The BizSpark startup of the day is SpeedMenu, based in the US. Below you will find an interview with Richard Bagdonas, President, CTO and co-founder of SpeedMenu. 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:
I am the President and Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of SpeedMenu.
What did you do before creating your company?
I co-founded a SaaS company that provides transcription and electronic medical record management for hospitals. That was back in 2004. I have been a serial entrepreneur over the past 20 years having started companies in automotive, finance, entertainment and software.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
We are excited to be nominated for the honor. We join an amazing list of companies. I am humbled that Microsoft has selected SpeedMenu.
What is your company’s mission?
To become the platform for all mobile application communication to bar and restaurant Point of Sale systems.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
SpeedMenu provides mobile apps and a platform that enables mobile menuing, ordering and payment at bars and restaurants.
How did you get the idea for your company?
We got the idea for SpeedMenu after having been the person at the busy restaurant who couldn’t order because it was too busy. That happened one too many times and SpeedMenu was born.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
SpeedMenu has been funded to date by the two founders. We are now looking for our first round for external funding. The magic number is between 2 and 4 million dollars.
How many employees do you have?
How many developers?
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
Yes we are. We need sales and account management personnel who are based in the pacific Northwest, South and Southeast.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We are 100% Microsoft. We utilize the Microsoft Azure Cloud, SQL Azure and Business Productivity Online Suite. Microsoft’s cloud platform is very robust and scalable. We were able to transition our entire business into the cloud without having to sacrifice features, stability, security or growth potential. With our partner Paraleap we can scale our Azure service up and down as high as we need. The cost savings are also great.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
I see tremendous growth in connecting mobile applications to traditional software systems. SpeedMenu saw this opportunity in hospitality and created our OpenAPI. It allows other mobile app developers to utilize our software in their apps. It saves them thousands of dollars, months of development and many man-years of time. Other industries will develop similar mobile access points to traditional application data.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
I am a big fan! BizSpark was the key to unlocking the potential of SpeedMenu. We were able to gain access to key members of the Microsoft team and leverage that partnership into higher growth.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Yes. Stay away from early funding opportunities. If you have a good idea – put in the work to build it. By staying “hungry” you will keep innovating because you have to do that to survive. Other companies will get funding. Keep an eye on them and keep pushing ahead. Once you have the software written, sales started and you are succeeding at a small level, go after the funding to take it nationwide.
Who’s your role model?
Warren Buffet is my role model. He and I have a very simple approach to business. He controls what he can and lets the team continue to do what they do well. If something isn’t working you change it. My goal is to have one of my companies acquired by Berkshire Hathaway prior to Mr. Buffet leaving.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Having a great idea is the first step in success. The secret sauce isn’t in the idea, it is in the execution. There will always be competitors out there. Out run, out maneuver, and out last them and you will win.