27-year-old Amos Winbush III, founded NYC based CyberSynchs when he lost thousands of files because his smart phone crashed. When Amos realized that a solution didn’t exist, he set out to build a universal wireless solution that allowed users to back up, manage, and retrieve their mobile content. Amos has since grown the company from a small business operating out of his studio apartment to a disruptive technology valued at $20 mill.
Amos has won several entrepreneurship awards, including Inc. Magazine’s 30 “Under 30 America’s Coolest Young Entrepreneurs,” Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Most Brilliant Companies of 2010,” and Black Enterprise Magazine’s “2010 Innovator of the Year.”
What is your elevator pitch?
CyberSynchs is a Universal Data Synchronization (UDS) company that offers $2.99 per month subscription-based wireless applications that enable consumers to automatically synchronize, backup, share, transfer and retrieve mobile device content as well as other consumer electronic device data.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
In 2008, I was pursuing a career as a musician. I was coming back from a recording session, when I noticed my first generation iPhone was completely black and wouldn’t turn on. When I realized that no solution existed, I set out to design and build a universal wireless solution that allows users to back up, manage and retrieve their mobile content.
Why did you decide to start a business?
I didn’t have a backup of any of my phone data. From this incident, I saw a simple case of problem and solution. I set about starting a company that could back up an individual’s data on any device, even though I did not have a technical or engineering background. I knew there was a need for my company’s services and that I had the personal drive and ambition to make it happen, despite the many obstacles.
What were the first steps you took to start your venture?
In June 2008 I personally invested $100,000 to get the operation up and running from my studio apartment. While I possessed no prior entrepreneurial experience, I quickly learned a key tenet to launching and running a successful business: finding and hiring the best people to manage various functions and operations. I had a chief technology officer in place by August to begin developing and implementing what is now our system.
By November, we had hired a core number of talented, though suddenly out-of-work technicians, quickly forming our in-house application development team. Soon thereafter, an outside investor acquired 5 percent of CyberSynchs with a $500,000 investment.
How did you find your first customers?
We gained our first customers by reaching out to our local newspaper — The Shreveport Times. CyberSynchs launched on November 10th and within the first 2 weeks we had 13,000 subscribers.
How do you continue to find customers and grow?
My networking efforts netted our company’s partnership with Sun, a technological and business coup, as this gave us the ability to develop applications on JAVAFX and access the Sun Cloud. Because Sun distributes CyberSynchs within JAVAFX, the agreement swiftly and exponentially expanded our technology’s market penetration.
Our company’s expanded reach from a strictly mobile-centric to a universal data synchronization company in 2010 was one rung in our step-by-step growth plan, which also includes the licensing of our product to major corporations for integration into their devices. Most recently, we have developed a new Parental Mode setting that allows parents to closely monitor inappropriate or potentially harmful language on the child’s mobile device.
What was the biggest challenge in starting your business and growing your business?
I started the company during a challenging business environment, right in the midst of the recession in 2008. Founded using only my own savings, I assembled a team that helped build the company into a game-changing firm that lets customers use and own their data in completely new ways. Through perseverance and a commitment to the need for the service, I was able to build the business to where it is today.
I overcame these challenges and achieved success by making several key decisions; I hired the right experts to help me, including a CFO when the company only existed for six months, which is unheard of for startup companies. I also established a working environment where individuals could be comfortable expressing their opinion. Through open dialogue and group thinking, we have been able to expand CyberSynchs into a leader in data synchronization. Finally, my decision to focus on emerging markets and business-to-business helped me gain massive numbers of customers.
What do you think are the essential elements to successfully growing a customer base for an innovative product?
I would say allowing the customer to have some control and providing them with great customer service. We value our customers and their feedback, and use their input to help develop products that best support their needs. At CyberSynchs we provide real-time, one-on-one customer support for users. We allow users to own their data in a brand new way. The innovative service allows data to cross platforms and operating systems with ease, releasing it from only one device. The company was founded in order to meet the need of providing a cost-effective method to safeguard personal electronic data through a universal and secure back-up solution. We give control of personal data back to consumers with maximum accessibility, manageability, and control.