How former Apple CEO John Sculley turned Silicon Valley startup Misfit into a $260 million company

John SculleySocialbakersFormer Apple CEO John Sculley.

Getting going in your early days as a tech startup is no mean feat so it helps when you’ve got a well-known figure among your cofounders.

Misfit, a wearable technology company that makes activity tracking devices, was acquired by fashion retailer and watchmaker Fossil last week for $US260 million (£171 million).

And who was behind the startup from day one? Former Apple CEO John Sculley.

Sculley cofounded Misfit in San Francisco back in 2011 with Sonny Vu and Sridhar Iyengar. He’s been key to the company’s growth, according to the company’s director of special projects.

Speaking at the Apps World conference in London on Thursday, Banai said that the powerful business leader opened multiple doors for Misfit that would have otherwise been firmly shut.

“At the beginning, as a startup, it’s really difficult to talk to these big brands unless you have someone like John Sculley behind you,” Banai told an audience of mobile developers and entrepreneurs.

Shine Misfit FitnessMisfit WearablesMisfit’s Flash device can be worn on the wrist or attached to your jeans.

In order for Misfit to get its relatively cheap wearable devices in the hands of as many people as possible, the company needed to team up with a number of large brands, including Coca-Cola, Speedo, Victoria Secret, and Swarovski.

“Why would Coca-Cola talk to a startup in San Francisco, right? It’s because of John Sculley, it’s because of our connections.”

Banai added: “Sonny Vu is the CEO and John Sculley is sort of like an advisor.”

Sculley replaced Apple Cofounder Steve Jobs as CEO in 1983 and led the company up until 1993. He was also CEO and president of the Coca-Cola Corporation.

Now he spends more of his time trying to find and support companies that could become the next Apple’s of the world.

Misfit’s exit is likely to have been welcomed by Sculley and other investors in the company.

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