Have you ever been lost or stuck somewhere and had that terrible realization that no one knows where you are or when you’re supposed to be home? The founders of Bend-based startup Ubimodo are creating a software app to prevent just that.
Ubimodo is Latin for where — now, and the company tagline is “Panic is Not a Strategy.” (Note to self: Rethink all strategies). BendTECH sat down with co-founder Scott Warner as part of our #50startups project to learn more about Ubimodo, how it helps find lost people and why working on the Terminator movies was harder than founding a startup.
Startup Spotlight: Ubimodo
Founders: Scott Warner, CEO, & Steve Minar, CTO
Started: August 2013
Employees: The two founders and six others who are trading time for equity while working their day jobs.
What do you do? We’re developing mobile apps that help keep people safe by notifying authorities when things go wrong, and you don’t return when you said you would. We have created a personal, emergency notification service that provides a simple way to inform your loved ones about where you’re going and when you’ll be back.It then institutes a series of escalating responses if you don’t return. Those range from contacting your personal safety team (your mom, friend, spouse) to, if necessary, engaging a professional rescue coordination team. Other apps send a message when you arrive. But we think we add significant value by sending a message when you don’t, and then initiating a plan to professionally address your safety.
Complete this sentence: We are like the _____ of/for ______ (Uber for house plants; Twitter for cats)
We’re like the “Find My iPhone” for your loved ones.
What inspired your company? It was started by my co-founder, Steve Minar. He wanted a simple solution to replace the note on the dashboard of a car or stuck to the refrigerator telling someone of the activity you were off doing. It’s a unique solution for a fundamental problem that applies to anyone planning an activity. For me as a first responder with the National Ski Patrol, I was inspired to see how it could become a new standard of care for not only personal safety, but also as a resource for search and rescue, and the emergency management community. Ubimodo is positioning its brand as an essential tool to manage your personal safety and protect those you care about, while serving the safety of the rescuer.
So how’s business? We recently finished our fourth prototype and we’re now in app development, and moving toward the next level of user testing. Robert Koester, the leading expert in the field of search and rescue, has joined our team. And we’ve acquired our first two API partners to help us take our product to market.
Have you raised any money? We’ve raised $50,000 in seed funding, and we’re finalizing some additional investment.
How will you make money? We plan earn revenue from our user subscriptions and from partnerships with other applications.
What have you learned? It’s a huge amount of work to focus your presentation to effectively tell your story. You have to always keep in mind who is your audience. I’ve also learned not to be shy about engaging others to help us tell our story better. We hired the Cascadian Group here in Bend to do just that. It’s great to drink your own Kool Aid, but after a while it gets stale. Cascadian gave us quite an insightful grilling during an early pitch session. So I knew they were the right people to bring on board to mix a fresh batch.
What’s next? Taking our app prototype to the next level of development and continuing our UI/UX testing. We did the first stage of development in San Francisco with an excellent firm. Now we’re bringing the development back to Central Oregon. Our first API partners are here as well, so we’re able to keep our things close to home, and easy to manage. It’s also cost effective.
Random facts to blow people’s minds: Well I spent 12 years in the film business, 10 of which was working with Director James Cameron on Terminator 2, T2-3D, True Lies and the Titanic. After working with Cameron for 10 years, there’s nothing that anybody can throw at me that’s more challenging.
Next week in #50startups: Bend-based StrideBox sends runners a monthly subscription box filled with goodies. But can the StrideBox actually make you run faster? We’ll find out.
You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].