Google, IBM employees leave jobs to start PowerVoice in Birmingham

Andrew and Ryan Landau had jobs at high-profile tech companies (Google and IBM) most people would covet. The pair recently gave that up to pursue their own tech dreams through a local startup, PowerVoice.

“We decided to quit our jobs,” says Ryan Landau, co-founder of PowerVoice. “We saw an interesting opportunity in the marketplace.”

The downtown Birmingham-based startup is focused on helping brands leverage social media followings by going after the most influential people talking online that mainstream America hasn’t heard of. The company focuses on the 60-80th percentile of social media personalities, basically the people you know who are really good at social media.

“We try to focus on average people who have 1,000 or so people following them on Facebook or Twitter,” Ryan Landau says.

PowerVoice provides an incentive structure so these people become online advocates for brands and marketing campaigns. “The businesses we have seen work the best so far are large consumer brands,” Andrew Landau says.

The brothers Landau started PowerVoice last September, launching the beta version of the company’s software over the holidays. Today the startup employs five people and just launched the public version of its software. The brothers and their team plan to focus this year on gaining traction by recruiting local businesses and influential people on social media.

“We really want to become a part of the Detroit 2.0 movement and recruit other entrepreneurs to be involved,” says Andrew Landau.

Source: Andrew & Ryan Landau, co-founders of PowerVoice
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.