Flyover Geeks: Smartphone software maker gains traction

John Braun is a happy man these days. As president of Chicago-based TIP Solutions Inc., he has not only raised $650,000 in funding but also has been winning Chicago entrepreneurial competitions.

“last month we won ‘best in show’ at the BNC Tech Pitch competition and ‘best in show’ at the BNC Medical Pitch competition,” he says. “Then we were the winner of the Funding Feeding Frenzy ‘Shark Cage’ best-of-show award. It has been a busy month.”

Mr. Braun says TIP Solutions’ overall mission is “to change the way the world answers a phone call.”

“the ‘TIP’ in TIP Solutions means ‘Talk in Private,’ ” he explains, “and right now we have developed a suite of features we are very excited about. the first is called VIC, or ‘very Important Contact’ ”

VIC is a downloadable app for Android based phones and is a call blocker that can block phone calls, texts and e-mails permanently or for a set length of time.

Mr. Braun explained that VIC isn’t available for the iPhone because Apple’s architecture for the phone makes it impossible to implement. “Apple has made it impossible to do what we are doing with Android and one of many reasons we like the Android operating system,” he says.

“if you know you are going to be locked in a meeting all day and don’t want to be distracted, VIC gives you the silence you need.” VIC can be configured for groups and categories and syncs with your calendar. if you are heading into a meeting, VIC recognizes that from your calendar and lets you work without being distracted.”

Mr. Braun and his team did a survey of 1,200 smartphone users to develop their product. Two more features are going to be announced soon.

TIP is currently a 25-person team and is looking to raise another $2 million in a second financing round. “Based on our current success, we are confident of finding the right venture partner soon,” he says.


Flyover Geeks: Smartphone software maker gains traction

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