Whether he's working from his start-up company's digs in Lake Tahoe or the loft in San Francisco, it's just another day in the office for young entrepreneur Marc Guldimann (DC'01).
Guldimann and his colleagues are the founders of Spongecell, a firm specializing in calendar technology established in 2005. Spongecell aims to be be the best way to communicate about events online.
It offers attendees tools to easily move email and web-based event information to other media, like calendars and Facebook, increasing the probability they will attend.
"Giving fans an easy way to remember events and tell their friends about them is crucial to increasing attendance" said Guldimann. Spongecell then provides promoters with tools to track and tailor their marketing based on event-goers' online behavior.
Guldimann's entrepreneurial bent started early, when he founded a web-consulting venture while still in high school.
"I've always loved small companies — and the idea that what you do today affects the company tomorrow," said Guldimann.
He says his strong interest in getting in on the Internet's ground floor brought him to Carnegie Mellon, a cutting-edge participant. He chose Social and Decision Sciences for its interdisciplinary focus, which he felt would best position him for success.
In a way, Guldimann never left Carnegie Mellon. Four of the company's five founders are graduates, and Spongecell continues to hire Carnegie Mellon talent — at this point half of the company's 16 employees.
"There's no question that we could not have done this if we weren't from Carnegie Mellon," explained Guldimann. "You don't have the caliber of people anywhere else in the world in terms of cross-disciplinary expertise."
Spongecell fosters the pioneering attitude of its employees. The company maintains its unique workspaces to attract and retain the best and brightest, yet it manages to maximize productivity.
"We want to provide an environment that is stimulating and flexible. By giving people difficult problems to solve, the tools to solve them and the space to do it, we can keep them interested and excited to work at Spongecell."
Guldimann has one key piece of advice for students who want to follow in his entrepreneurial footsteps.
"The most important thing is passion for your work. For a startup to succeed you need many advantages, people who love what they do is tough to beat."