #3 was to absorb and integrate the feedback we received from the 70+ mentors we met the previous week, and to finalize our mentor team. We met with 18 mentors for a second time this week, and will announce our official mentor team next week.
  • We’ve uncovered some really interesting intellectual property involving security and mobile connectivity. We’ve already begun conducting some early patent searches – there are more than a handful of patents in what we’re exploring. We’re not ready to share much more than that just yet, but we will be reaching out to some of you soon to discuss the details further.
  • The engineering team (Hi David) is now on Build #119 of the firmware on the hotspot, and heads down on the first build of the iOS app.


  • Processing so much feedback and being PRESENT for so many high-energy meetings and work sessions is exhausting. We are a little worn out. We’re going to unplug for at least one day this weekend and do some hiking (and probably sleep in both days).
  • We feel a bit disconnected from Nicole and David. We have to find ways to better integrate Nicole and David into our day-to-day cadence.
  • We both miss our families. A lot.

Weekly Highlights

As many of you know we’re from Atlanta. And while I’m personally a Ravens fan (originally from Baltimore) and my co-founder can take or leave ‘sportsball’, we still found ourselves rooting for – and absolutely gutted by – the Atlanta Falcons. What an awful loss.

But at least the Superbowl gave us a great excuse to come in on Sunday, do some work in the morning, and then hang out with the cohort as well as the Techstars Anywhere cohort (a virtual version of Techstars) who is visiting Boulder for a week. Team Rodin (the VR guys from Armenia) cooked an Armenian BBQ – and truth be told it was better than any American BBQ I have ever had!

Team Rodin running an straight legit Armenian BBQ


We got quite a bit of engineering work done this week thanks to David. We’re collecting just about all of the information we want to collect off of the device. The hotspot has been running solid, reassigning SIM cards when needed, and holding up a great signal strength compared to ‘other’ not-to-be-named hotspots. Very happy with where our early Alpha is right now.

Placeholder User Interface – very happy with the progress.


In addition to all of the Techstars Mentors we met the past two weeks, we were treated to a panel of former Techstars founders telling their stories. Jacqui Vos, CEO of Revolar, Mike Soucie from Revolv (acquired by Nest), and Julien Denaes, CEO of Logrr all gave us insight into how they went from sitting right where we are today to where they are now.

Julien, Jacqui & Mike sharing stories, advice, and great guidance.


Interestingly, both Revolar and Revolv are hardware companies, a rarity in the Techstars community. Both Jacqui and Mike have already given CANDL great advice (and we even got a tour of Revolar in downtown Denver today), and will continue to help CANDL as we go through the program and beyond.

Closing Thought

This week I want to say a word or two about balance. In the span of 20 days, we have met more than 300 people – some of whom have already become life-long friends, and all of whom want nothing but tremendous success for CANDL and our mission.

And while I wouldn’t change anything about these past three weeks, I’m exhausted. I miss my family. I miss sleeping in my own bed. Adjusting to this next-level intensity has been challenging.

The truth is I’ve been working almost nonstop since we got here. Even the morning after I drove into town from Atlanta – before I even unpacked my suitcase – I had my first investor meeting. I worked for 10 hours before the Superbowl, and another 2 hours afterwards.

I haven’t allowed myself to have much time to really enjoy Boulder for the awesome place it is.

This weekend I intend to take a few days to recharge – get outside, climb the mountain, ride my bike, get a little dirty, and sleep in – really late. Because on Monday we get after it all over again.

Working at this level is absolutely invigorating, but it has to be balanced with some mental downtime and physical activity. I’m excited to incorporate some Boulder-esque activities into my daily routine starting as soon as I press send on this email.