Elaina Farnsworth originally intended to create a mobile-app start-up when she founded Mobile Comply two years ago. A little more than a year into the endeavor, she pivoted the Clarkston-based firm so it bridges the gap between mobile apps and education.
“Instead of doing software, we do education now,” says Elaina Farnsworth, CEO of Mobile Comply.
Farnsworth has always noticed the disconnect between the techies who create the latest and greatest technology and its users. She noticed the gulf between the two only grew with the introduction of mobile apps. That’s when she decided to shift her start-up’s focus toward bridging that gap, focusing on what she calls mutual education for both the techies and the consumers who love their work.
“We will become more of a mutual education firm,” Farnsworth says. “We want to be the top provider of mutual education in the mobile space.”
Today Mobile Comply’s primary product is software that gives businesses the power to convert a traditional website to a mobile site, begin a mobile marketing campaign to reach customers, and then integrate it with social media. Mobile Comply also helps firms create mobile websites, giving them the tools to create their own databases for mobile marketing. However, it makes most of its revenue from the educational aspect of helping businesses and techies better connect to create the best product and understand the field.
To make that happen, Farnsworth hired five people in the last six months, all of whom are experts in the education space. Mobile Comply’s staff now stands at 13 overall, with five in Metro Detroit. The rest work virtually from across the U.S.
A Q&A with Elaina Farnsworth, from Southeast Michigan Startup “Founders”
SMS: What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
EF: I have taken part in networking and business development programs at the Automation Alley and Mobile Trade Association of Michigan.
Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Our first client was an international speaker. I met the client at a speaking engagement in Las Vegas. The speaker, like most, felt “Half-App-ed”. This is a phrase employees at Mobile Comply, have fondly adopted as a term for the business owner who has invested hundreds or thousands of dollars in apps and have disappointed in the way the app functions. We were able to get the company mobile apps on the right track and re-position them for successful mobile marketing.
Where did you find your first employee?
Our first employee came from a long-time relationship. I had worked with the person for years on other projects.
What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
The economy in Michigan is well suited to excel in the mobile market. Michigan has the infrastructure to move quickly on opportunities such as M2M Technologies and MCommerce. If we educate our state and execute effectively we have a great opportunity to excel as a leader in the mobile Industry.
If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
Collaboration. Our experience has been that there are many valuable institutions in Michigan that could contribute to its success. I would like to see collaborative events in the area to promote each organizations strengths.
Source: Elaina Farnsworth, CEO of Mobile Comply
Writer: Jon Zemke for Southeast Michigan Startup