Photo: Duck Duck Moose
With the holiday season upon us, we’re pressed to socialize with our coworkers and spend time with family all at once.The folks on this list have found an easy solution to that time crunch—all year round. Their cofounders are their spouses.
It’s a daring choice to launch a company with your true love. If things go wrong, your jobs and your marriage are both at stake.
On the other hand, marrying your cofounder has advantages, too. Running a company is an all-consuming thing. Why not share that with your beloved?
While it makes sense for the couples, risk-averse investors have sometimes looked askance at these arrangements. But Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley have rich histories of married cofounders including the founders of Cisco Systems, Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner; VMware, founded by Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum; Bebo, founded by Michael and Xochi Birch; and Buddy media, founded by Michael and Kass Lazerow.
When Casey Sackett and Jennifer Wong were expecting their first child, Jennifer found no easy way to document the experience.
'I had a pregnancy journal to hand-write notes, a couple of reference books for health information, a few photos of my growing baby bump on my phone,' she says. She wanted all this stuff on her phone as a few other things, like a contact her mum's support group for advice.
So in 2009, Casey Sackett and Jennifer Wong launched Alt 12 Apps with BabyBump, a mobile app for expecting mothers. They've since launched two more apps.
So far, so good for the couple. They raised $1.26 million in venture capital last spring and have had more than 6.5 million downloads of their apps.
High-school sweethearts Eric and Susan Gregg Koger launched Modcloth thanks to Susan's love of vintage clothing.
Susan couldn't resist buying cute vintage pieces, even if they didn't fit her. Eventually, she and Eric went off to college and her dorm room grew so full of stuff they decided to sell it online.
Today Modcloth employs 300 and has raised money from Accel and Norwest.
Erika Trautman and Cameron McCaddon fled the high cost of the Bay Area to launch their startup in the relatively affordable locale of Boulder, Colo., where they joined the 2011 class of TechStars, an incubator.
The company makes a product that allows for easy, Web-based video editing--a tool that typically has required expensive desktop software.
Duck Duck Moose was founded in 2008 when Caroline Hu Flexer and Michael Flexer noticed how much their 2-year-old daughter liked to play with the iPhone.
The Flexers joined forces with one of their friends, Nicci Gabriel, and the three amigos launched Duck Duck Moose to make mobile apps for kids.
Today the team has 14 popular apps, 2.4 million paid downloads, and $7 million in venture investment.
Rashmi Sinha and Jon Boutelle both attended Brown University and founded SlideShare along with Rashmi's brother, Amit. They wanted to create a kind of YouTube for PowerPoint presentations--a central place where anyone could upload and share them.
Before being an entrepreneur, Rashmi got her PhD in cognitive neuropsychology, but she got bored working in a lab and that's when she decided to do a startup with her husband. They sold SlideShare to LinkedIn in May.
Jenn Deering Davis and Hayes Davis concieved of their startup when they were eating some breakfast in Austin, Texas, restaurant wondering how many people were reached by a single tweet.
Union Metrics, best known for its Twitter measurement tool, TweetReach was born in shortly after, in 2009.
This wasn't their first startup. They previously worked on a startup called Liquid Communication Systems, launched with some friends while Hayes was in college.
After starting video aggregator MeFeedia in 2007, Connell and Sinton took extreme measures to balance work and family. Although the company is based in Burbank, Calif. they up and moved their three kids across the country to Ormond Beach, Fla., where they bought a beachfront home.
Sinton is CEO, so he commutes regularly to Burbank. Connell heads sales efforts and works mostly from a home office.
Marco Krapels is an executive with the American arm of Rabobank, a Dutch bank. He did a project with Tesla Motors in 2009 to put solar panels on his bank's branches that power nearby electric-vehicle charging stations.
When a friend happened to give him a solar-powered light as a gift, a light bulb idea went off for him and his wife.
They cofounded Empowered by Light, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing solar lights to third-world countries like Zambia.
Both Brenda and Chuck Horton had started a bunch of businesses on their own before they cofounded HWare.
HWare began its life as a consulting company but then the couple decided to create an app to help other entrepreneurs organise their ideas and their lives. Actionplanr was born, a project-management app for launching businesses while keeping your personal life in balance. It launched in October.
Richard Davis and Theresa Szczurek liked Radish Systems so much, they cofounded it twice. The first time was in the 1990s. The two of them left their jobs at AT&T Labs to launch Radish, a company that made technology for modems. That company did well and was bought for $40 million in 1996.
In 2009, the two created a new communications technology, revived the old company name, and launched it again, in Boulder, Colo. The modern-day Radish lets you transfer images and video during a call on your smartphone.
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