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Founders

Company

Switchback

300 N 5th
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Mike Monan and Stephen Colson

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
Ann Arbor SPARK Entrepreneur Boot Camp, Drupal Group Ann Arbor

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Our first customer was MichBio (MichBio.org). When MichBio had begun to look for companies to develop a new Content Management System for them, they saw one of our press releases announcing the formation of Switchback and Mike's involvement -- Mike had a prior working relationship with some of the people who worked with and at MichBio, so we struck up a conversation and developed a great working relationship.

Where did you find your first employee?
Our first employee, and indeed our first few employees, came via an existing personal relationship.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Every single intern we have ever had has become an employee, but we've only had one intern. We are certainly open to doing internships that could convert in to regular employment in the future.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Switchback has never reached out to any lending institution or person for seed capital. We are 100% self-financed. At this time we aren't seeking any outside financing from an angel or a VC firm as there really isn't any need. We aren't opposed to the idea down the road if a new business relationship makes sense.

As entrepreneurs, if your child ever wanted to start a business would you encourage them or nudge them toward a safer choice, like becoming a doctor or lawyer?
Absolutely. This is the way of the future. Careers are becoming more self-directed, not just latching onto a larger firm or becoming another cog in the wheel. The successes you have are only limited by what you want to do and how much effort you want to put into it.

Blackberry, Android or iPhone? Why?
(Both carry iPhone4s and Mike used to work for Apple)
You can trust the applications much more than the ones for Android or Palm or other systems. It's very well thought out, put together and it integrates very well with the rest of my IT setup.

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