Cory McKane 0:00
Sweet. All right, here we go. Episode Nine. I'm excited to have you on here we met over this our first time meeting. Yeah, I went to a VC like hope hosts kind of like founder thing on Thursday Met Your Dad. And then he's like, my son's doing really cool things. And then here we are three days, four days later.
Kyle Wallgren 0:20
Yeah. So I was meeting with investors in California. And then our favorite flight line, which we will mention, sent me a message that my flights were delayed a day. Nice. And so I called my dad and said, Hey, I need you in Austin in like three hours. Nice. Nice. He headed over here and went to that event that Kelly had for bridge bank. So yeah, so
Cory McKane 0:44
cool. It was such a such a fun event. And I was, I was sitting next to him for like an hour or so he told me a lot about your company. And so I'm excited to kind of dive into it and can be a timing that you had to come to Austin anyway. So here we are. So what is your background before we get into Edie? So it's at Selma browser? Before we break down what it's always what is your background, and then we'll lead into like, why you got into the education space?
Kyle Wallgren 1:06
Sure. My background, I don't have any education. I got kicked out of school in grade nine. Literacy was a challenge for me, but I my mom was really inspirational in the sense where it's like, if you dream it, you can become it kind of thing. And I just started, you know, starting businesses, you know, the first few failed dramatically. And then I started getting some traction. I built a couple businesses was able to sell them. I acquired some businesses sold them actually during COVID. The whole shut down. I just started an entertainment company. We did our first event, the week before they shut COVID down kind of thing. So I was like, wow, I don't have a job. And then all of a sudden, this opportunity knocked on my door to like build products for the state of California. Okay, so we ended up buying the Pepsi Cola factory in Puerto Rico and flying there disassembling it. Well, what kind of products were you building? Like PPE goods like sanitizer? Oh, gotcha. Okay, the equipment kind of thing. So we disassembled the factoring, put it in crates and shipped it to Memphis, Tennessee.
Cory McKane 2:16
So with the the factory already had this PPE gear, and
Kyle Wallgren 2:19
it was just equipment that had been sitting there. So it was for sale. And we could literally buy it at a extremely discounted price. Yeah. and ship it to the US.
Cory McKane 2:30
And then when it goes to the US that you started making the PPE here with that,
Kyle Wallgren 2:33
yes. So we've we've set up the plant to facilities, over 200,000 square feet of manufacturing floor. And then while we're doing that a lot of companies like gave up on their customers and started like chasing those big dollars, because the government's were paying top dollar for products that you would typically source out of China for pennies. Yeah. So I identified that and then we started like picking up all those manufacturers, businesses, that business that they started putting on the whole backburner, like car care products and stuff like that. So that after COVID, slowed down, we had that very cool other offshoot business to continue carrying it.
Cory McKane 3:13
Are you still doing any of those businesses? No.
Kyle Wallgren 3:16
So I went from that I was literally sitting in my office in Memphis. I have two kids in Canada. And my daughter called me and she's like, Dad, I miss bedtime stories. No, I'm gonna cry. Yeah, and as a dad, like, who hadn't at this point, I hadn't seen my kids in person. And over a year, because the
Cory McKane 3:38
code Oh, God. I've had friends who got separated over Canadian border too. So yeah,
Kyle Wallgren 3:43
yes. So it was like legitimate, like when you heard of those stories of people being separated from their families. For me, I lived it, you know what I mean? I had, at that time, a six year old and a three year old that I hadn't gotten to see in a year. And excuse me, the when they come to you, and they're just like, This is what I miss the most. You just feel like it's your duty to, to give it to them. So I started looking for products that were would allow me to have that engagement with my kid. And we found something, there's a few things out there that will allow you to stream and share, you know, and let you play games, and they're great products. I'm not taking anything away from those companies that did a great job. One of them was the number one downloaded app during COVID on the Apple I store. But what they didn't have was a resource for people like myself that's were scared of literacy or weren't sure if they were doing it correctly. So all of a sudden when you like, start trying to teach somebody something and you don't know how to do it. Like for me, I just panicked. And I'm like if I'm the first line of defense for education, Shouldn't for my children during this shutdown my kids are doomed.
