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Startup Nation: Inside The abi Founder’s Series

The startup ecosystem in New Hampshire continues to gain momentum and last Thursday at Dyn’s Manchester, NH, headquarters, a slew of budding entrepreneurs got a unique opportunity. As part of the abi Innovation Hub’s ongoing Founders’ Series, five successful entrepreneurs shared the ups and downs they experienced when starting their businesses.

Moderated by abi CEO Jamie Coughlin, who pressed the founders to reveal all their juiciest details, the nearly 100 people in attendance peeked behind the curtain and saw what it takes to transform an idea into a thriving business.

Here’s some information about the panel, how they got their growing businesses off the ground and why Dyn loves being so involved.

Dyn - abi Innovation HubEric Hansen, CEO/Founder of Sitespect (Boston, MA)

  • Previously founded Worldmachine Technologies
  • Spent eight months using free wi-fi in the Boston Public Library
  • Met partner at pizza e-Dinner
  • Was glad he didn’t do market analysis and just jumped right in

Karl Wirth, CEO/Founder of Apptegic (Somerville, MA)

  • Has four children and waited until youngest was no longer a baby so he could nurture his startup baby
  • Was rejected by tons of VCs before lining up angel investors
  • First idea didn’t percolate so they threw away most of their code and customers and started over

Gerard Murphy – CEO/Co-Founder, Mosaic Storage Systems (Nashua, NH)

  • Met co-founder on the bus on the first day of seventh grade
  • Hatched idea for Mosaic over beer and darts
  • Put up website and had five sales in first month but couldn’t even take clients’ credit cards

Medhi Daoudi, CEO/Co-Founder, Catchpoint (NYC/LA)

  • Left Google and a seven figure paycheck to start his company. Has check framed in his office
  • Heard no’s from 50 VCs, so instead fundraised from his family. Mother-in-law always asks about business
  • Company is bi-coastal in New York and Los Angeles

Travis Warren, CEO/Co-Founder, Whipplehill (Bedford, NH)

  • Started at Carnegie Mellon solely so he could be hired by Apple
  • Mentored by father’s business partner before and after the work day
  • Was working on business plan but was also creating websites for private schools. Scrapped the business plan because he already had a business

“Dyn is committed to working with the abi to become the cultivator, aggregator and voice of the startup/entrepreneurial/innovation ecosystem north of Boston,” said Kyle York, Dyn Chief Revenue Officer and President of the abi board. “With these two great organizations working together, the sky really is the limit.”

For more information on the abi, visit their website and follow them on Twitter.


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Whois: Adam Coughlin

Adam Coughlin is the Director of Corporate Communications for Dyn, a cloud-based Internet Performance company that helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamCoughlin and @Dyn.