Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 3

4/25/12

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Telegraph Journal - Business - Technology :: Monctons innovative builder


You are signed in as Trevor MacAusland | Sign out | SEARCH Enter Keyword

TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL: HOME | PROVINCE | BUSINESS | OPINION | NATIONAL | INTERNATIONAL | SPORTS | MAGAZINE | ESCAPADE | SALON GREATER SAINT JOHN | MONCTON TIMES & TRANSCRIPT | FREDERICTON DAILY GLEANER | KINGS COUNTY RECORD | WOODSTOCK BUGLE-OBSERVER GRAND FALLS VICTORIA STAR | CAMPBELLTON TRIBUNE | BATHURST NORTHERN LIGHT | MIRAMICHI LEADER | L'ETOILE | LE MADAWASKA

BUSINESS
Submit a letter to the editor Print

MOST POPULAR ARTICLES

0 Comments

Monctons innovative builder 4Front to look at next steps Opposition Liberals concerned over N.B. role in ship contract Plastic surface extends season Software helps cure phobias

Moncton's Don Martell founded Flowtown, a firm that benefitted from his initiative and the tech setting in California. Photo: Postmedia News

TECHNOLOGY

MONCTONS INNOVATIVE BUILDER


RUSS MARTIN POSTMEDIA NEWS
22 APR 2012 05:13PM

SAN FRANCISCO There are 19 laptops open at Ritual Roasters, a coffee shop on the outskirts of San Franciscos Mission District. Twelve are identical silver MacBooks. Only five are PCs. Its pouring rain and the line is out the door when Dan Martell walks in. Back in September 2008 you might have found Martell at this very coffee shop, sitting on one of the couches in the back. Hed have been easy to spot: The one in a suit and tie. Martell didnt know any better. Hed just arrived on a flight from Moncton, New Brunswick with little more than his mountain bike and some clothes. He hadnt yet learned the culture of the Bay Area or its lax dress code. In Moncton, Martell was a huge success: He sold his first company, a computer consulting firm called Spheric Technologies, to Function1 in 2008. At 28 he tried to semi-retire to a cottage with his wakeboard and his boat. That didnt last long. Summer ended and as his friends returned to school and work, Martell formed a plan.
www.telegraphjournal.com/tjonline/business/10048382-262/bridge-company-didn-francisco.html.csp 1/3

4/25/12

Telegraph Journal - Business - Technology :: Monctons innovative builder

That fall he left for San Francisco, ready to test his ideas in North Americas biggest tech centre. Like many of the 350,000 Canadians expatriates who live in the Bay Area, Martell wanted to live in the tech bubble. If youre a movie actor you go to Hollywood, if youre in finance you go to New York, says Martell. I wanted to know if any of my ideas would hold water in this city because it definitely has some of the smartest, no-messing-around type of people in the tech space. By 2009 Martell had co-founded another company, a social media firm called Flowtown that created apps like Timely, which helps businesses schedule tweets for maximum impact. Flowtown quickly gained traction and investment. In September 2010 it received $750,000 in seed funding from a group of angel investors. Little over a year later Martell posted a picture of a flute of bubbling champagne on his blog. The celebration? Flowtown was acquired. My last company,Spheric, because I never raised money, was lower profile, Martell says. This one was definitely Silicon Valley: Come down here, build a product, raise money, get acquired or go public. And the chances of doing that are really small. Martell calls last October the best month of his life. In a sector where most startups fail, hed beaten the odds (again). Even better, the deal came on the heels of another pact hed made. A few weeks earlier, hed gotten engaged to his girlfriend, Renne, a former Torontonian who works for a San Francisco-based startup called Onboardly. Martell has yet to make the move to Silicon Valley permanent. People ask me if Im going to get a green card and it really p----me off, Martell says. I dont want to be American. I didnt come here to be American. Instead, Martell says he intended to learn from working in the valley and then bring the knowledge home. I came here to learn and build a great company and be around some of the smartest people in the world, Martell says. I didnt come here because I didnt think I could find that in Canada, I just wanted to learn fast. After finishing his coffee at Ritual Roasters, Martell heads to a lunch meeting with two young Canadian tech entrepreneurs. Twice a week he meets with Canadians who are fresh to the valley. He gives them business advice and introduces them to other entrepreneurs and potential partners and investors. I guess Ive just been that Canadian living in the middle of nowhere with no idea what the hell Im doing, Martell says when asked why he takes these meetings. Some in Moncton felt Martell turned his back on the local tech community when he left for greener pastures. My rebuttal was, `Im going there to build a bridge, Martell says. Four years in, that bridge is inching closer to completion. On Jan. 5 Martell unveiled his latest company, Clarity.fm, at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton. The yet-to-launch service will connect successful tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists with startups seeking advice via a web app. The company will be based in Moncton. The product and design
www.telegraphjournal.com/tjonline/business/10048382-262/bridge-company-didn-francisco.html.csp 2/3

4/25/12

Telegraph Journal - Business - Technology :: Monctons innovative builder

teams will be housed in San Francisco, engineering in New Brunswick. Martell says he plans to split his time between his two homes.
Brunswick News encourages rich and vigorous debate from its customers and reserves the right to contact commenters to solicit further dialogue.
CLICK HERE TO POST A COMMENT

0 Comments
BACK TO TOP

Telegraph Journal
Home Greater Saint John - Saint John Opinion - Saint John Sports International National Province Opinion Sports Business Escapade Magazine Salon

Daily Gleaner
City Fredericton Opinion Fredericton Sports

English weeklies
Kings County Record Woodstock BugleObserver Grand Falls Victoria Star Campbellton Tribune Bathurst Northern Light Miramichi Leader

Account
Manage My Account

Advertise
Marketing Solutions Classified Advertising CareerBeacon Obituaries

Contacts
Contact Us FAQ Careers at BNI Readership Panel

Tools
Mobile Edition Hot Tips Letters to the Editor Site Search Web Local

Times & Transcript


City Moncton Opinion Moncton Sports

About
History Terms of Use Privacy Policy Copyright Policy User Generated Content Website

French weeklies
L'Etoile Le Madawaska

www.telegraphjournal.com/tjonline/business/10048382-262/bridge-company-didn-francisco.html.csp

3/3