Cory McKane 5:03
Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's right. Because you not only did you want to read to them just in general, but like, there was no people reading to them
Kyle Wallgren 5:12
now generally. And typically, like, there's like, typically the kids that needed it most came from families that couldn't afford a private tutor, or course, that stuff and the kids that really didn't need it, those parents continued on giving them private education, private tutors and whatnot through COVID. Yeah. So I started to really identify that the educational gap was just becoming further and further apart. And then, you know, with everything going on, and the chaos and the news, and you know, all the stuff going on during COVID. I was like, we can't afford our world to be any dumber.
Cory McKane 5:51
To get this, you gotta get all Yeah, I just
Kyle Wallgren 5:53
so I've just like, I've got to figure out something to help teach kids how to read, that isn't going to drain somebody's bank account. Yeah. And that's how we came up with add some aside to add some status for education, social marketplace. Oh, very cool. Nice. What we do is we have a voice recognition, patent pending technology that identifies weaknesses and readers in real time while sharing content through video streaming. So you can call your grandma in China and have her read to you. And we will identify the weaknesses in the reader. So while the child's reading, we log their reading and give them a score. And then as a parent reads to them, we can also do that. So it's a tool made for children. But it was a tool made for parents that also suffered from those same issues. So they could take part in those activities and be confident that they weren't, you know, doing it wrong.
Cory McKane 6:44
And what is the what is the benefit? As I think about all the angles you just mentioned, of how it benefits people? So if I'm a, if I'm a parent reading to the kid, does the kid benefit from seeing how the parents, I don't wanna say messing up, but like, kind of not saying it correctly? Or how does that work? Yeah.
Kyle Wallgren 7:02
So on our, say, it's on an tablet, yeah, the books being shared between the devices or in person on a single device, as you read our words light up. So you get that instant gratification. As you read a word, it turns green. As you start to struggle on the word, it'll slow down, turn to read and to break down into syllables. If you can sound it out, or continue to struggle on it, you can select the word, it'll announce the ate it for you. And then our AI puts that in a work bucket. And then we provide content surrounding those word breakdowns in the next piece of content that we suggest,
Cory McKane 7:39
okay? And is the content, you're suggesting content that you guys create? Or I guess, take a step back? Are you guys creating all this content? Or is it like, you know, I don't know. I'm trying to get a copy of this book. Okay, gotcha. We
Kyle Wallgren 7:51
licensed the content from publishers. So right now. Right now, as it sits at this very second. Today, we have 88 titles. If you ask me the question next week, we have some big announcements. But as well, this,
Cory McKane 8:08
this won't air for another like month. So because we were squeezing this one in so we you know, we'll see what we can put up on the screen. Yeah,
Kyle Wallgren 8:17
by this time next month, we may or may not be the largest children's streaming content provider in the world, may or may not.
Cory McKane 8:25
Very cool. Maybe I'll get like you to send like a video and like we did or something like that. update it. And I might intentionally push this episode back so we can get that. Get that live.
Kyle Wallgren 8:35
We'll know tomorrow. Exactly how that works. That's so
Cory McKane 8:38
incredible. Okay, so then kind of tied to what you just said, you guys, I feel like you guys have like a lot of publicity. Again, I've only had like three days with this concept. But like, I watched your website, there was a lot of hype. We'll get on one of your investors really soon. Raise a lot of money on we funders. We have like a lot of like things here. It's like what have you guys done to get so much publicity.
Kyle Wallgren 8:59
Just something good. When I started this, I was making a lot of money. I've always been good at making money. That's something that I knew how to do. For some reason. I've been gifted with that. But this is like the first thing I've ever done where it wasn't about money. It was just about building something better for the future. And with that Soma, I feel like there's such a need for it. As soon as somebody hears what we're doing. They're like, let me give you my resources, just like yourself. Like, let me give you my audience, we believe in what you're doing. Yeah. So it's just like, I'll give you a couple examples. When we shut down the entertainment company due to COVID I went to my financial controller. I'm like, Hey, dude, we ain't got no work. He ain't got no job. Let me get back to you. When COVID I thought it was gonna be like a couple of weeks. You know what I mean? I'm like, my lawyer called me. He's like, prepare for, you know, a cold, cold winter and I'm like, dude, I'll see you in a month. I never thought it was going to turn into what it what it did. So,
Cory McKane 10:03
oh, you met your company like COVID itself.
