Founder Profile: Charles Armstrong, Founder & CEO of TourWrist3 min read

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Charles Armstrong, Founder & CEO of TourWrist

Name:
Charles Armstrong

Member Cohort:
April Cohort ’12

Location:
San Francisco, CA

Education:
BFA, Graphic Design, Maryland Institute College of Art, magna cum laude with honors

Prior Experience:

  • Co-founded SPARK, an ad agency based in Florida
  • Extensive knowledge in advanced imaging technology
  • Experience with human technology, user experience design and community motive alignment.
  • Specialization in mobile and online marketing, virtual tours, and iOS app
  • Winner of 2012 MacWorld Best of Show, 2012 DEMO God award, and 2012 DEMO People’s Choice Award

Current Startup:
TourWrist®: a location–sharing and marketing platform that delivers a powerful new take on virtual tours. On mobile devices, this means converting each phone or tablet into a movable window, allowing users to “look around” in distant environments. Watch this six-minute DEMO for Charles’ own take on TourWrist and what the future holds for remote travel.

Mission:
To change the way both business and mainstream users create, search for, view, share, and profit from panoramic imagery by “teleporting” consumers from one location to another.

Milestones:

  • Approaching 1 million downloads before implementing marketing strategies
  • Partnered with RE/MAX
  • Recognized and featured by Apple countless times
  • Filing an average of 1 patent application each month (planar acceleration control, magnetic interference moderation, hotspot business methods, and more)
  • Recently announced full Facebook integration coming soon
  • Awarded numerous rankings within the iTunes App Store , including:
    – #6 most popular travel app
    – #9 most popular entertainment app
  • – What’s Hot, New & Noteworthy, and Staff Favorites
Current Focus:
Wholly focused on bringing the tour experience to Android users

Lessons Learned:
“Those who set their sights on acquiring Venture Capital (VC) funding as a company objective from the beginning are doing themselves a grave disservice. We were fortunate to learn this lesson before it was too late, but we see it time and time again. So many spend all of their time trying to present themselves as a good little, VC–aligned start-up in order to acquire funding when the reality is that you can be very profitable all on your own and still not impress many VC firms.  If that’s where your company’s sights are set, you should change them and focus on building your business the old–fashioned way. We came out to CA in August to acquire VC funding and in January, we changed our thinking and decided to do it ourselves. Build a good old fashioned business that makes people money. As long as you have the right team behind you, then you can be successful.”

Staying Motivated:
“It’s in my personality to be relentlessly motivated: a character trait that most entrepreneurs have and must feed from in order to be successful. I believe entrepreneurs are distracted easily, always seeking ways to keep their minds busy. This is where the beauty of starting your own business comes in handy. It’s great because there’s never a lack of things to do. I generally wake up an hour or two before my alarm because my mind can’t help but start working on the issues set in front of me for the day. If I do find myself momentarily discouraged, I may go running or see a movie to clear my mind, but building a business generally keeps me too busy to lack motivation for more than a few hours.”

Biggest Mentor:
“I have a few that I really rely on heavily. Among them, we have a business advisor who helps us with our relationships in Asia. His advice is always extremely helpful. We also have another advisor who has been vital in growing one of the world’s most successful mobile gaming companies. In the latter case, this man is helping us with how to better engage our users. The collective wisdom from our advisors is helping us reach a much larger audience while keeping them more engaged.”

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Comments 2

  1. I agree with Kevin. That is a great lesson learned and reminds me of another post on when to focus on profit http://fndrs.net/HQrlh7. If you are profitable from an early age you might not need VC funding from the start or even at all.

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