New Tech Founder Spotlight: Trip Terrano, CEO of Ensembl

Each week in the New Tech Newsletter we feature a Spotlight Q&A with founders, angels, New Tech alumni presenters, and other people or companies in our community we believe you’d like to learn about. This week we spoke with Trip Terrano, the CEO of Ensembl!

Trip Terrano            ensembl


What problem is your technology helping to solve?
Ensembl is solving the problem of meetings. We all know the various problems of meetings: how they run, how long they run, how productive, how unproductive, how monopolized they can get, etc…etc…

Ensembl keeps your meetings on point and on time from anywhere.

Ensembl removes much of the administrative minutiae that bogs down facilitators and provides the tools for those looking to run their best meetings ever. Ensembl seeks to turn anyone’s big ideas into focused action steps. 

How does your technology solve that problem better than other options?
Others demand the use of several windows in order to run one meeting…sharing docs, agendas, links, voting polls, files, tasks, minutes, etc. 

Ensembl does it ALL within ONE window.

Others demand downloads and constant updates.

Ensembl requires no downloads and is constantly updated and enhanced automatically so that everyone is using the same version at all times; reducing the confusion which wastes productivity.

Others demand a lengthy registration and pre-meeting preparation before active participation in any online gathering.

Ensembl requires a 5-second registration to fully participate. We even provide an anonymous participant option for those not wanting to create a free account.

Others have no ability to file meetings, minutes, notes, attachments, votes, etc…that all is done manually.

Ensembl files everything together, automatically and in perpetuity, allowing all members of a group or meeting to access everything at the click of a button.

Others demand a time limit on your meetings and will end your meeting whether you have completed your work or not; requiring a new log-in and restart to your session.

Ensembl does not cut off your meeting until you end it. Our automated timers (for agenda items, allocated meeting times and the general tempo of your meeting) will coach facilitators and participants to keep things on-point and on-time, we want your ideas to receive the attention they deserve.  

What’s the most innovative or interesting thing about your technology?

We built Ensembl to be used either in-person, online or both. Whether your team is participating together around the conference room table or remotely from their home offices, Ensembl works the same for all members. And now with our mobile apps, you can participate from anywhere — whether you are waiting for a tow truck on the side of the road, awaiting your connecting flight, or simply soaking your toes in the ocean at the beach!

In addition, Ensembl was designed for ANY group; whether you are the PTA Mom/Dad planning a bake sale, or a fortune 500 CEO planning your quarterly board meeting, or maybe you’re BOTH…Ensembl is built to be as formal or informal as your teams require.

What do you love the most about being a part of the (Northwest) tech community?
I have truly enjoyed the feedback we’ve received; either by beta testers, new users or people with whom I’ve just had a quick chance to share an elevator pitch of the Ensembl concept. I have never been left without a valuable take-away from the NewTech Community. These folks are very forthcoming with their opinions and desires for new tech such as Ensembl. This type of quality feedback has been responsible for the reshaping of a couple of different Ensembl features. For this valuable insight, we have been so grateful! 

Is there any funny story or specific moment that made you start this company?
My co-founder and friend, Michael Gifford-Santos, and I met in Hawaii serving on a nonprofit board. We became fast friends and also co-founded Dodecki (a food ordering app that was WAY ahead of its time…especially in Hawaii). Although we closed Dodecki, we had a great time working and learning to create a new tech business together. When I followed him back to the mainland and back to Seattle, we were sitting in his car and discussing potential consulting gigs, he asked: “What did you MOST get hired to do as a consultant?” And as I was describing my answer of how my delivery of both the art & science of meeting facilitation, group work and organizational management, had produced my most valuable word-of-mouth business relationships, we just stopped and looked at each other and immediately agreed that we would digitize my career for others to access. We dreamt of the ways in which we would “app-ify” this knowledge so that anyone could experience a truly effective meeting process. We knew at that moment, as we sipped coffee in the car behind a Starbucks, that this was our new project. The combination of caffeine, reminiscence of past successes and a desire to continue a great working relationship, had birthed the concept of Ensembl.

To learn more about Ensembl, visit

Reach out if you’d like to recommend a startup, founder, angel, accelerator, or New Tech alumni presenter for us to spotlight for the PNW tech community!

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