Kyle Wallgren 10:07
So like I had laid off some employees. And after we went through it for a while, and my daughter asked me to build this, I called my controller from the entertainment company. And I was like, Hey, do you happen to know anybody that was in technology? And he's like, Well, actually, I was employee number eight at Nextel. Oh, nice. And I'm like, Oh, okay. So you've been involved in it in a small way, you know, completely changed the telecommunications network. And then he was able to, like, bring their first developer at Nextel over his name's Steve Burton. He's the architect behind our whole platform. So cool. I'm like, Steve, you know, it'd be so great. If we had like a teacher to validate what we're doing is like, well, actually, my mom holds a PhD in early children's literacy. She sits on multiple boards in the state of California with the education sector. So you know, and had this resume that would blow your mind on education built around reading. So cool. So that door opened. And then like people would just, you know, in passing, we ended up getting like one of the VPs of McKesson from their sales division to come over and start sales from us. The guy that leads our content. We've got two of them inbound and outbound content. One was the president of children's content for Simon and Schuster. One was the CEO, and VP are sorry, one was the other one was the VP of relations for Hmh, which is like the largest education provider and content, they provide 45% of this content, all content for school. So like, we've just been a super team super, super blessed to have everybody on like, every time they come on, like we can't afford to pay you near what you are getting now. And they're like, I just want to be involved. I've made money my whole life. I just want to do something good. Yeah, very cool. So we've got this super team that makes less than like the employees at McDonald's.
Cory McKane 12:05
Nice. Very cool. I love that. Wait. So how big is the team right now?
Kyle Wallgren 12:11
We had our second all hands. meeting today online and there was 19 people. Okay. Three different countries. Very cool.
Cory McKane 12:21
Okay. And so when it comes to like, try to think which thing is all about first. So we'll talk about that we found a really quick so you guys have like half a million right now and we funder. Very cool. Had you raise money before that? Or was that your own personal money that went into?
Kyle Wallgren 12:38
So I don't have a tech background? I want to be very clear. Yeah, I build businesses and I can put people together. Henry Ford said that you don't have to know everything. You just have to know the people that do know everyday I followed that model very strictly. But myself and another person named Matt Lowe, I called him I'm like, Hey, man, I got this great idea. I think we can do it for 25,000 each. Yeah. And he's like, Sure. So we wrote a check to the company for 25,000. A couple months later, I'm like, Well, I think we're gonna need another 25,000. And then after we started, like, seeing all the traction, like, look, we can either walk away right now, call it a wash, or we're each gonna need to put a million bucks in. And he's like, let's do it. So we did that. That's been able to carry the company for 18 months, okay, we've never wrote an invoice of 90 employees. But now the we funder we're starting to get a lot of traction at first. I'm like this raising monies for the birds. I don't know how to. And
Cory McKane 13:43
even the people that I interview in tech, were just like making it up as we go like it's
Kyle Wallgren 13:47
Yeah, and whoever is good at raising money, please call. Like, it's bird, the
Cory McKane 13:52
bird people watching this. I know people that watch this, that will be good raising money. So maybe they'll reach out? I don't know. Yeah, the so
Kyle Wallgren 13:59
and but the more that people see what we do, the we funder thing has been great. Because it's like this guerilla marketing aspect, you know, these people come in because they and like when you look at the comments, and I never understood why people read the comments on like, social media, and like, why would you spend your time doing it's like reading the comments and we funder, these people are investing, you know, 100 200 250 $500 And the reason they're doing it is because my sister can't read or because my cousin can't read or, you know, I think that this area needs support. So it's like just so inspirational to listen to why people are getting behind it. So you see that and these people. I'm not saying that $100 to some of these people is a lot of money, you know for sure you know what I mean? So to see them believe in something so much that they're willing to put their hard earned money into it. It just means so much more and don't get me wrong. We are grateful and we've had a couple People come and do a couple $100,000 course. Of course, we're super grateful for that. But you know, I know that that $100 means just as much to those people as the 100,000. As to exactly other people. So it's just a cool experience.
