The company of the day is H3 Solutions, based in the US. The company mission is to define the standard to which mobile applications are built within SharePoint. You will find below an interview with Joe Herres, Executive VP Products and Services. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Joe Herres, Executive VP Products and Services
Who are you?
The Herres Team is made up of Mike, his two sons, Mick and Joe, and the employees of H3 Solutions, Inc. Mike Herres has been in the IT business since the mid 80’s, this is his second company. Mick and Joe Herres are brothers that started their IT careers as a start up in Seattle during the dot com days. All three have demonstrated a natural ability to visualize a concept and then to see it through to a product or solution.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘company of the day’ per Microsoft?
Taking a vision to a product requires three things; talent, money and time. Mobile Entrée was developed after hours and on the weekends while working on projects supporting customers during the work week to generate revenue to keep the company going. Being recognized as the most promising ‘company of the day’ by Microsoft makes all the hard work and anxious moments worthwhile.
What did you do before creating your company?
As mentioned above we have owned companies in the past. Mick and Joe come from a background of developing applications for media companies such as Sony, Scripps and Yahoo!. Mike’s been working with Microsoft products and technologies for over 20 years.
How did you get the idea? What s the genesis?
It was a day in June 2006, when Mick shared with us his idea for mobile access to SharePoint. Not just mobile access, but a server-side framework for building applications that can be delivered to the phone. This idea was partially driven by the new Windows Mobile 5 phones that had just come out with the slide out keyboard.
What do you sell? What is your company’s mission?
We have been a services company and are now diversifying with our mobile application framework, Mobile Entrée. Our mission is to define the standard to which mobile applications are built within SharePoint.
What is your market?
The market for Mobile Entrée is twofold. Mobile Entrée provides a cost effective means for ISV’s to integrate mobile solutions into their products and it provides solution providers and companies with a framework to mobile enable SharePoint.
Any clients? References? Partners?
Work in process; we are in discussions with several SharePoint ISVs, Solution Providers, and Customers. We will be a member of the Microsoft Partner Solutions Center as of July 1.
Funding history? VCs? BA?
H3 Solutions is privately held by the Herres family.
We have the York Group as a member of our sales force; we are very excited about the potential from this relationship, especially on the international front.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have six employees, four are developers.
Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?
Yes we are hiring, currently the Northern Virginia area.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Mobile Entrée is the first integrated framework for mobile applications built specifically for Microsoft SharePoint. It is designed to work across all major SmartPhone platforms (currently Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre, and iPhone). Mobile Entrée significantly enhances the value of SharePoint and solves the complexities of mobile application development. A software framework which easily embeds as a native SharePoint plug-in, Mobile Entrée employs web-based access and eliminates the need for any device software or custom middleware.
Do you have any Software IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?
We own the Mobile Entrée framework that is installed on the SharePoint Farm. There are several solutions that address mobile access to SharePoint but they are focused on a particular device. Our approach is build once, run across all SmartPhones.
Who’s your role model?
Our families that have supported our vision and goal.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet areas?
There is an opportunity to unify the disparate landscape of mobile devices through cross-platform applications and functionality. History will repeat itself; the browser will become the application delivery mechanism of choice for mobile devices, just like it did for the desktop.
Looking for funding? If yes, how much?
Not looking, but would consider it for growth.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?
We are a member of the BizSpark Program. It’s been great, we really needed Team Foundation Server and it introduced us to the York Group.
Any advice to young Software entrepreneurs?
• Try as best you can to fund your own efforts. Work nights and weekends if that’s what it takes.
• Who you know is just as important as what you have developed. Networking is essential.
• Do some research to make sure you don’t have a bad idea. Yes, there is such a thing as a bad idea.
• Be patient. Nothing happens over night.
• Have fun. If you don’t enjoy what you do, it will be reflected in your work.
Anything else you’d like to say?