In the Microsoft Accelerator with SD’s Embarke: ‘This is Not Easy!’

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technology on a monthly subscription basis, using a tiered pricing model based on the number of messages delivered.

Embarke’s first beta product, released in early 2011, could take the messages that Facebook users posted on their walls, and automatically insert them in appropriate Facebook Groups. User feedback prompted them to shift their strategy and focus instead on person-to-person communications through different Internet channels. Additional feedback on the next iteration prompted them to focus on their application programming interface, or API.

“We took six to nine months to figure out who we wanted to be, and what we wanted to be,” said Bsharah, a 41-year-old entrepreneur who told me he’s been involved in multiple startups over the past 15 years. A timeline they created for Embarke reflects their perseverance in developing and testing different versions of their technology. In other words, he’s spent years working to become an overnight success.

“We’re trying to solve as hard of a problem as we can that still has a significant customer user base,” Bsharah said.

In addition to the Founder Institute, they also participated in a variety of other local entrepreneur programs, including Lean Startup Machine and Startup Weekend. They also demonstrated their technology in San Francisco, at the Launch Festival and Founder Showcase, and in San Diego at the San Diego Venture Group’s annual venture summit.

So out of 600 applications, how did Embarke make the new Seattle accelerator’s starting lineup? In an e-mail, Bsharah writes … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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