Over the past three months, I’ve been asked by investors, judging panels, our supporters, and news media about our team. Its one of my favorite questions, partly because I have so much faith in and love for our team. The main reason though is that there are a lot of great things to be said.
As we gear up for our launch this Thursday, I thought I’d take a moment to give you some insight into who we are and give some credit to our team- we’ve shunned the concept of “weekends” for going on three months, have deprived ourselves of sleep and even family time, and generally put everything we have into making a product that we’re all very proud of.
So, without further adieu, allow me to introduce you to Team TripLingo:
Ross jokes that he’s the “adult supervision” for TripLingo. A 20-year tech veteran, he’s been around the block a few times. He founded Media Ocean in 1999, which has the distinction of being the first company to sell a TV advertisement from start to finish in an entirely digital manner.
Ross raised and delivered a return on over $16M in Venture Capital, and he loves gin, his awesome wife Jenny, and their son Will, and not necessarily in that order. A geek of the first order, Ross’s knowledge spans tech, business, and Firefly episodes.
Pratik is a nationally recognized software architect and hacker. He speaks at conferences, writes books and articles on technology and hacks code. Pratik holds a master’s from UNC in biomedical engineering and is a Tarheel zealot. He’s lived and worked in New York, London, Singapore, and Hong Kong among other major cities.
An avid hardware and software hacker, he enjoys creating and inventing. He kicks ass and doesn’t take names- he wrote an app for that part. Pratik is obsessed with productivity and efficiency when working, but is laid back when hanging out with friends & family. He enjoys playing and watching sports, listening to music, and grilling some BBQ on a nice day.
WhoisVince you ask? Vince is the smooth-talking “get sh## done” insomniac that will “die on a hill” championing the user experience. A former medal-earning Navy crewman, Vince is fond of Monopoly, his lovely wife Crystal, and their “child” Bailey (who is also our team mascot and my girlfriend- see below).
Vince is chock full of insights into how users behave, and whether you notice it or not, Vince exerts a form of mind control on the user through his layouts and the functionality of our app. If you’re at a bar with him, see if you can get a discount by buying him only half of a beer, because that’s all he ever drinks.
Despite his Cincinnati roots and his prominent goatee, James is actually a really nice guy- probably the nicest of all of us. Whenever I describe him to others, I simply say that his work speaks for itself. The man is a design genius- his deep sense of empathy, the passion he has for his work, and his acute aesthetic sense shine through in all the design-y glory of our app, website, and materials.
When not driving certain members of our team around town while they are in the back of his truck, James is fond of checking out the work of fellow artists, exploring Atlanta, and working on some of his very cool side projects (like making a beautiful neighbourhood map of Atlanta). Single and ready to mingle, James is one of Atlanta’s most eligible bachelors, and likes brunettes and obviously-crazy blondes.
To be the only woman on Team TripLingo, you’ve got to have cojones. Katie puts up with our antics with a smile, keeps us honest, and generally lifts the mood with her cheeriness. She’s fond of early morning meetings, lunch dates, and working her marketing magic.
The only people that like Katie more than us is Starbucks. She is all about her dream of being involved in startups, changing the world, and simply rocking out! A travel lover like the rest of us, she’s conversational in Russian, Spanish, and marketing.
Our resident student-preneur, Dan hails from Venezuela and spends most of his time holed up in corners of the Georgia Tech campus working on school projects until the wee hours of the morning. He literally had to sign a waiver swearing he wouldn’t commit suicide in order to undertake his current course load.
A speaker of Spanish, Hebrew, French, and of course English, Dan’s youthful enthusiasm and ridiculous work ethic make him a cherished, if elusive, member of our team, though he’s looking forward to coming on full-time during the summer.
The most adored member of our team, Bailey’s enthusiasm and unconditional love are cherished assets. While she can be a bit demanding in relation to her desire to take walks outside, Team TripLingo is more than happy to take turns and accommodate her.
She is fond of belly-rubs, Stella Artois, getting dressed up, running around frantically looking for a little love, and dog food. Her acute sense of direction means that she gets a little giddy when pulling into our HQ parking lot, but that’s only appropriate given our own giddiness to get some Bailey time.
thumbnail photo credit: arkasen