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This Guy is Bringing the Startup Fever to Athens

by Carey Tucker

Put simply, Jordan Burke is a busy guy. Not only does he support women’s groups and organize hackathons, but his photo also tells us that he’s secretly Burt Macklin FBI. It’s no wonder that he was just recognized by Four Athens as the Volunteer of the Year.

What are your current roles?
I’m currently co-founder and CTO of Vitamin C, as well as co-founder and developer for Rivalry! I also co-organize the Developers of Athens meetup, I’m a mentor for the Athens Women in Tech community, a coach for Rails Girls Athens, and an instructor in the burgeoning Four Athens technology education program.

What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
I spend most of my time working on my day job, managing the development team for Vitamin C. We have a remote developer as well as an in-town team, and I work with James Vaughan, our lead developer, and my co-founder and CMedO/CProdO Osama Hashmi to make sure we’re on track to hit our milestones. Vitamin C is, at its core, a healthcare communications platform. Initially, we taking in self-reported data from patients through SMS text messages and running it through our Clinical Rules Engine, which allows healthcare providers to outline boundaries for the specific data points, and notifies the providers if an intervention is needed, hopefully before it becomes too serious.

I’m also the lead Android developer for Rivalry!, and spend a lot of time working with some of the other startups in Four Athens, as we all like to bounce ideas off of one another.

What tech/tools are essential to you?
Slack is probably the most essential tool I use. As long as I can access the Internet somehow, I can write the code I need to, but Slack helps me communicate with the different teams I’m working with, especially since they’re all distributed – whether across Athens like Rivalry, or across the South East like Vitamin C.

Why the interest in startups?
I’m actually not a huge fan of the traditional startup scene. There are, of course, always earnest people who work really, really hard and want to change the world, but I don’t like the shiny that seems to catch the eyes of so many people. That’s one of the things I love about the startup scene in Athens – you can’t survive as a startup that only exists to feed the tech/VC bubble. Of course, that will change as we grow, and flash in the pan startups are very good at bringing press into communities that might not otherwise get it, but the startups here, now, are focused on solving problems and building sustainable businesses. It’s that act of taking an idea from conception to sustainability and improving the economic growth and stability of a town I’ve come to love that gets me really excited.

How have you utilized the Athens startup culture to build your business?
I got involved with Four Athens through the Developers of Athens meetup (initially called the Greater Athens Area Software Developer meetup – we shortened it), which is actually where I met Osama and we started working on Vitamin C together. Once we got an office in the space, I started getting more involved, because if there’s one thing that’s not in short supply at Four Athens, it’s potential.

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