Cory McKane 15:12
Very cool. Yeah, I did we funder years ago we were we were like, so early and not doing that well. So like, I only raised like, 50,000. So maybe I'll do it again. But either way, definitely cool to see you guys doing that right now. And so did you have the million dollars just from like, the PPE company that you had? Or like, you just had that like in a in a dirt somewhere buried? Or like we're
Kyle Wallgren 15:34
like, yeah, the COVID was good. You know what I mean? Like, if you could be creative on how to do business during COVID, there was a lot of ability to, to make money. I really don't know. A lot of that's all good. tunity See, I
Cory McKane 15:55
mean, it sounds it sounds like you, like someone needed to be selling these masks and you'd like you, like went down there and took advantage. Like literally
Kyle Wallgren 16:01
that's that's how it was like I literally was talking to my wife. I'm like, we don't have a job. Neither of us. She was going to school. Gotcha. I'm like, This is how much we've got to live on. Which it wasn't it was better than a lot of people time, but a friend called me he's like, hey, they're gonna shut down my job site if you can, unless I can find these masks. Do you know where they are? I'm like, I have no idea. What did you even talk? Yeah. And literally, I hung up that phone call and I had another friend call me and he's like, Hey, I've got all these masks. Do you know how to sell them? And I'm like, that's crazy. Give me five minutes. Like literally within that transit action. Somebody wrote me a check for 60 grand like it was that quick. And then the as long as you went out and hustled and you know, there was money there to be made.
Cory McKane 16:49
That is crazy. Okay, were you guys making them? Or what were you guys doing? We were
Kyle Wallgren 16:53
just everything you can imagine. So it took a while to make masks. Right. You had to get certified. Gotcha. FDA certified for that. So that wasn't just an instant. Yeah. Because a lot of that stuff like the government has rules and regulations. I'm sure for their reasons. Some of their policies are their own worst enemies. Yeah. But you saw like, even government's be like normal in the time of panic. They're like, these are our policies, but throw them over their shoulder. Like we just need this stuff. Can you go on? Right. So and it was people were desperate? You know what I mean? I'm not going to say that every transaction we made was heartwarming, you know, when you're selling a three cent mask for $1. You know that? You know, you could do better but at the same sense, like, I've got a family to feed to exactly. You didn't know how long it was going to last this by this point. We were like six months in. And I'm like, my savings is gone. That God Yeah, no, I've got to do something
Cory McKane 17:52
that you're like any day now. Like the COVID. It could just be done.
Kyle Wallgren 17:55
And I'm Canadian. Right. So I didn't get a COVID Relief check. Oh, gotcha. I had no opportunities. I had no unemployment. I had nothing. Gotcha.
Cory McKane 18:04
Okay, so I didn't know you guys didn't have that. Okay, gotcha. Well, I
Kyle Wallgren 18:08
lived in America, right? I'd
Cory McKane 18:09
been Oh, wow. Okay, double edge right there. Okay. Gotcha. Okay. And then let's touch on. So what's the story of your dad said this. What's the story was Shaq. So like, a shocking investor? Is he like advertising for you? Like the general commercials? Like what's the situation there?
Kyle Wallgren 18:27
So he's an investor. He's a sits on the board. And he's looking after our marketing. So he's a huge marketing partner. Yeah, the it was like a long shot. Like I was saying earlier, my VP of sales is named Bonnie came from McKesson. He's like, hey, you know, it'd be perfect for this shack. And I'm like, yeah, just let me get my call him up. And like, literally, like, our phones, listen to us. Okay, let's just be very clear on our phones. Listen to us. You're not being watched. We're all being watched. So all of a sudden on my LinkedIn, Perry pops up who she kills agent. Well, I'm like, Well, you know, shot in the dark, send them a message on LinkedIn. And I got a response back, believe it or not, and
Cory McKane 19:21
we just because I wanted people to learn a strategy from this because I've definitely not been good at this part. Did you reach out to him saying, hey, I want Shaq to invest. You say hey, he'd liked this, like, what did you saw?
