Occipital is proud to be a TechStars company. Beyond spending 3 great months doing more faster in 2008, we continue to benefit as active members of the Techstars family. We keep close ties with the program, especially those in the Boulder program. That’s where we first met Danny, and well, we’ll let him tell you the rest of the story:
A year ago I was bored. I was at a gigantic company, too big for its own good. My job title said Software Engineer, yet I was averaging about one line of code per meeting I was attending. That lack of productivity was slowly sucking the life out of me. My only coding joy came on nights and weekends when I was able to tinker with the apps or websites I had built to teach myself some new things. It was time to search for something more exciting.
However, beyond looking for excitement, I had no direction. Something fast paced, a place where I could help create and innovate, but where? Startups seemed meet those criteria, but as a complete outsider to that world, where would I begin? How would I know if a company was right for me?
I’d been following TechStars for years and it seemed like a holy grail for tech startups, but without a company or even a cofounder, it didn’t look like I’d have the pleasure of learning about building a company from some of the greatest mentors in the world anytime soon.
That’s when I discovered Hackstars, a back door into the TechStars program. As a Hackstar, I’d get to go through the TechStars program as a mercenary developer, helping out the companies wherever I could for the duration of the 3 month program. I’d also be meeting and learning from some of the greatest entrepreneurs around, just like everyone else in Techstars. The skies opened, light rained down on my keyboard, and I started my application. After a few weeks (and some incessant emailing) I met with Nicole Glaros and secured my spot as a Hackstar for TechStars Boulder 2011.
The 3 months I spent in TechStars were everything I’d hoped they’d be and more. I was looking for new opportunities and I found them in tremendous, tremendous supply after the program. I went from a complete outsider to having some of the best connections you can have in the Boulder startup community (and beyond). As it came time to find a job I was put in touch with Occipital, a company I saw as one of the great success stories of TechStars. It was soon clear this was the place I could proudly sport my new Hackstar credentials.
Shortly after demo day I started working at Occipital as a mobile engineer. When I had dreamed of something new and exciting a few months earlier, I couldn’t have pictured things working out as well as they did. I owe most of it, if not all, to being a Hackstar. If you’re thinking about applying, do it. You won’t regret it.
We’re happy to have Danny’s mobile development talents on the Occipital team. In addition to cranking out code to support 360 Panorama on Android, Danny is the founding member of the Occipital quadcopter R&D team.