Featured Startup Pitch: Red Foundry—A team with deep technology experience brings a powerful and cost-effective mobile apps development platform to market

By Editor June 20, 2011

Red Foundry logo 

Company: Red Foundry
Website: www.redfoundry.com
Founders:  Jim Heising, CEO, and Ron Franczyk, Chief Software Architect, Andrew Newman, CTO
Headquarters: Chicago
Year Founded: 2009
Employees: 14
Investors: I2A Fund and OCA Ventures
Company Description (in 140 characters or less): “Red Foundry is a complete solution for building and managing mobile apps, combining limitless creativity with business agility.”

Jim Heising, RedFoundryBy Jim Heising, co-founder and CEO

Product Overview: Red Foundry is a complete solution for building and managing mobile apps. Our unified platform enables everything from stunning content-based mobile apps to powerful enterprise solutions, while reducing the mobile app development cycle from months to days. We currently support mobile app development on iOS, including iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, and this summer we will release our Android solution for Android phones and tablets.

Founders’ Story: The founders of Red Foundry are Ron Franczyk, Andrew Newman, and me. We worked together over the last decade building the security software firm GIANT, which was acquired by Microsoft and became Windows Defender. Our organizational roots stem from a love for creating mobile apps. Together we designed several chart topping mobile apps, including the humorous Stachetastic and the innovative Pearl Jam mobile app. Discontent to simply be hired guns for mobile app development, we created a comprehensive mobile app system to help businesses big and small quickly create, deploy and monetize mobile apps. The result was RFML, Red Foundry Markup Language, an HTML-like environment in which developers can quickly reuse successfully tested modules of code while still delivering unlimited customization. Thus was born Red Foundry,  a comprehensive mobile app development platform that helps organizations design, build, deliver and monetize apps without compromising the user experience.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy: Our marketing strategy supports three key segments. First, our web with free mobile app development tools allows a wide variety of developers serving the small and medium business segment to develop an app on our platform at no charge. As developers seek more features, such as analytics, content management and push notifications, they upgrade to a modest monthly fee to manage the app. Second, we have a direct sales organization that works with our enterprise clients on a rapid mobile app development program called IGNITE. Our IGNITE program provides our clients a beautiful mobile app with a variety of business functions in less than 10 days, and we train our client to use the platform to create new apps or modify existing apps. Our third program addresses the digital media market through a value added developer network. Developer organizations use our platform to significantly increase time to market and apps created per developer.

How We Differentiate From the Competition: Unlike cookie-cutter solutions, Red Foundry’s development system combines powerful business functions, like in-app purchasing with unlimited creative expression. Mobile app developments that required months are completed in days, allowing developers and organizations to apply greater focus on the user experience. To demonstrate the power of our RFML, Red Foundry recently transformed commodity weather data into a visually stunning experience with WeatherVane, the number five ranked weather mobile app for iPad, and we completed the app in less than a day. In addition, our technology scales to the skills of the developer so that an organization can start with basic functionality and migrate into advanced customization with our RFML technology. Even experienced developers benefit from the reusable and customizable code modules available with our platform.

Business Model: We have two primary revenue streams. Our IGNITE program, mentioned earlier, provides enterprises with an accelerated mobile app development program and comprehensive training for a fraction of the cost of developing a mobile app through an independent design organization. IGNITE engagements range from $11,900 to $17,900 depending on the complexity of the mobile app, but rarely exceed 10 days in development. Our second revenue stream comes from a recurring monthly fee per app built. Our flexible monthly app fee structure ranges from $39 per month per app to $599 per month per app depending on the functionality required of the app.

Current Needs: We need people who are as passionate and excited as us about the impact mobile is having on society. We are currently seeking mobile app developers who not only love developing, but also have an inherent desire to teach others how to develop mobile apps. We are also expanding our online educational program with a variety of short videos to help new clients quickly create mobile apps. We completed our first round of institutional investment for a total of $1M in November 2010 and have expanded the team and our customer engagements. The level of demand for mobile apps is increasing so quickly that we may seek a second round to help accelerate our customer acquisition and product features.

Red Foundry – www.redfoundry.com