Zippykid’s Founder Vid Luther kicked off the second monthly meeting of San Antonio New Tech at Geekdom in San Antonio on Tuesday night.
Zippykid offers managed WordPress hosting free to sites with less than 5,000 monthly pageviews and $25 a month to larger sites.
About a third of all the websites on the Internet run on WordPress, Luther said. Zippykid’s customers include small businesses and large ones such as Estee Lauder and Reebok, Luther said.
The company is backed by 500 Startups, the Geekdom Fund and individual investors including Pat Condon and Dirk Elmendorf, co-founders of Rackspace, Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo, and Jason Seats, cofounder of Slicehost.
“Our company is all WordPress experts,” Luther said.
Following Zippykid, Ryan Beltran gave an overview of Elequa, a water treatment company that uses a process of electrolysis and electrocoagulation to extract impurities from water. Its markets include cooling towers, waste water treatment, drinking water and hydraulic fracking operations to treat water used in the process.
“We’re still trying to find the perfect market fit,” Beltran said.Lastly, Scott Taylor, president of Soloshot, showed a video of its device in action. Soloshot is a $479 bright orange gadget that connects to your camera and sits on top of a tripod. It automatically rotates it to keep it pointed at you while you surf, skateboard, kiteboard or participate in other activities. It’s like having a robotic camera operator. The device tracks its target by zeroing in on a waterproof armband that transmits a radio frequency signal. The armband has a five hour battery life and connects to the orange base to charge as a single unit, which plugs into the wall.
Recently, Soloshot wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign in which they raised $73,374 from 272 backers, exceeding its $50,000 goal.
The company has a dozen employees and they manufacture the devices in San Antonio, Taylor said. They test each one before sending it to a customer, he said. The precision limited quantity manufacturing ensures quality production, he said.
In addition to the Kickstarter campaign, the company has raised money from friends and family, but Taylor said they are planning a first round of venture capital to expand operations further.
Taylor and his friend Chris Boyle were living in the Dominican Republic when they came up with the idea for Soloshot.
“We needed a project to work on. We’re both engineers,” Taylor said. “This is the one thing we both wanted for ourselves.”
“I’m really glad we chose something we love,” Taylor said. “Because we eat, sleep and breathe this thing.”
They’ve spent the last four years developing Soloshot. They’ve got 20 patents pending on the device, Taylor said. They moved the company to San Antonio because Alex Sammons, their friend and the company’s development and manufacturing expert, lived here.