Mitch Marchand
President
Vybe Software

Your 30-second pitch
Vybe Software provides K-12 institutions with fully customizable, easy to integrate, hands-on curriculum content centered around DevKit, our iOS application that enables any student to create their very own mobile applications and games, right inside an iPad or iPhone. It is the only mobile platform in existence whereby users can design, program, test, and export their very own applications for upload to the Apple and Google Play app stores without having to write any code. DevKit teaches the core fundamentals of coding and application development while simultaneously providing students with the instant gratification and inspiration required to motivate them to pursue careers in computer science.

Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?
While not technically a “resource,” the overwhelming need for software developers in this country has created a real sense of urgency for a platform that can both teach and inspire the next generation of app developers and computer scientists, which has certainly given us place and purpose. In terms of something tangible, the $10,000 prize and a free year of office space from the Flatley Challenge have been immensely helpful in propelling us into 2018 – both from a marketing and resourceful perspective.

What was your biggest obstacle to starting your company and how did you overcome it?
Thus far, the largest obstacle has been the small time-frame during which schools are looking to purchase software and curriculum content for their classrooms. We have overcome this by finding alternative sources of revenue in the forms of summer camps, hackathons, and a creative in-app purchase model. We’ve also been offering mid-year free trials for schools to gather an opinion about DevKit before the selling window arrives in order to maximize potential conversions.

What’s the best advice you have received?
Spanish Surrealist artist Salvador Dali once said that “intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” While not directly issued as advice, I certainly take it as something to live by. It’s not enough to just outthink or outwork your competition – you act relentlessly with a passion to do both.

What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you?
From a personal perspective, it’s nice having been born and raised here, as I’ve grown accustomed to the people, climate, and general environment. From a business perspective, the opportunities and assistance that we have been afforded as a start-up have certainly made this a great place to grow. From the NH Tech Alliance to the Flatley Company to the GNCC to Life Free and Start, the support has been fantastic.

What does the future look like for your company?
We plan to leverage artificial intelligence in the make-up of various platforms that will act to revolutionize the way in which an individual of any skill goes about creating software of any kind. Our hope is to initiate productive conversations between man and machine that are void of any learning curve, barrier, or limitation.

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