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. 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!
This week we spoke with Robby Hamblet, CEO of Teal Communications.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned since you first presented at NTNW?
I would say the most important thing that we have learned since presenting is to deploy new features with agility. That means being flexible about the innovations you do integrate into your product and to be responsive to customer feedback. What we presented at NTNW has been iterated on a few times, and if we were not willing to be pragmatic about what the market wanted, it would have resulted in a less successful product.
Did the pandemic cause your company to change/pivot your business model or strategy?
We raised our Series A during the pandemic and I don’t think we would have been able to do that if we didn’t make adjustments on almost every level to COVID. Something specific is that we saw a lot of potential customers and businesses starting to put more effort into the software development and connectivity side of their projects, so we took advantage of a few opportunities with good companies that were working on that and had longer ramps to ultimately what is the usage of our product.
What is the most innovative way your tech solves the problems of your customers?
I think the most innovative thing we do is to put the connectivity controls directly into our customer’s hands. Unlike a traditional MVNO in this space, we let our customers pick exactly what network they want to be on with our programmable stack. Device makers really like to be in complete control of the networks their devices connect to.
What is something interesting and unexpected that people would be surprised to learn about your company?
Something that you may be surprised to learn about our company is that we are now moving our HQ from Bellevue to Seattle, and I actually gave a NTNW presentation in that exact building a couple years ago (it’s the building with the Thinkspace in it). Small world!