Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion
- A visionary and respected authority in the entrepreneurial community, Kevin Koym has a proven track record of invigorating entrepreneurs and inspiring them to create positive change in their communities. Results-driven, Koym has successfully launched startups in three countries — the U.S., Mexico and Chile — and is currently CEO and founding partner of the technology startup incubator Tech Ranch Austin.
- [Photo by René Lego Photography]
- WHAT MAKES YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
- The reason I'm so passionate about entrepreneurship is that entrepreneurs truly change the world. Scientists come up with ideas, engineers build those ideas, but only entrepreneurs make them possible. When we support our entrepreneurs, we can create more innovations in the world. We can actually introduce more solutions to the world.
- TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE...
- I've built five different companies, from zero to a half million dollars or a million dollars. Two of them I actually took to $1 million. I'm an early stage guy.
- From the time that I actually worked at NeXT early in my career, the teams that I was always involved with were the early teams who get things off the ground when the technology maybe is still bleeding edge, not just leading edge, but perhaps bleeding edge.
- A lot of the skills that I've brought to the table are, in the sales role, closing the first three sales, and in the technologies role, actually being able to build the team that gets the first version of the technology off the ground.
- I am not the long-term VP of engineering. I don't like to manage large engineering teams, and I'm not the VP of sales who's going to manage a large sales team. But in those first, early-adopter sales, we have to figure out how to put the product together plus the sales process together. That's typically what I've done across my career.
- WHAT IS TECH RANCH AUSTIN?
- The Tech Ranch is a type of incubator -- we're not the traditional type of incubator, and we're not the traditional notion of what an accelerator is. Our focus is to support the entrepreneur. I started the Tech Ranch mainly because I saw, as an early stage entrepreneur here in Austin, it is actually fairly difficult to get a startup off the ground.
- We're a type of accelerator, a type of incubator for supporting early stage entrepreneurs. Typically, we'll engage with them before anyone else in town will even think about engaging with the entrepreneur. And it's because of that focus on the entrepreneur that I believe we've been successful.
- WHAT IS IT ABOUT AUSTIN FOR YOU?
- I've lived in Boston, Chicago, Guadalajara, Mexico, the Bay Area, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Santiago de Chile. The reason I came and keep on coming back to Austin during my career is because Austin has a unique character that I really enjoy.
- I think we have a certain style that makes it possible to launch startups more effectively than other places. I just love the lifestyle. And I've lived in the Bay Area. I've lived in Boston. I kind of have a true sense of what those places are like, but I keep on coming back to Austin. It's because of our unique character and our lifestyle.
- WHAT'S YOUR VIEW OF THE FUTURE OF ENTREPRENEURISM?
- I think we're going to see more than just one entrepreneurial center of the earth. Right now obviously it's Silicon Valley. We also see Tel Aviv emerging. We see Beijing emerging. Because the world is getting more connected, places in the world that know how to work with other places in the world end up being much more effective.
- I think we're going to see the death of geographical distance because of the way the Internet connects people. Because you and I are connected, the places in the world that have the lifestyle, that support those kind of connections to other places in the world, actually I think are going to be the places to live and the places to actually hang your hat, to do work from. That's why I'll be in Austin.