Kyle Wallgren 19:32
I never asked anything from anybody. They just get defensive. But I was like, hey, you know, we know that she kills in the education markets. Yeah, we've created a really cool platform. We'd love to get it in front of them and maybe we can pay you guys to advertise it. Okay, gotcha. Cool. Okay. So we reached out to them to, to market our platform and knowing like if If you do any do your research to on whoever you're talking to, or you talk to him. Shaquille doesn't market anything that he doesn't believe in. He has too much money to do that. Well, every commercial that you see if she kills I'm not gonna say everyone, but the majority of them he has stock and all those companies. Oh yeah, he's an investor in those businesses. When he bought ring, he had installed it at his house. And he's like, this is a cool thing. I want to be an owner, guy kind of thing. So when he believes in something, he really gets behind it. But Perry's a great guy, he responded back to me told me I was full of shit. And he said, If this is true, what you guys do, I want you to prove it. So I said, Let me fly out there. I can be there this week. And I took him the product,
Cory McKane 20:50
took Perrier took Shaq,
Kyle Wallgren 20:52
I brought to Perry's office in Las Vegas, and I took them the product. And I said, Here you go try it out. And he started reading and it started doing exactly what we said. And he's like, we get 1000 emails a day. And most people can't deliver on what they're asking. And you are here, you know, as fast as humanly possible. Let me set up a meeting with Shaquille. And so it was like a month later, maybe we flew back out to Las Vegas. And I don't know if you've ever seen the guy in person.
Cory McKane 21:25
I've seen him. I've seen him once in quarterly and Idaho on New Year's Eve or like newsy week and he's like the most Oh, I missed meeting him. All my friends met him. I missed meeting him as I had to work. But then I came into the bar later, I saw him sitting down and it was like the biggest I've ever seen.
Kyle Wallgren 21:43
He's bigger than life. If he was playing ball, he was like, quite a bit busy. Oh, yeah. You know, I think we all get a little broader with age. But he's bigger than life itself. You know, this guy is over seven feet tall. His shoulders are, you know, this wide. It's a big human. And we tested our app on every type of voice I had thought until he starts talking and then he's like, Well, let me see the product or is d you know, as deep as you can. Like, well, here you go. And he was in front of me, you know? So he's got the product facing him this way. And he starts reading like I don't even know if it's gonna work with how low your voice it's like this is all I could think about like yeah, this is not gonna work yeah. And as he starts reading you could tell it was working by how big his eyes were getting. So as he read out loud and started doing it and then he would purposely make mistakes and I racked them and at the end of it he's just like, I want him you know so so cool, man. Oh, if you think like I've always like back to my mom if you believe that you can do it you can do it. Like I said, Vaughn is just like here but I think we need Shaq so and here we go we've we've got him on board he's 100% behind it and I think as like a brand or an image we couldn't ask for somebody with a bigger heart or you know the right reasons to get behind things so
Cory McKane 23:07
he's literally well him are like the rock would be to like just the exact same like just bigger than life and then also have a lot of money a lot of influence a lot of experience and are also just like you know, good people too. So cool, man. Okay, well congrats you guys
Kyle Wallgren 23:23
yeah, thanks and like my VP of Sales Sivan. Not throw him under the bus. He's like, this little fanboy like he was calling like, when are we going? When are we gone? Can I come? And I'm like, But Vaughn had played basketball. So short story. Totally off topic. Vaughn gets offered a full ride scholarship to Stanford. Okay, okay. But advanced in his 50s. So, just to kind of put the time on when this was Memphis had just finished winning national title was going to college basketball. And he turned down his full ride scholarship for Stanford to go play ball for Memphis.
Cory McKane 24:09
Okay, was with Stanford Stanford back then. Yeah, Okay, gotcha. Yeah, Stanford was always Stanford's. I didn't know Stanford's like the last 30 years become Stanford.
Kyle Wallgren 24:16
Stanford was Stanford, too. But now it's just like, Yeah, so like, this Shaquille thing. It's like, we've just started talking about it. And we'll get like calls from like, friends of friends that are like, Hey, we're interested in investing. I grew up and I went to school at LSU is it true that she kills on like, all invest strictly because Shaquille is from Alice.
Cory McKane 24:42
Interesting, where, as far as investors go right now, like, are you good? It's funny because you are now like, definitely in the tech world. So you're like, you guys. You guys have like a pitch deck and everything. Okay,
Kyle Wallgren 24:55
we're 18 months into this. Okay, gotcha. I feel like I know Oh, let me be strategic. To say this, I don't know what I'm doing. I feel like I've gotten a routine down on how to go about raising money. We've got a lead investor outside, like when we close our we fund around our entire seed round is for $5 million $5 million seed. But we needed we wanted to test the waters on investment right away. So we did the million 70 based off of what their qualifications were to do that. And then after we got it launched, we started doing the internal audits so we could go to their next five. Yeah, so our entire seed rounds actually $5 million raise. And we've got a lead investor already with it. We've got the majority of money raised.
