The BizSpark startup of the day is Mingle360, based in the US. Below you will find an interview with Bradley Blinn, Co-founder of Mingle360. All the best to them and congratulations for being the startup of the day!
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
My name is Bradley Blinn, co-founder of Mingle360 and VP of Marketing. I handle our marketing communications (press releases, website content, videos, online collateral, etc.) and work hand-in-hand with our sales team. Because our mingle technology is deployed at events around the country, I also have the opportunity to travel and service our clients’ events.
What did you do before creating your company?
I was the Marketing Director for Respond.com where I was responsible for sales, marketing, and business development. My past work career also includes starting (and selling) two profitable internet businesses. I started the first internet business by way of learning HTML by studying source code and creating web pages using Windows Notepad. Needless to say, I learned basic html coding from scratch!
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
We are elated to receive this type of recognition. It’s a testimony to the achievements we’ve made to date and where we are headed as a company tomorrow. The Microsoft brand name carries weight and we look forward to the BizSpark program accelerating our continued growth.
What is your company’s mission?
Our company’s mission is to bridge the gap between face to face connections and online social media with people, products, and business establishments. Mingle360 seeks to create a contagious end user experience at live business events that utilizes low cost and ubiquitous technology platforms wrapped in a brand promise of privacy and security.
How did you get the idea for your company?
We realized the disconnect between the digital age in which we live and the current methods of exchanging contact information including business cards, pen and paper, signup sheets, etc. We thought to ourselves ‘there has to be a better way!” - so we filed our patent application and the business was born!
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
To date, we have raised $1.5 M via friends, family, and angel investors. We are seeking to raise $5.0 M in our next round of funding. Interested investors should contact Dan Coffing, CEO of Mingle360, at 703-425-0402 x511.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have 6 full time employees and an outsourced hardware and software development team.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
Mingle360 is located in Fairfax, VA and we are hiring Sales and Business Development professionals.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Our development decision to use SQL Server and .NET was based on the strategic goals of the company and our enterprise level solution.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
To monetize the connectivity between people, products, and business establishments by simplifying and centralizing disparate communication platforms and applications.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
The BizSpark Program is an incredible support system designed to provide resources for startup companies that align with Microsoft’s products and vision. We are thrilled to be a part of it.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
My motto: If you don’t ask, the answer is always “no” Use this when negotiating vendor contracts, dealing with potential customers, and raising capital. Don’t be afraid to ask the question.
Who’s your role model?
Personally speaking, I’ve been married to my beautiful wife for 1 ½ years. My parents have been married for 38 years. They are my role models because they exemplify dedication, commitment, mutual understanding, and love.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
We are an exciting startup company! Our business relationships with Microsoft, Best Buy, Kingston Technology Corporation, Purina Mills, Experient, a Fortune 500 fast food corporation, and numerous international distributors put us on a great growth trajectory.
Other Important Items:
Ogilvy & Mather Customer Testimonials: http://www.mingle360.com/video_OM.html
Personal Democracy Forum Customer Testimonials: http://www.mingle360.com/video_PDF.html