In the Microsoft Accelerator with SD’s Embarke: ‘This is Not Easy!’
In their first 10 days at the Microsoft Accelerator program, Embarke CEO Al Bsharah says he and co-founder Bryan Hall have worked 16- to 20-hour days every day—“and we’re behind!”
Of more than 600 startups that applied, Embarke was the only San Diego startup admitted to the intensive business-mentoring program. The accelerator, which began Oct. 1 and runs through Jan. 17, was established in Seattle earlier this year under a partnership that Microsoft struck with TechStars, which was conceived by serial entrepreneur David Cohen and the Boulder, CO-based Foundry Group. As Curt has reported, half of the 10 Web startups enrolled are from the Seattle area, three are from California, one is from Germany, and another is from Australia.
When I talked with Bsharah recently by phone, he said he met his co-founder in early 2011 at the Founder Institute incubator program in San Diego. Since then, they have been developing a communications tool that gives software developers a way to link multiple social media channels. Using Embarke’s technology, a message posted in the comment section of a blog, for example, could be automatically disseminated across Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and e-mail.
In terms of Internet communications, Bsharah says some people simply prefer to use certain channels. So Embarke’s technology allows users to stay in their comfort zone—with e-mail, for example—and still be able to communicate with friends who prefer to use Facebook, Twitter, or text messaging.
“The value we’re providing really boils down to increasing that engagement,” Bsharah said. Embarke’s core technology provides the infrastructure that enables software companies and Software-as-a-service providers to incorporate private and social messaging, he said. “Our customers may just want to communicate with their users better, or they might want to provide our messaging application for consumers.” Embarke provides its … Next Page »