The BizSpark startup of the day is Taglyn, based in the US. You will find below an interview with Michael Johnstone, President of Taglyn. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Michael Johnstone, President of Taglyn
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
I serve as president of Taglyn and I’m playing an integral role in two critical areas: growing our GPS tracking market share and integrating our tracking services with other applications.
What did you do before creating your company?
I was and still am president of eLocomotive, a small software and web development company focused on web based software and business process automation.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
I’m excited that Taglyn was selected at the most promising “Startup of the Day”. It’s early validation of our fleet tracking services and the software approach we’re taking.
What is your company’s mission?
Taglyn provides next generation asset tracking services for fleets, autos, equipment, and people. We’re taking the basic GPS tracking services many companies provide and adding value through integration with other platforms, customization for specific use cases, and a more robust software implementation.
How did you get the idea for your company?
I got my first exposure to the fleet tracking industry through eLocomotive. I built some IP there working with hardware vendors including Enfora, Geometris, and Sannav. Once I saw what most providers were offering, I knew the software was ripe for improvement.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We’re bootstrapped and completely self funded at this point. Our current customer base combined with help from BizSpark is making it possible for us to operate without outside investment. Once we’ve proved several marketing channels, we may look for funding later this year to speed our growth in the GPS tracking industry.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
Currently we have 2 developers and myself playing several roles.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?
Currently we are not hiring, although we may be later this year. We are talking with several potential sales reps.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Our current system uses Microsoft SQL 2005, C#, and Flex for the front end. Development on the backend is focused on C# and Microsoft SQL 2008. Our next front end will come in multiple flavors including a desktop gadget, .NET application, and mobile apps based on jQuery.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?
Besides asset tracking, I see opportunities all around but that’s my background. Social integrations seem pretty popular these days but my favorite solutions revolve integrate desperate software or simplify business operations. The internet and shift to SaaS solutions make integrations much easier and that adds measurable value.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
The BizSpark Program is a tremendous help. Between the development tools, the server licensing, and Rackspace as our hosting partner we’re able to focus that capital on growth in these early years. For the same reason, we’ll be able to stay current on software while we grow. Without the BizSpark program, we’d be left to make decisions between software upgrades and marketing activities.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Yes. Three things come to mind: 1. Spend wisely and always pursue profitability. Investment is great but being cash flow positive is better. 2. Make sure you understand what will motivate your customers to buy. Don’t just ask if they like the idea. 3. Most importantly, seek out advisors with different areas of expertise who can answer a question for you and use them.
Who’s your role model?
If I had to pick one, I’d say Benjamin Franklin. I appreciate is work ethic, his sensible approach, and his willingness to approach things differently. Every entrepreneur should read his autobiography.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
I’d like readers to remember that Taglyn is combining GPS tracking and asset tracking with software and web services. The next year will be a very exciting time for the company as we build out socially for consumers (wordpress, Facebook and twitter integration) and integrate with line of business applications for companies.