Why startup BubbleIQ decided to join Techstars

BOULDER — BubbleIQ is one of the latest Boulder startups to join the Techstars accelerator program.

The tech company recently raised $20,000 in equity and $100,000 in convertible notes from Techstars for joining the accelerator. Now, BubbleIQ’s leader is preparing his business for the program start, which begins Monday.

Fletcher Richman, CEO and co-founder for BubbleIQ, spoke to BizWest about what his startup does, how he’s financed the company and why they joined Techstars.

Tell me a little bit about BubbleIQ.

We integrate Slack [an inter-office communication tool for companies of all sizes] with the helpdesk and ticketing system, Zendesk. Zendesk is a back-end system for large enterprise companies to manage customer support and IT tickets. So for example, if you email Netflix support, they use Zendesk to create a ticket on the back end, and support agents use Zendesk to support your message. We took those two tools and made them work seamlessly. You can create a Zendesk ticket from a Slack message, send a ticket to a Slack channel. You can have an engineer respond from Slack to Zendesk.

The key value-add for a company is the added collaboration. In these large enterprise companies, Zendesk is used by one or two departments, usually IT and customer support. They use it every single day. But because cloud services are taking over the world, every company and every department in a company is using 20 different cloud apps. Slack is usually the only place where everyone is working together and everyone knows how to use and collaborate in it. So if customer support needs engagement from a different department in the company, like engineering or operations, and needs them to know what is going on, they can collaborate on a ticket in Slack. We make it easy to collaborate on the customer support process without logging into a new system.

You recently filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that you raised some capital.

Techstars offers you a $120,000 investment when you join the program, usually $20,000 in equity and the rest in a convertible note. They offer it to all the companies in the program.

We’re a little unique because we were able to bootstrap the business up until now. We were self-funded until we joined Techstars. We were able to get enough revenue to get us where we are today, and the money from Techstars will allow us to grow and spend some money on marketing.

Why join Techstars?

We’re based in Boulder, I’ve been here for the last seven or eight years. I’ve seen them grow from a program here to a worldwide accelerator. When we thought about how we wanted to take our company to the next level, it made so much sense for us. A big value for us is the mentorship: They have an amazing roster of mentors from very successful companies who have done this before. They can help us learn and do all the things we don’t know how to do. We’ve made progress, but we know there are new challenges and things we haven’t faced before. Coming up soon, we’ll have Mentor Madness, where we meet with 100+ amazing and successful entrepreneurs who have done this before and we’ll get feedback on our business.

And their network is amazing. They have 1,000 companies they’ve invested in that can be potential customers or partners. It’s also a great chance for our team: We’ve been working remotely from different places across the country. This is a chance to come together in Boulder.

Techstars has an amazing track record of helping companies raise capital. Their 1,000 companies together have raised $4 billion. We’re looking to the future to continue to grow, and they have a great network of potential investors to help us raise capital down the road.

What comes next?

Our program starts Monday. We’re getting our team all set up in an apartment in Boulder. Then there’s a week of preparation before we head straight into Mentor Madness. We’re also onboarding new customers and preparing for the pressure of joining an accelerator.

 

BOULDER — BubbleIQ is one of the latest Boulder startups to join the Techstars accelerator program.

The tech company recently raised $20,000 in equity and $100,000 in convertible notes from Techstars for joining the accelerator. Now, BubbleIQ’s leader is preparing his business for the program start, which begins Monday.

Fletcher Richman, CEO and co-founder for BubbleIQ, spoke to BizWest about what his startup does, how he’s financed the company and why they joined Techstars.

Tell me a little bit about BubbleIQ.

We integrate Slack [an inter-office communication tool for companies of all sizes] with the helpdesk and ticketing system, Zendesk. Zendesk is a back-end system for large enterprise companies to manage customer support and IT tickets. So for example, if you email Netflix support, they use Zendesk to create a ticket on the back end, and support agents use Zendesk to support your message. We took those two tools and made them work seamlessly. You can create a Zendesk ticket from a Slack message, send a ticket to a Slack channel. You can have an engineer respond from Slack to Zendesk.

The key value-add for a company is the added collaboration. In these large enterprise companies, Zendesk is used by one or two departments, usually IT and customer support. They use it every single day. But because cloud services are taking over the world, every company and every department in a company is using 20 different cloud apps. Slack is usually the only place where everyone is working together and everyone…