Cory McKane 25:45
Very cool. Okay. That's all Congrats, man. There we actually had with the episode two, we have the CEO of stocks on here.
Kyle Wallgren 25:52
They've reached out to us before I've ever seen that, but they they've reached out to us.
Cory McKane 25:57
Very cool. Well, John was just in here a few weeks ago. So if you guys ever Well, they work with we've under severe want to intro John, he'd love to talk to you as to Yeah,
Kyle Wallgren 26:06
we had gone to multiple other crowdfunding campaigns. And it was like that. It's like the standard story. I don't know if it's just like the line that they're told to tell everybody. But you're too early. You don't know how many starters or founders have heard that you're just a little too early? Well, it says right here that you like to invest in companies pre revenue, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, like, well, we'd still like to see some revenue. So pre revenue means
Cory McKane 26:30
you need to have some revenue. And with that, where are you guys at revenue wise right now?
Kyle Wallgren 26:33
Zero, we haven't even launched oh, gosh, okay, gotcha. Okay, we've, we're piloting in 28 schools this year. So closed pilot, you know, we just really want to make sure that we have the user experience built out to what this schools need, we do have a consumer model that we're allowing people to test. It's free right now. But it's just for testing purposes. We've got it on Android and iOS devices. We're also on Chromebooks. But we're just testing.
Cory McKane 27:03
Very cool. I mean, two things. One, is that it's open for anyone to download, like we put a link on that to the podcast, or Yeah,
Kyle Wallgren 27:11
I can set I can give you a link to, to our download platform. It'll be on our website, but they have access to all three versions.
Cory McKane 27:19
Very cool. And the second thing was, what a similar concept, like I like the idea of like making sure that you're ready before you just blow things up. Like we have a, we just expanded to enterprise this week, actually, we have the product finally done, but I'm gonna, we have a big partner, but I'm gonna let the couple of small enterprise companies that we're working with the gyms for a few months, make sure it's working before like I waste any potential intros from our big partner. It's like, give it give it a year at the schools, make sure it's working that just go crazy.
Kyle Wallgren 27:49
Yeah, we know that. Every founder needs to be confident in their product, we know our products, good. We've validated it on multiple different opportunities, but there's still bugs that you need to work out. And even you can be sitting there looking somebody in the eyes and say, I need you to tax test it for 123. And they're gonna look back at you and say, Well, what about seven and eight? You know what I mean, after you just finished identifying that seven and eight are working. That's so you only get that one shot, especially in education. You were not going to be like, Hey, I screwed up teaching your kid last week. Well, you give me a second chance. Nobody's gonna do that exact. So we're just being really cautious right now. Well, that's the annoying
Cory McKane 28:37
thing about having an app as an app founder. It's like you can what the 123 thing 123 can be working for 1000 students and then a 1,001st 123 doesn't work for some reason. The years like, why is it not working?
Kyle Wallgren 28:48
And usually like, I'm sure you've had this happen. But like when we went into
Cory McKane 28:54
pitch, it's, it's when you're pitching? Yeah, it's always with your pitch. So
Kyle Wallgren 28:57
when we went into pitch, Shaquille Yeah, it had worked every day. Yeah. And then I get on the plane the night before. And I'm like, Steve, I just tested the app. It's not working. And he's like, I was hoping you and luck. Well, I need this working by morning. Yeah. So like, he literally called me like five minutes before the meeting. He's like, hey, it's
Cory McKane 29:22
like, Oh, man. I couldn't tell you. Well, not really anymore with our apps grayed out, but like, in the early days, how many times I would like pull up the app to show like our MVP to an investor and it just wouldn't even let me sign in. I'd be like, Okay, nevermind. So many times. So how do you guys even get started building in an app that has AI speech? Like, I know a lot about coding and tech or anything like that, but like, I don't even know how does AI work in that sense? You don't have to answer if the if the dev guy runs that site. Yeah,
Kyle Wallgren 29:51
no, I can. I can let everybody know how much I don't know about. We have Gather. So we a lot of stuff. And I've learned all this. So like non technical founders that have an idea. When you go to the table and you think like, Oh, we've got to build this from scratch, that's not really what an app is anymore. They take a lot of different pieces and put them together to make, you know, what we call an app. And there was like, a lot of API's that we were able to reach out to, to kind of get us a head start, I'm not gonna mention our streaming API that we partnered with, because we've recently are in the process of switching. Okay. But, you know, understanding what the streaming API was like a big lift, right. And then it was great. And like I said, those doors we've recently zoom came to Austin is like, you guys can have whatever you want. Platform.
