Hard work paid off for two former Gators.
The Tampa Bay chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs recently agreed to pay Feathr, a smartphone app, $150,000 in four quarterly installments for 20 percent equity in the company, according to a press release.
Former UF students Aidan Augustin and Neal Ormsbee, both 22, founded Feathr, which allows users to swap networking information in real time during conferences. Kunal Jain, president of TiE Tampa Bay, said he recognized the business opportunity when he heard it. It would cost him and three other TiE investors $150,000.
The investment is the first business venture of TiE’s debut in Florida, Jain said.
“When I met [Augustin], I found him to be very energetic,” he said. “I quickly realized he had a fire in his belly.”
Augustin said he and Ormsbee dropped out of UF in 2012 during their senior year to take the startup company to the next level.
“Switching from the classic college lifestyle into now working 60 to 80 hours every week is exhausting,” Augustin said. “Neal and I had never worked that hard on anything in our lives.”
The investors helped Feathr advertise the app to conference organizers rather than individuals. By downloading the smartphone app provided by conferences, attendees will have the ability to customize their individual profiles, bookmark their favorite contacts and connect with speakers via social media.
Conference managers will have control to update scheduling and room assignments instantly, according to the app’s website.
Augustin said the money was necessary to continue to move forward and develop the app.
“For the first time, we are truly held accountable to people other than ourselves,” he said. “The investors are pushing us to deliver, and that is great.”