The BizSpark startup of the day is OrchestratorMail, based in the US. Below you will find an interview with Ritu Raj, Co-founder of OrchestratorMail. 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 Ritu Raj, I guess I have the entrepreneur bug. I came to the US in 1994, worked for a small startup, AT Systems, and by 1999 became an executive with TMP worldwide, left them to start the first cloud computing company in 1990 called Avasta, which was acquired by Naviste in 2002. I joined Accenture as a partner, left them 2005 to start a high end chain of dog hotels (Wag Hotels), they are the largest dog hotels in the world, and founded OrchestratorMail with my co-founder Butch (Harold Gray) in 2010.
What did you do before creating your company?
Founded and ran a chain of the largest dog hotels in the world.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
We are honored by the recognition, and the support of Microsoft.
What is your company’s mission?
To reduce the anxiety and follow through/reminders for emails while working/ collaborating with others to fulfill an outcome, initiative or a deliverable.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
By fitting into your existing email platform, OrchestratorMail provides a simple, yet elegant structure to simplify the back and forth of email communications.
How did you get the idea for your company?
I have been working on communication from a linguistic, philosophical point of view for the last decade, and I wanted to bring it into companies. All of us spent an average of 2 hours organizing our emails, just to keep on top of them, and still woke up in the middle of the night to send that email that we forgot.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
The company is completely self-funded so far, we have great customer base. We would be looking for funding to accelerate growth, a small round of 1.5-2M.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We are a small company 2.5 people and bring in contractors for special projects.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
At this moment we are looking for a Marketing Communication person in San Francisco, and would be looking for someone with strong .NET and SharePoint skills. A plus would be strong application development background in Java & Java scripts for integration work. This developer could be located anywhere.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We are building on SharePoint Server, .NET and C#. We follow an agile development methodology, always learning from our customers, and SharePoint has a strong and easily configurable state management engine. The other reason being 90% of corporate America, defense, and government already have SharePoint and MS Outlook.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
I would say one of the largest opportunities lies in Storage. The storage is growing logarithmically, and we are behind the curve.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
I think it gives entrepreneurs a quick legup. Instead of worrying about licenses, hosting, etc., they can focus on their core skills of creating and innovating, and bringing new ideas to the world.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
(1) Innovate, don’t copy, don’t do better (2) Be persistent, on bad days watch Oprah, but don’t give up (3) its not easy, be ready for a hard road, stay on the road.
Who’s your role model?
Vinod Khosla – I keep his email with me all the time. I asked him in (1999) “I am making 7 figures, should I do startup company?” He wrote back the same day – “You do startup company to build something-- its not about the money” and I have never looked back.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Most of us don’t work alone, we are always working with others, collaborating, coordinating, the model of things to do, prioritizing your tasks is over, all we have is the things we said we will do for others, and what others will do for us, and negotiating the time.
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