The BizSpark startup of the day is Lymbix, based in Canada. You will find below an interview with Matt Eldridge, Founder and CEO of Lymbix. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Matt Eldridge, Founder and CEO of Lymbix
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
I’m Matt Eldridge, Founder and CEO of Lymbix. I am focused mostly on partnership development and sales, the acquisition of capital and key hires/growth. I steer the ship and basically surround myself with brilliant people that make me look good.
What did you do before creating your company?
My background is in sales and franchise development. I was Director of Franchising for a disruptive dot com real estate company and in fact, is where and why Lymbix was created. I wanted to solve a problem I was facing with my email communication and couldn’t find a solution. I have been a life long “grinder” (hockey term) and am not a guy who has had many ‘jobs’.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
It’s terrific! We’ve had tremendous support from the team at Microsoft since day one. This is another great testament to your support of what we’re doing. Going from “startup of the day” to “success story of the day” is my ultimate goal!
What is your company’s mission?
To become the world’s leading provider of connotative communication solutions, and to be recognized as the thought-leader in enhanced awareness and control over text-based connotation… The Tone AuthorityTM.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
We design and build solutions to analyze, interpret, and measure tone in text-based communication. In short: think “emotional spell check”.
How did you get the idea for your company?
In sales, conveying the right message is critically important. I’d always had a great deal of success selling face-to-face or over the phone, however I came to the realization that e-mail messages weren’t always as easy to interpret.
Correspondence meant to share genuine passion and energy for the business opportunity was somehow being received as overly aggressive, and was beginning to affect sales. I found myself constantly reviewing and editing each email I wrote to ensure it fit within my intended emotional tone and how the end reader would perceive it.
I thought to myself: “There’s a spell check and grammar check…there must be a tone check”. I searched, and there wasn’t, and from there the idea behind Lymbix was formed.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
I initially seeded the company with everything I had and we then went on to officially complete our first $500,000 friends and family round on February 1/2010. We’re currently in the process of a second $500,000 round and from there will be looking for a larger more significant venture capital infusion.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We currently have 10 employees. 6 developers going hard at it and 4 working on the business. Our Market acquisition phase is starting, so more sales people will be hired shortly.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?
We’re always looking for great people who fit within the culture we’ve established, however at the present time we have a need for additional developers and sales people. A dedicated sales force is essential and although will be mobile, will be based out of our Moncton, NB office.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Our first go-to-market solution (ToneCheck for MS Outlook) is built on Microsoft .net, and we use Ruby on Rails for our backend.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?
There are statistics that indicate that over the course of the next 5 years, text will be the primary form of communication, period. With that kind of upswing, it is going to become increasingly important to give people tools to maximize productivity, filter intent, analyze sentiment/connotation and ultimately understand language better. Our company, and our ToneCheck add-in for MS Outlook were designed to do all of those things in an effort to help improve the clarity of communication and as a result: understanding.
People-powered models will continue to grow in momentum, which is why we designed ToneADay.com, a rating platform where users are paid to contribute their opinions on how words and phrases make them feel. It gives us a better understanding of the emotion behind true human language: something a dictionary’s definition can’t provide.
Reputation systems will also see tremendous growth, as corporations realize they no longer have control of their reputation online and that “being great” is quickly becoming the most effective form of ‘marketing.’
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
The BizSpark program is a tremendous asset for us and a terrific platform to build smart solutions from. Early support from the BizSpark program when leveraged correctly can catapult your business. We appreciate everyone involved.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
My advice to everyone is “do what you love.” I know it’s cliché but the fact is, why would you do anything but? Life is good and you need to appreciate every day! Whether you’re a software entrepreneur or a goat herder, you need to grind hard, never stop and have fun!
Who’s your role model?
I wouldn’t say that I necessarily have a “role model” but I definitely like Alexander Ovechkin’s vibe from the Washington Capitals- the guy has wicked skills, he grind’s hard, hits hard, scores and absolutely loves his life and what he is doing. He’s a rock star, is totally himself and doesn’t try to be anything he is not. You can see that every time he is on the ice he is looking to make an impact (and he always does). (I think Richard Branson is a pretty cool cat too)
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Good things come to people who love what they do!