CANDL Investor Weekly Update #25 – April 14th, 2017

Happy Birthday CANDL!


Ask For Help

Techstars Demo Day – If you are coming in to Boulder for Demo Day on April 19th, and would like to connect with Team CANDL, please be sure to email me at tom@candl.co and we will make sure to set aside some time for you.

Tickets, Rides, Logistics – If you need any help with logistics during Demo Day, aka a ride from the airport, a place to stay, tickets to the event (or after-parties), please email Nicole at nicole@candl.co and she’ll be able to sort out any logistical issues for you.

More Patience – During the next several days, the best way to reach me is text (404.210.3464) or email (tom@candl.co). We’ll definitely be working hard to respond to everyone within 24 hours. Thanks in advance for your patience!

Successes

1. CANDL turns one year old this month. A year ago, we left our jobs with a goal to build something big that could help millions of people. Little did we know back then we’d get into Techstars Boulder and pivot to a massive business opportunity.

2. Our Demo Day presentation is complete! Practice, practice, practice…

Challenges

Preparation for Demo Day has been an all-hands effort. A number of long-range items have been put on hold while we focus on nailing our Demo Day events. The week following Demo Day will be quite the catch-up week.

Techstars ends next week. Our company has changed so dramatically over the past 3 months, so we don’t really know what a ‘regular day at CANDL’ will look like the weeks following Techstars. We’ve put off thinking about life after Techstars until after Demo Day, but that will be a major question for us this time next week.

Action Plan

1. Nail Demo Day

2. Follow up with every connection within 24 hours

3. Take a long nap


 

Weekly Highlights

CANDL Turns One!

We officially started CANDL on April 1st, 2016. I asked Nicole to help me get CANDL started and help with marketing and operations. And  convinced my co-founder to take on a second job helping me build a company over a pizza lunch. It was really good pizza.

And it was Mighty 8th Media who really was our first follower. Bradley and Jonathan believed in us before anyone else did. We’ll never be able to fully repay them for the support, encouragement, and hard work they put into CANDL in those early days – when we were very little more than a half-baked idea to do something good for the world.

A year ago, we didn’t know what we were building, but knew that it should connect global travelers and help reconnect people in desperate need of connectivity. I’m proud to say that the solution we’ll be unveiling publicly for the first time on Wednesday night goes further to help connect EVERY international traveler than any other solution on the planet right now – including refugees.

Techstars friends, and a ridiculous amount of sushi

As the program winds down, I’m realizing how much I’m going to miss working side by side with so many dedicated, hard-working, fun-loving co-founders, early employees and associates. I’ll especially miss late-night dinners for 10+ at the sushi restaurant who had no way to keep up with our insatiable demand.

Way too much sushi.

An off-the-hook impromptu Seder dinner

Chris from Global EIR somehow managed to pull off a full-blown 100% kosher, perfectly executed Seder dinner. I don’t really know how he managed to do this the week before Demo Day, but the class had a fantastic time at the event, and I learned all about the Seder, and a bit more about Passover than I learned from Charlton Heston.

The Techstars Boulder First Ever Seder Dinner.

Pitch Practice – Live Audience
On Tuesday, we gave our demo day pitches to a live audience at Galvanize. While most of us (including me) were still getting familiar with our lines, overall the reception was fantastic and a lot of good feedback came out of the event.

I think I was more nervous for that event than Demo Day because I just didn’t quite feel prepared yet. But it was definitely a confidence booster!

Trial Run of Demo Day Pitches at Galvanize.

 


 

Closing Thought: What We’re Building. 

 

Introducing The World’s First Carrier Store. 

On Wednesday, we will officially announce what we are building at CANDL. I’d like to share some details with you ahead of time.

Many of you know that we suspended work on our hardware product halfway through the Techstars program. We had one of those proverbial ‘eureka’ moments in Week #4. We asked ourselves “why do we need the hotspot?”

Turns out we don’t. We can dynamically assign remote SIMs directly to smartphones. It’s not a simple thing to do, and we’re patenting the technology behind how we do it.

But what it means is our customers can just download software to their smartphone instead of buying a $150 piece of hardware in order to access hundreds of networks wherever they travel. And by opening the supply side up to multiple carriers, we can create a Carrier Store – similar to an App Store, but where users can purchase data and voice plans from various carriers.

There’s so much I want to share with you about this exciting business model. After Demo Day, we will be available to answer all of your questions and fill you in on our progress, plans, and expectations.

We went from building a pretty exciting piece of hardware for global travelers, to building something that could forever change the way users interact with carriers. We’re unlocking more than $20 billion in new revenue for carriers, and fundamentally changing how we buy and activate new mobile plans.

Reflecting on where we were one year ago, and just a few months ago, to where we are now, and where we’re heading, it’s hard to believe what we’ve accomplished, and I’m honored to be working with such amazing people – at CANDL, and with all of you.

This is going to be huge. Let’s go change the world.

Cheers,
-tom