Zach Ferres knows start-up success and has built an incubator to prove it. With modern day unicorn stories of people going from zero to a billion-dollar valuation in 6 months, Ferres is out to prove that with the right idea, dedication, determination, and a solid work ethic, anyone can achieve start-up success especially in the tech industry and the people most likely to do it are not Silicone Valley twenty-somethings camping out fraternity style in someone’s apartment, the average age of the start-up disruptor who creates massive revenue is actually forty-seven.
Ferres was an accidental tech entrepreneur. As a kid, he frequently took apart computers and built his first website at age 12. By the time he was in his teens, he had graduated from friends and family hiring him to fix their computers to doing his first corporate gig for a local restaurant. With a solid four-figure check in his bank account, he seemed poised for tech success until his desire to fit in superseded his desire to continue down the computer path. In Zach’s words, ‘I didn’t want to be that computer geek.’ He eventually did get a computer science degree.
Today, Ferres is helping entrepreneurs take their ideas and make them a reality. His company, Coplex, focuses on developing tech especially for the non-techy. A person can come in with an idea, pay for a multi-day discovery, and see if it is viable. If Ferres, and his team, feel they have a winner then the project progresses. If at any time during the process, either party isn’t feeling solid, they abandon it. The initial goal is to get to revenue in the first 2-3 months, do small batch testing, and then eventually get to funding and a multi-seven figure valuation.
Ferres believes that with the advancements in tech, every company is a tech company. Things like CRM systems, online marketing, and presence, are all essential. Regardless of your business, Ferres maintains that if you are not focused on your tech, you will fall behind.
When asked where he sees tech in the next five years, he recalls his recent visit to Dubai’s version of the Consumer Electronics Show where he saw the beta of a drone operated taxi, something which Uber is already testing. Ferres predicts that driving will be obsolete in the not too distant future.
Be sure to check out Susan’s interview with Zach (Episode 71) on The Susan Sly Project.