Cory McKane 30:52
Was that the thing? That's not public yet? Or?
Kyle Wallgren 30:55
We're No, it's all. That's we're just in the process of changing it out. So by the time this airs it already be live all
Cory McKane 31:03
be live, sir. Zoom. Yeah. Wow. So is it going to be like opening up a little zoom window? Or is it like, zoom?
Kyle Wallgren 31:09
We will run zooms, Zoom streaming platform will be through our app, they've got an API's streaming device. Yeah, Zoom has got a lot of stuff that you would never know about. They're like a whole marketplace or something like that. Yeah, like, oh, CRM, man, all kinds of stuff. And a really good one at that. But zooms like the leader in video streaming. So when they heard about it, they reached out to us and they're like, Hey, we've heard about this thing we'd like to get to know about it. And like they've been so great like that. They're CTOs helping us implement everything, like we've got every major piece of so cool advice, or, you know, yeah, talent that they have to offer they've been an awesome company to work with,
Cory McKane 31:52
that's good to notice, when we were we put up pause, because we're about to launch it before COVID Actually, kind of like slow down. So we were gonna launch a live video feature for like, Personal Training and Fitness and gyms and everything. And we put that on pause. But zoom was one of our top two options. So that's good to know, they were good to work with and for the future, if we ever did that. Yeah,
Kyle Wallgren 32:09
they're, they're great. And they've been super exciting and helpful. And like, there's a lot of things that you wouldn't know. So like, Zoomer has its own venture fund, you know what I mean? So like, when you start to work with these API's that are bigger API's, and really opens up the door for future communications, you know, we didn't really add a venture fund, but all of a sudden, you know, when you've got like the CTO of their company involved, all sudden, they're like, hey, you know, we could fund your project for you. Genius, and these opportunities are huge. So like, as a founder with an idea, be careful who you hire, we originally hired a company out of India, that was, you know, had great reviews. And they ripped us off for like, $60,000. And it wasn't the money that burned me. It was the year in my life. I lost. Yeah, exactly. And so in doing that, we were able to find our own team. So, you know, non technical founders, just do your due diligence, there are people that will help you out. You don't need to know everything, and they can really dumb it down and make it make sense for you. Because I can hardly send an email when this all started.
Cory McKane 33:19
Yeah. So I mean, it is tough that like, I'm also non technical founder and I got screwed over by a company in my hometown has screwed me over. They just like they promised all these things in the app finally launch. And I'm like, I can't open it, like what's going on here? So it is so tough for non technical founders, because you there are people that you can talk to you, but it's like, how do you know that those people aren't also incompetent? It's just like, this never ending like incompetent situation. So
Kyle Wallgren 33:44
one of the things that really made me do this, and I'm gonna say this, I'm not playing political. I'm from Canada, I don't even have an opinion. But during COVID, I felt like the whole world was lying to me. Yeah, but all I wanted to do was like, tell everybody, there is good people out there. We're not all full of like, you know, hateful people. In our world, there is good people out there. So don't just walk outside and think the world is trying to rob you, you know, still put trust in humanity.
Cory McKane 34:12
It's like downplays what's true. It's Omar there.
Kyle Wallgren 34:16
Yeah, trust humanity. It's a good place.
Cory McKane 34:18
What are some of the features of your apps we have? Like, obviously, the the, the translation that when you're speaking and editing and live is there, like, Do you have a profile? Can you add people like what are those situations?
Kyle Wallgren 34:29
So we have a whole family network. So it's almost social. The social aspect aspects are closed networking platforms, so you can read to if it's at home, you can have up to four users on the device at one time when you go to share it through your close family network, our school platform we can have up to 50 students in a class at one time very cool. But um, we're launching a feature with zoom in Frankfurt at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October and it's called Live Library. And our authors will be able to read to our children, they'll be able to participate in the reading live through our platform. So we've got a couple of celebrity authors that will be reading on our platform. Cool. So that's gonna be really cool. And we're really excited about that. It's just been a great experience zoom, as really walked us through that.
