Charlotte Angel Connection Episode 035: Alan Fitzpatrick CEO and Co-Founder of Open Broadband

Alan Fitzpatrick is CEO and Co-Founder of Open Broadband, Co-Founder of Charlotte Hearts Gigabit and NC Hearts Gigabit.  He’s a long-time supporter and member of the Charlotte startup community and I’m excited to bring you today’s podcast with Alan.  We had our interview on the day after the Southeast Fintech Venture Conference and you will hear us reference it throughout this week and next week’s interview.  Alan and I almost immediately jumped straight into the interview – where as I typically start the interview after a few minutes of pleasantries so don’t feel like you’ve missed anything.

Today’s podcast covers a broad range of topics so listen carefully.  As the interview progresses, you can get a clear sense Alan has been around startups for a long time.  He has a very clear sense of awareness and it comes through during several points in the interview.  Some of the areas we cover today are:

How is Open Broadband doing as we close out 2017?

Who is their target market and how are they selling into those markets?

How did they decide to start Open Broadband?  What is the driving force behind the concept of delivering high speed internet to rural communities?  Teaser 78% of the country has no access to high speed internet or only 1 provider (i.e., no competition for business).

What type of speed can Open Broadband deliver to its customers?

How is high speed delivered to rural markets and why aren’t traditional internet providers currently doing it?

What’s their competition?

Can’t these customers just use a mobile hotspot rather than have to sign up for Open Broadband?

As an entrepreneur who left DC 74 after it was sold, how long did it take Alan to come up with the concept and business model for Open Broadband?

How did Alan and Kent Winrich come together as co-founders of Open Broadband?

What has the year been like for Alan and the company?

They brought revenue in the door in the first month.  Why did they do that and how did they make the decision to do so.

Open Broadband raised a small seed round to help out of the gate.  What was the experience like to raise that money and what is their strategy for raising money in the future?

What’s the end market for Open Broadband?

What advice does Alan have for new entrepreneurs when it comes to building a startup in Charlotte and the fundraising process in Charlotte?

What happened when Alan went up to New Ventures in Winston Salem?

What’s the term Alan thinks every startup needs to take to heart?

So we wrap up this part talking about perseverance?  This leads into some key topics we discuss for next week’s podcast including how does Alan handle the inevitable ups and downs of ‘the startup life’, what is on the horizon for Open Broadband in 2018, does Charlotte want/need Amazon HQ2 and many other topics around startups in Charlotte.

So join us next week on the Charlotte Angel Connection for the 2nd part of our interview with Alan Fitzpatrick!