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No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

Startup Next Spotlight – CodersLink

With only two weeks to go before Startup Next Demo Day, we take a look at our last #GeekdomBuilt company. This company’s story is even more interesting than the last, since the founder once wore the geekstaff crown. Today, we’re talking about CodersLink.

Meet Tito Salas, CEO and founder of CodersLink. Like all great companies, Tito came up with his idea after recognizing a need. When Tito graduated from UTSA and looked for a  job, he saw many job opportunities for developers but not enough talent to fill them. Being a Mexican national, he knew that Mexico had tons of developers who could fill the roles and were also looking to achieve the American Dream. The problem: he had no idea how to bring the companies and talent together. At that time, Tito took a job here at Geekdom as a membership manager with the intention of bringing those developers to the San Antonio tech ecosystem.

Already familiar with starting lean and the process of testing out an idea, Tito developed his MVP.  Tito found five companies looking to hire developers and brought in five Mexican developers to interview for the positions. At the end of the day, one of the companies wanted to hire one of the candidates! That’s when the hard part started. Tito had made the match, but how did he get the developer setup in the US?  He then dug in and learned everything he could find about about visas and importing talent. After talking with lawyers and consultants, and more importantly, going through the entire visa process, Tito was able to bring that developer over and fill the company’s position. That day, CodersLink was born.
Tito took the money he made from that referral and immediately put in into starting his business. While CodersLink’s mission is to bring talent across the border, Tito’s personal goal is to show how easy it is to bring talent to companies that need it. While at Startup Next, he’s extremely interested in meeting with mentors, developing his pitch, and talking with companies about their concerns with hiring international talent. You can find Tito roaming the floors at Geekdom when he isn’t enjoying a torta in his favorite Mexican taqueria. Be sure to RSVP to watch his pitch on June 2nd in the Event Centre.

Expert to Help Startup Next Spotlight

We’re at the halfway mark of Startup Next and the teams have already learned a great deal of  information! This week we take a glance at Expert to Help, Jaakko Piipponen’s second go at entrepreneurship. Before starting this company, he ran Remote Garage, a startup dedicated to providing storage options for those who didn’t have it. He, unfortunately, was unsuccessful in his initial venture, but in conversations with fellow entrepreneurs and mentors, he quickly realized how important it was for companies to have financial plans and know how much runway their business’ had. Long story short — he learned from his failures.

 

Enter Expert to Help! — a company that builds financial models to illuminate important financial metrics for mid-size to large startups that need it the most. The team inputs data via the A.P.I’s of their existing services into a beautiful dashboard designed to bring day-to-day financial forecasts. While there are a few companies in this space, few manage to deliver dynamic content and even less are focused on startups. What really separates them is the perfect combination of customization and expert guidance. Customers can change just about everything in their dashboard to give them the most accurate runway for their business, but also have an expert — at a click of a mouse — ready to walk them through the process.
They’ve already learned so much from the mentors of Startup Next. Combine that with the avenue to collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs, and that gives this team the perfect opportunity to really take their business to a new level — which will in-part help the startups in our ecosystem grow. You can find Jaakko bouncing all over Geekdom, be sure to catch their pitch on June 2nd in the Event Centre.

 

Startup Next Spotlight: Evermarket

It’s Week Two of Startup Next — which means it’s time to spotlight another company, and once again, it’s a #GeekdomBuilt company. Say Howdy to Evermarket! Evermarket is made up of another power trio, Tom Kaufeldt (CEO), Kevin La Rue (CMO) and Donovan Becker who runs Product Development. Evermarket is looking to become the go-to Military Community Marketplace, and will soon be launching a robust online marketplace based on the principles of trust and transparency to serve the needs of the U.S. Military community.

 

Tim shared that at first they just wanted to be a safe alternative to craigslist.org. After doing countless hours of market research, they found that the demographic that they were trying to target did, in fact, exist — they were just guarded off in Military bases. Having been a Military brat himself, Tim remembered how much of a pain it was to move from one base to another. He found himself constantly buying and selling many of the same items due to the inherently constricted nature of moving. However, when the Evermarket platform launches, Military families will now have a marketplace filled with verified servicemen and women (both current and past) ready to help each other buy and sell relevant goods.

Once you have success, you have to find a way to give it back.” -Tim Kaufeldt

What’s different about EverMarket is that they are not in this for the money — they want to help those members of the Military Community that continue to protect this country. Tim and the gang will be donating up to 50% of all revenue back into charitable causes identified by the Military Community they serve, and even more importantly, will use the EverMarket platform to provide entrepreneurial opportunities to Military spouses.  In other words, you will not see them rolling in Ferraris two years from now — they all circled the wagon and agreed that they had a bigger purpose here than anything money can buy. “Once you have success, you have to find a way to give it back.” -Tim Kaufeldt
You can find Evermarket on the 8th floor pretty much anytime the sun is up (and possibly even when the sun has set!). During Startup Next, they are looking forward to perfecting their pitch, bouncing ideas off of their mentors and hammering out their business plan.



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