Daniel McBrayer has founded four companies in a college town that’s more famous for bulldogs and indie bands than it is for small businesses. Because of his success, it’s no surprise that he was recently awarded the Founder of the Year by Four Athens, a local incubator space. We recently chatted with Daniel to get the inside scoop on how he’s made a name for himself in Athens, GA.
What’s your current role?
Depends on the individual project. In the startup world it’s pretty easy to hand out titles, but none of them really mean that much. You just do what needs to be done on any given day. So for Rivalry! I’m CEO, for Hiker Meals I’m the Chief Trailblazer, for Tree Fort I’m just a founder and member, and for Ichor I’m the General Counsel. What does that mean? Sometimes it’s legal, sometimes its sales, or finance, or even programming. In general, I focus on strategy and business development work for each of these things.
What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
Rivalry! (Founder) – A one touch communication app for sports fans that makes it easier to root for your favorite team.
Hiker Meals (Founder) – A hassle-free way to order backpacking food for shorter trips.
Ichor – A wearable fitness device that provides medical grade vital sign data for high level athletes.
The Tree Fort (Founder) – A student incubator program that we put together for students at UGA who want to start a business.
What tech/tools are essential to you?
Slack– Slack is an unbelievably useful communication tool for teams. It’s free, it integrates with almost every other service that you might be using, and it works like a charm.
Mailchimp– I’m honestly not sure what people did for email marketing before Mailchimp. It lets you keep track of mailing lists and gives you a bunch of metrics for email campaigns. It also makes actually putting the emails together a breeze.
Coffee- It’s a personal goal of mine to facilitate as many business deals as I can over either a cup of coffee or a plate of BBQ.
How do you stay informed & on top of emerging trends?
Reading Hacker News and TechCrunch. Also, cultivating a good network of other folks in the startup world who can let me know what’s going on if I happen to miss something.
Why the interest in startups?
I like the startup world because I like the people who work in it. Very few become rich and famous. Most are obscure, and they spend their days just trying to make something that other people want to use. It is amazing to work every day with those people, and I couldn’t ask for a better job.