It Takes a Village to Boot a StartUp

It takes a village to boot a startup, especially, one with no external funding. Here are the smart and generous people we’re fortunate to have in our village (unordered etc.):

Chad Loeven: The connector’s connector. Chad’s connected us to so many great anti-virus people, and for nothing but karma in return. You can see Chad in action with Silicium here and here.

Maurice Mancini: Maurice has that rare gene often referred to in software engineering texts but rarely seen in reality: he’s naturally motivated to stretching and probing software to see where it breaks, and he did this for our bootable liveusb on his own time for nothing in return.

Mark Weidick: He’s coach Eric Taylor to us; Mark’s code of honor means he takes every call and answers every request for help even when he’s building his own Simple, Affordable Video Collaboration company.

Ron Simpson: Ron runs IT for comp sci at McGill, and helped us to find specific hardware configurations to test our bootable liveusb FixMeStick on. As seen by his linkedin profile, Ron’s specialty is self-promotion.

Ross Fubini: Mark introduced Corey and I to Ross at a time when Ross’s energy and enthusiasm was the perfect tonic. Ross’s a partner at Kapor Capital and you can catch a peek at his infectious enthusiasm on Twitter.

Hamnett Hill: Hamnett spent time with us early on to help with business models and strategy ideas, something he loves doing so much, we think he would stand on the corner and do for free (that is, if standing on the corner offering business model and strategy help for free were not a bad business model and strategy).

Adam Back: While individual experiences at Zero-Knowledge vary, everyone we know agrees that Dr. Adam Back is one awesome team member, programmer, and computer security dude. Adam provided us help with the security design.

Jerry Thompson: Jerry’s the founder of WhiteSky which evolved from a USB device. Jerry opened his book of experience and contacts for Corey and I and really helped with early business development.

Jackson Wightman: Ok, so we pay this foul-mouthed but otherwise proper propagandist but still, he’s jumped in and become a valued team member.

Daniel Arsenault: Technically we paid Daniel too so it wasn’t exactly altruism, but still, if power is work/time (it is) then Daniel is a very powerful web designer (he helped with the physical design of our bootable usb drive too). Check Daniel’s portfolio here.

Adam Stein: If Corey and I crash and burn, no one can say it was because we didn’t have awesome founders pics.  Check Adam’s work here.

Ryk Edelstein: Ryk generously shared his PC which was troubling the FixMeStick, his USB flash drive supplier contacts, and got us started in enterprise business development. Check Ryk’s security company here.

The sales associates at Staples and Best Buy: For letting us usb boot the FixMeStick on every PC on the floor to test for hardware compatibility.

Warren Levitan: Corey and I called on Warren several times to enlighten us on finance and insurance details, and enlightenment was always delivered. A great member of our extended support team.

Pierre-Marc Bureau: Pierre-Marc knows a lot about malware, and he’s generously shared his time and knowledge with us.

Jordan Socran: We count on Jordan’s smart sales and communication perspectives. He’s always helped with any request and we appreciate him a lot.

Singu Srinivas: Singu’s a management consultant of honor (seriously), and he’s helped us with business development. He’s a partner here.

Andrew Skowronski: Andrew has tested and commented and given access to his PCs when they were not working with the FixMeStick. Check out Andrew’s latest software, Mozy Stash.

Carolyn Algire: She tested, feedback-ed, and even got her friend Mike to pitch the FixMeStick to Peter Thiel. Peter apparently passed. Check out Carolyns work here and here.

Lindsay Holmgren: Lindsay teaches communications and ethics at McGill University’s business school, and made sure our messaging accurately represented the great guys we are! (Lindsay wrote this…)

Tom Chmielewski: Tom helped us to in\validate multiple concepts during our early phase, and opened his rolodex to us.  Tom’s running sales at iControl.

Bill Kerrigan: Bill was among the first to try the FixMeStick and give initial feedback, and he opened his rolodex to us as well. Bill’s CEO at Abine, The Online Privacy Company.

Dave Clauson: Dave tested the FixMeStick, helped with messaging, and straightened out our informercial (Dave’s credited with coining that term…). Dave’s running international operations NANA Development Corporation.

The FixMeStick is Built in Montreal.


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