Keynote speaker Thom Ruhe, NC IDEA FOUNDATION President & CEO, will share his insight on NC IDEA's strategic funding direction and the state of North Carolina entrepreneurship. The May 1st program will introduce a "new, interactive formate that focuses on prom…
49er Foundry Spotlight: Michael Caba
April 05, 2017 at 8:36 AM
Michael Christian Caba, a New Jersey native, graduated from UNC Charlotte with a degree in Systems Engineering. While a student, Michael was a member of the National Science Foundation I-Corps program, an evidence-based entrepreneurship and customer discovery program open to qualified UNC Charlotte researchers, which led to his position as the Chief Innovation Officer of YouXpert, LLC. Shortly thereafter, he set out to start another startup which attempted to simplify the customization process of online Greek Apparel for Fraternities and Sororities. Determined to continue his entrepreneurial acumen, he joined forces with Miguel Avila as a co-founder of EnCapture Reality located in the 49er Foundry student incubator. EnCapture Reality is a premium real estate marketing and virtual reality company that helps bring listings and venues to life with immersive expressions, giving more than virtual tours. He sat down to answer some questions about his experience as a student innovator with Ventureprise.
Briefly describe your company and your position.
EnCapture Reality is a premium real estate marketing and virtual reality company that helps bring listings and venues to life with immersive expressions, giving more than virtual tours. I play all hats and roles, from sales to web development.
How would you define innovation? And how does your company fit that description?
Innovation is an act of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that users are willing to pay for while simultaneously adapting to changes in your environment in order to deliver better products or services. This is how our startup came to fruition and how our company intends to stay alive.
In what ways did your participation in the 49er Foundry or the Charlotte Ventureprise Launch enhance your time at UNC Charlotte and develop your skills as an entrepreneur?
First and foremost, it taught me the social skills needed to communicate amongst my peers. Ventureprise led me to the work of Steve Blank and opened my eyes to the Customer Discovery Process. Lastly, they taught me how to use the lean startup model and implement it into any startup.
What is the next step for your company?
Closely examine market trends, continue to obsessively study and learn the pains of our customers, focus on speeding up our feedback loop, and most importantly track our progress by using metrics.
What advice would you give fellow students who think they have ideas for a startup company?
Do not build anything or even attempt to startup the company first, instead attempt to get at least 100 users to pre order the product if it costs anything or obtain at least 100 users that are dying to use your app if it is free service. This way you kill two birds with one stone - identify whether or not the idea is worth pursuing and save all the money you would have wasted by building it first.
What excites you the most and the least about what you do?
Experimentation excites me the most because there’s never a dull moment. I’m the least excited about failing –you will fail most, if not all experiments.