Adam Rice and Daniel Upton met each other as students in the Digital Media Masters of Science program at Georgia Tech. Both of these fellows had degrees in the arts and were in the Georgia Tech program to transform their artistic talent into technological savvy. Daniel had been developing database applications since high school. He chose to develop a social media listening tool to help people meet other people with similar interests based on public posts on social media websites. Instead of following his first calling to "outfit a taco truck with technology and head west... to the beach", Adam recognized the uniqueness of this information aggregation tool and convinced Daniel that they should look for venture capital to fully develop the concept.
Ultimately Adam and Daniel found themselves at Shotput Ventures, an Internet incubator. In Spring of 2009, Shotput Ventures provided seed capital to fund the development of the concept and gave them two to three months to develop a functional prototype. Shotput Ventures provided the legal framework for Looxii (pronounced "look - see") along with business mentoring to fully develop a commercially viable product. And so the coding began! One day during lunch with a mentor, the direction of Looxii took a turn as Adam and Daniel defined commercial viability for Looxii. They figured out that the engine behind their project would be best developed as a social media listening tool to help commercial enterprises monitor "cyber-buzz" about their company.
According to Adam, "Social media is changing the way people live, work and play. It's time for businesses to get serious." Forward thinking companies realize this trend and are creating a presence in social media using blogs and websites like Facebook and Linked-In. Daniel adds, "The challenging aspect of social media is how to make sense of all the chatter out there." Marking departments are spending money on social media but they are hard pressed to explain what, if, and how the expenditures are impacting the brand.
Looxii provides a simple user interface into massive amounts of aggregated social media. It helps marketing professionals digest what is being said about a topic and whether the trends are positive, negative , or neutral. Looxii also helps marketing professionals drill down into the data to identify where meaningful online conversations are happening and who is involved.
Just a few weeks ago, Looxii made its public debut at Startup Riot, a gathering of 50 startup companies and potential investors. Marketing companies have long been involved in distilling public opinion through surveys and focus groups, now with social media and Looxii, it is just a matter of collecting, distilling, and analyzing what people are saying. Looxii is on the front line providing simple tools to make sense of this growing cyber-world talk.
Adam and Daniel credit their success to having a good team - a team with complimentary skills and good chemistry. They also believe in solid academics, tenacity, strong work ethic, passion for what they do, and constant learning. From a product perspective, it's all about simplicity and the user interface. They also agree, its important to know your personal limits and when to take a break.
So what to these guys do when they're not pushing code? Well they are avid Dr Mario video gamers. The've also adopted Leon, a rescue dog, who takes them for a walk when the guys need a break. And you might run into Daniel at a local pub playing with The Orphins, an indie rock band.
So are these two guys the next Larry Page and Sergey Brin? Who's to say? Keep an eye on this startup!
For more information on Looxii visit their website www.looxii.com