Candl Investor Weekly Update #23 – March 31st, 2017

 

Some of the best friends I’ve ever had.


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Boulder Office Space & Furniture – So it turns out we’ll be hiring in Boulder, and we’re going to need some office space! If you have a line on about 1,500-2,000 sq.ft. of office space or some office furniture in the Downtown Boulder area, let us know!

Successes

1. We had a fantastic meeting with Airbnb in San Francisco! When we explained to them what we were building, they immediately wanted to learn how they could integrate into their Airbnb app. We will have a follow-up meeting with them in a few months after we’ve got our prototype complete and ready to explore an Alpha test.

2. We also had a fantastic conversation with a potential MVNO partner. We learned a ton of detail about the actual integration effort we’ll need to undertake. We also uncovered an entirely new revenue opportunity involving “SIM Hosting”. More on that later.

3. The UI side of our solution is coming along really nicely. I cannot wait to share what we’re building with a broader audience. Really cool stuff!

Challenges

OK so we got over the whole “should we present or not” thing. We’re presenting. We will have 600+ investors in the room, and presenting companies who are in “stealth mode” are seen as “being silly” and “a little too proud of themselves”. We’ll still be able to make a big splash when we go to market.

That being said, I’m struggling with how to present our story. The concept we’re presenting by itself is HUGE, and deserves its own stage. But I’m really passionate about our social mission to help reconnect displaced people, and want to make sure we convey the kind of culture we’re building at CANDL. Hopefully this will come together in the next week – it’s been driving me crazy.

Action Plan

1. Need to collect 3 more checks from pre-seed round (Tom)

2. Filing the patent(s) with Cooley (the co-founder)

3. Prepare Demo Day pitch, demo, prototype, and handouts (All)

4. Find office space in Boulder (the co-founder, Tom)

5. Prepare hiring plan (Tom, the co-founder, Nicole)


 

Weekly Highlights

David Farmer in Boulder!

You’d think I’d have more photos from David’s visit to Boulder, but I don’t. All I have is this one. We were really glad to have David join us for a few days. He’s been heads down on the software development for weeks now, and getting him out here to go through product roadmap discussions was fantastic. Can’t wait to have him join us for Demo Day!


Goofballs.

 

Our Hardware Brethren – Notion

On Wednesday evening the founding team from Notion joined us for a Founder’s Story. Brett and Ryan told us all about how they went through Techstars Boulder in 2014, and what’s happened to them since then. These Founder Story events are some of my favorite parts of Techstars.

It’s fantastic being here in Techstars, but this program ends in just 18 days. Understanding how other companies made the transition from Techstars to regular life helps us think about how we want to build CANDL.

 Notion – A Techstars Boulder hardware company (like we used to be)

Pitch Practice
We’ve been spending a ton of time on getting our pitch and demo built for Demo Day. We’ve probably written 30+ drafts of the pitch at this point and still have some serious work to do. Our pitch isn’t there yet, but I know it will come together pretty soon.

Pitching…Getting Better

Some of us are further along in our slides than others. James from PreFix has some work to do.

Great Slides.

At this moment, I’m more excited about the demo. The co-founder, Madison and Spencer have been working really hard at building an amazing demonstration, and David has been hard at work at building out a prototype of the technology. Nicole and Kelly have also been working hard on getting everything else ready – guest passes, flyers, handouts, shirts, logistics, and some other neat stuff we’ll share on Demo Day.

I’m tremendously proud of our entire team. I can’t wait to show you what we can do!


 

Closing Thought: Building in Boulder. 

 

One of many potential new homes for CANDL. 

Last week I talked about the culture that we want to build at CANDL. This week we doubled down on that intentionality by choosing to build our headquarters in Boulder.

This wasn’t an easy decision to make. For starters, we both live in Atlanta, and so we’re talking about what it will look like to commute to Boulder for the foreseeable future. It may also involve making a move to Boulder at some point.

But we think it’s worth it. I believe that culture, more than anything else, both reflects AND defines the success of an organization. And the people we’ve met in Boulder, along with the general ethos of the region, align far better with our cultural beliefs than anywhere else in the country.

Atlanta is a great city to live in, and also a great place to build a company. But we have an intentionality around building a culture that matches or excels even that built by the great example shown by Rally Software. And the people who can help us deliver on that promise live here.

And so while Atlanta is our home, we’ll build CANDL here.

Cheers,
-tom