Our Alumni - 2014
Loop is a connected personal display for the home. It organizes your personal media and lets you invite friends and family in a way that is effortless and fun.
Loop creates channels out of your photos and videos and lets you subscribe to community generated content.
“We had a prototype, no money, and two and a half people” is how Brian Gannon sums up the start of California Labs, makers of Loop.
Similarly, he minces few words about the Highway1 experience, which he calls “transformative — it put my life and career on a different trajectory.”
Just being a part of the program, he says, gave his company a kind of social proof that was invaluable for bringing in top-tier talent. “You get the cred of ten companies rather than one.”
Gannon explains. “It’s one thing to say ‘Hi, I’m a stupid small startup with very little money and I’d like you to do some work for equity or a deal.’ It’s a completely different thing to say ‘Hi, I’m a part of Highway1; we’re in this incubator program with a fixed timeline, a budget, and amazing people — come on in and I’ll show you what we’re all about.’ It’s almost like crowdfunding, the effect you get. I was able to bring in great people and do good work with them, and ultimately those people turned into candidates for hiring.”
There were also more concrete resources: the lab, prototyping tools, electrical and mechanical engineering help. “It like having your own extended team multiplexed through other people. In order to move the ball forward you need five or six skillsets; you might have two on your team, and the other three or four are sourced within Highway1.”
The overall arc of the program helped, too, he says, “the pressure of Demo Day combined with the resources of Highway1 to guide you and help you hit that milestone which will advance your company and make it more fundable.”
The local network effect is something he stresses for foreign teams, too: “You walk into Silicon Valley and it’s like: who are you? No one has any idea who you are. All of a sudden, if you’re a Highway1 company, you immediately have social proof, and within four months, you’re gonna meet a kernel of contacts that it’s up to you to expand: one person will turn into three or four people, then those people are gonna network into other things. That kernel of people you meet at Highway1 is really important.”
“You walk out four months later with a launch at Demo Day: your company has a more involved product, probably a more evolved team, and definitely a more evolved pitch. It really primes you up to go and raise money. ”
Brain Gannon, Founder & CEO - Loop