High Tech on the Low hosted by Jordan Kastrinsky, is on a mission to make high tech accessible to the world. In my podcast, I explore the many different facets of the world of high tech from development to marketing, to sales, to entrepreneurship and more! With society turning ever more towards technological solutions to make processes more efficient and secure, it is important, now more than ever, that we unite the high-tech sector's collective resources under one roof to reap the benefits of this knowledge-sharing. There is so much opportunity out there to grow within the industry that we must provide the tools through which to do so. So, what did we discover this week?
When Ian and I first spoke, the topic of discussion was basically how to manage a startup in stealth mode and how that helped him in his development process. We spoke at length about the need to be able to protect original ideas and products while also being open with the right people. As we learned, it takes a careful balance of understanding your competition, market, and potential supporters to decide whether stealth mode is right for your startup - and for Ian it was.
As part of a series of follow-up interviews to understand the entrepreneurial journey, I met up with Ian to see how his startup has evolved in the last six months. So, has he left stealth mode? The answer: kind of.
“We are Blue Cape and are now saying our name and telling people what we are doing, we are in but being careful with who and what. We are in half stealth mode. Still, we have validated our technology and we have made a significant breakthrough in our field,” adds Ian. Blue Cape is dealing with issues of epidemiology and endemic respiratory diseases. Using unique prediction models, they aim to provide needed data to people to understand how these diseases interact with and react to human population centers.
As could be expected, one of Ian’s main goals is trying to find market traction with partners and potential clients who will actually use the solution. At the end of the day, Ian understands that he must make a business solution even if what he has may be a tool to be used, in a sense, for the greater good. He must make money and investors interested in him expect it. Ian shares with us that Blue Cape has several partners and cases of traction, “and unlike most deep tech companies that may only be having revenue 5, 10 years down the line, Blue Cape’s use cases have them set up to be making money in the next 3 to 4 years.”
With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, not to mention other respiratory issues such as influenza and avian flu that plague our societies, my thought is that Ian is right on the mark. He has answered a need, at a critical time, and has a solution that could change the way we deal with diseases. As Ian puts it, “Very few people have an idea of where this could go, and we are seeing future trend lines and we are seeing that in the near future this market will be bigger and our expansion as a company will grow.” Just like the personal computer, who knows what the market holds for disease prediction?
So how does Ian support Blue Cape if he isn’t fully out of stealth mode? First, Ian adds you should not just expect money from investors. “They don’t want to just give you money, and you need to understand that.” But what Ian is looking for is strategic partners and investors who can give him and his company value.
“We want people who want to work and help us, we don’t want dumb money,” Ian remarks. In the end, he describes investors as needing to be part of a startup’s team, willing to provide support and act truly as a partner. While his investors have questioned his go-to-market strategy, Ian has been able to impress them with his understanding of the importance of providing a strong return on investment.
So, what does the future of Blue Cape hold? Check it out in another six months.