We had a chance to talk to Alec Gordon Founder of Flowton Technologies. Take a look at our Q&A session below.
What’s your startup about?
Natural user interfaces through motion tracking and speech recognition. Our current focus is consumer electronics. However, we are also doing business in home automation
Where are you located?
We are located in Toronto, Canada
When was Flowton Technologies launched?
In March 2012
Who are the Founders of the founders?
There is myself, Faraz Farizi – the CCO & Daniel Mohammadi – the CTO, both co-founders
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
We were three people in the beginning, now we are eight.
Give us a brief background about yourself (education, employment etc)
I have a Neuroscience degree from York. I ran ski trip business in university
For the poeple looking to connect with you via social media, or looking to know more about you, what social media accounts can they visit?
You can visit my LinkedIn account at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/alec-gordon/27/949/a29 to learn more about me.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually go after yours?
The drive to create something new and exciting that may get people to think/behave in a different way. We know where technology is heading and we want to be a part of that movement.
How did you go from the business idea to what your business is right now?
What is the greatest thing about your startup? What sets you apart from your competition?
The fact that we rethought the natural user interface and built it away from relying on GUI or the WIMP model, as most other motion tracking technologies do. Also the fact that it’s invisible and thus can be used for a wide range of devices.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
More robust motion tracking software.
Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through.
Raising money is very hard. Convincing PhD’s to work for below minimum wage on something that may or may not work out – even harder.
What major hurdles are you facing now?
Toning down our vision and aspirations to something more manageable that a start up of our size can truly perfect. Not spreading ourselves too thin. Reaching our target customer better.
What are some of the major milestones you remember?
First patent filed. First research grant received.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
Making our own depth sensor with a CPU inside.
Any major lessons learnt so far?
Marketing and promotion is 50% of a product launch, technology is the other 50%.
What other advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?
Get out of stealth asap, engage customers. Leave dollars for marketing.
Please list the social media profiles for your startups (Facebook, Twitter etc)
Facebook Fan page – https://www.facebook.com/FlowtonTechnologies
Twitter Account – https://twitter.com/FlowtonTech
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowdfunded? Where’d you get the money?
Bootstrapping on modest angel funding.
Are you looking for funding? What do you look for in potential investors?
We look for established VC firm with experience in hardware/manufacturing. Ties to operations with OCM.
What time do you usually start work each day? How many hours a day do you usually work?
I work 10 hour days, at times more. From 10am till ~8.
What’s the very first thing you do at work every day?
I check my email, tech news.
Who or what inspires YOU? Can you tell us a few of your role models?
There is theoretical physist Richard Feynman, Intel founder and ‘Mayor of Silicon Valley’ Robert Noyce, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, and BioChemistry Professor Isaac Asimov. Also I collect quotes so too many too choose from.
What’s your office environment like? Do you listen to music? Watch movies? Play video games?
I listen to Music a lot. i also love sci fi games and movies.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
Oncoming revolution in Human Computer Interaction (HCI). Augmented reality. And in near future – implantable computers.
What are the top 5 websites you couldn’t live without and why?
Cracked.com – science articles with sharp humor.
Askmen – bunch of stuff.
TechCrunch/PopSci/Wired – tech news.
Five people (other than you) we should follow on Twitter and why?
I don’t use twitter (only for company)
Give us any five startups you emulate.
We are too young to really emulate.
What phone are you using right now? What tablet are you using right now?
Iphone 5 (soon to be 5S), no tablet, Samsung 9 ultrabook. Nook e reader.
Top 5 mobile apps you’re in love with and why?
What would you do if you had a year off and $500,000 to spend (on something other than work)?
Riding powder in Whistler and catching big waves in Hawaii. Oh, and scuba diving in Maldives.
When’s the last time you went on vacation and where did you go?
Cuba, Varadero. Long time ago.