Studying the Impact of Joining Mocavo

Last May, at the start of Boulder TechStars 2011, I first met Cliff Shaw and Richard Miller. They had just started the Summer program, and were still looking for a design cofounder to join the team.

At the time, I was a freelancer for a number of Boulder startups and agencies. I enjoyed the variety of projects, meeting with different clients, and the custom schedule. While I was very happy with my situation, I still kept an open mind towards new opportunities.

In my first conversation with Cliff, he told me about his vision for Mocavo and what it would mean for the genealogy market. While I was not initially swept away by the idea of a genealogy startup, I was very excited about shaping a new company, being a part of TechStars, and learning how companies are born. Upon joining Mocavo, it wasn’t too long before I began to share and partake in Cliff and Richard’s vision for the company—a massive search engine that makes research a social and collaborative experience for the user. As the three of us went through the program, we kept this direction at the forefront of our product and company.

In the following months, the team grew and the products started to roll out. A search engine with 6 billion names, document and photo publishers, an iPhone app, and automated search tools were just some of the features we released in under a year. It was exhilerating to be around, and I was finding myself at home in the company.

Fast foward eleven months (and countless cups of coffee), Mocavo has grown in nearly every way. Our team has more than quadrupled, we’ve continued to mature our product, and we’ve seen great traction and successes from our users. But, our biggest growth is still yet to come.

Today, Mocavo announces a Series A round of $4 Million from Foundry Group. It is a great milestone in the company, and one that we hope to build off of with the support that Foundry brings to the table.

I am in a far different situation than I was a year ago, and I have the Boulder community and TechStars to thank for it. While I may not have the inherent autonomy of freelancing, I have never felt more creative or excited about work. The first year at Mocavo has been an amazing experience, and I continue to be excited about the future.

Thank you.

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Emerson Stone is proud to be a Colorado-based company. When not designing, you can find Andy biking or skiing around Boulder and the local mountains.

If you'd like to use any code or design from this site, you can grab the project from Github—all free to use.

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