The BizSpark startup of the day is Tensioncore, based in Canada. You will find below an interview with Nick Dodd, Founder of Tensioncore. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Nick Dodd, Founder of Tensioncore
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
I am the founder of the business, I run all of the day to day operations including accounting, client relations as well as all of the technical aspects of the business.
What did you do before creating your company?
I was a school student, learning and experimenting in different computer related industries including game design, something I still do on the side from my hosting.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
Ecstatic. Very proud and it came at a really important time for me and my business, because business is really getting going now and everything is starting to sink in, that this business is going to be successful.
What is your company’s mission?
Our Mission statement is to strive to provide only the most reliable services, those of which full trust can be placed in by both clients as well as employees and to keep carbon neutrality as a part of a plan including large dedication to the environment that will initially and always be of the utmost importance in the running of the business.
How did you get the idea for your company?
I started making web pages and free sites when I was in my early teens, using sites such as the original free Homestead, and Freewebs.com, which led to me testing my own websites on my computer at home, which required me to set up simple web servers since I didn’t have the money for paid hosting. Years later after getting into video game development, computer programming and Entrepreneurship through school courses, I decided that I would try my hand at something I’d only ever imagined: running an actual web server from home, this of course turned into a realistic business idea, and since I had a lot of experience writing business plans (getting 106% in my Grade 12 Entrepreneurship course for my 45 page business plan), and I had the technical knowledge built up from my experiences in school, starting the business just made sense.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
My funding to this point has been 100% cash from my own bank account, saved from my full time day job, not a penny on a credit card - I don’t even have a credit card. As looking for funding goes, it’s always a search when the money comes out of your own pocket, in fact I tried to take a loan from the bank, and they wouldn’t give it to me because it was less than the minimum loan amount of $5000 – I only wanted $2000.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
I currently employ on contract 1 person, while I take on all of the application and website development for the business.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?
Currently I am not hiring, although it is not out of the question as business starts to flow.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
This question to me means different things (since I have business background in school). As for computer platform, I run my entire domain forest on Windows Server (2 servers running Server 2003 Enterprise, and 2 running Server 2008 Standard).
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?
Marketing, design and function. Consumers today like to see function mixed with design (on the web I see this as AJAX/HTML5), which produce highly interactive websites that have an impressive flow, and often higher rate of sales. Marketing seems to become ever more predominant on the internet, since it has potential for a large cash flow on a variety of different websites. Case and Point: Facebook.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
I think this program is one of the best things that can happen to anyone starting a small business, not matter the computer platform, since the availability of resources enable the member access to a huge resource of information, software and networking.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Yes. Don’t let anyone take your mind away from what you want to do, keep focused, and KNOW that you will succeed. I’ve been developing my business for over 2 years, with money from my own pocket, and I’m only starting to see money come into the business now. It takes passion, and determination. Secondly, don’t be afraid of broadening your capabilities or doing things you never planned for. I run all of my servers from my Bedroom; it’s just a part of my commitment to my business and ensuring it succeeds, I didn’t plan it that way, it just happened and I learned vastly from the experience.
Who’s your role model?
It may seem extremely cliché, but Bill Gates. And I mean it. This man felt the way about what he did when he started out the same way I do now about my business. This man changed the world, he changed computers and even though he isn’t the Chairman any longer, the business HE built continues to change the way computers and technology are seen and used. Take the Microsoft Surface for example; it changes the way people interact with a computer, something that has largely been unchanged in modern history.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
I want them to know that dreams don’t need to be dreams rather they need to be goals, no matter the size.