Cory McKane 35:25
That's so cool. Shout out to zoom, I guess I don't know, zoom. So a couple of two questions from that. What is your target market? Is it that school classroom working with, like, 25? Kids? Or is it that consumer, like calling someone in Canada, whether the US, man, or you're gonna find out? No,
Kyle Wallgren 35:47
we, we learned a lot every day. Believe it or not? Our target market isn't who we wanted it to be. Let me reword this, our lowest cost of entry isn't who we thought it was. Exactly, yeah. Ultimately, the consumer, even if you're a business to b2b platform, the end user is still your customer. So even when we're selling to schools, our customers, the child using it, or the parent allows the kids to engage on it. So we have to really build our product around a youth content user, right? So you know, our platform is focused on K through four right now. So we really built it to engage in interact with them. But we also have to make it mature enough that parents trust that it's doing the right thing, right. So we have a b2b model that's, you know, really cost effective drag to. We're going into private charter schools. To start with the public sectors are a lot harder to get into that. But one of the things that I promised myself, I wouldn't do I refer to it as like, sell my soul. Yeah. So I promised myself that I would never sell my soul, this would never be about money, it would always be about the user. So one of the things that we're going to make sure is that we have a platform that we can still control. And I don't mean control by censor anything, but we don't take government money. So we don't have to allow them to decide for us we can, we can offer what our customer wants, which is ultimately the parents of the children. So that's how we, you know, our our models working right now is making sure that we provide visibility for
Cory McKane 37:37
them. Very cool. And I love that it's, that's a true point. Do you like people always, especially in the b2b world, or like, you know, like, if I'm targeting gyms, it's like, yeah, I need the gyms to be happy. But like, if they're, if a client gets the app at the end user level, and that sucks, then they're going to complain to the gym, and then that'll come back to me. And so it's like, you really do have to deal with both those sides. And sometimes it's even more important to have like, you can have a shitty experience for the teacher. As long as all the kids love it. Maybe that's the best way to do it.
Kyle Wallgren 38:04
It's like both, so we're trying to take on too old worlds. Okay, shout out to all my teachers like we can do this without you by any means. But it's old, like schools was designed to build workers to work in factories, if you like dive into like, how school started, I think it was like Andrew Carnegie and JD Rockefeller put money together to start a school to get people smart
Cory McKane 38:32
enough to go work in their factories. And I saw like a documentary on that or something like that. So like, if you think about
Kyle Wallgren 38:37
it, like back then they started building manufacturing workers. They're still doing that today. Yeah, so but it's just because that's the platform that teachers have to teach on. Like, it's not that teachers want to do that. It's and that's the platform they're given to teach on. So like I said, shout out to our teachers, they've been given a tough card. But um, the other ones publishing, you know what I mean, when you tell a publisher, like when we're going in and collecting content for our platform, they're like, you're gonna do what? And I'm like, Yeah, this is how we're gonna display your content they're like, but that's not a book. You know what I mean? And they're just like, too old worlds that are really, really slow to evolve. Yeah. You know, and I think now that the thing for the Education Network is that COVID slowed them down so much, that they're going to need to depend on technology a little bit to catch them up. And it like, weeded out all the teachers that were getting ready to retire. You know, the ones that, you know, it just screwed up two different worlds, and there's the world's struggling or America struggling for teachers. Right now. We're down 1000s If not, 10s of 1000s of teachers. Yeah, so,
Cory McKane 39:41
and I mean, you I mean, you gotta you gotta feel for him, too. I mean, yeah, they're already underpaid. They already had somebody like, difficulties in them. I couldn't imagine like, I have friends that I'd see on Instagram during COVID like teaching their class like it's been shown me the setup and it's like, it's crazy, man. So
Kyle Wallgren 39:56
yeah, and then like, you go to schools and teachers if you don't believe that a teacher does this for the right reasons like really dive into before you get down a teacher's throat like I know a lot of teachers, especially getting into this that pay for school supplies out of their own pocket. Yeah. They don't make any very much money like you can literally make more money at Chick fil A right now than you can being a teacher. That's sad. You know what I mean? And that's no book no BS, you can make more money at Chick fil A, then you can teaching our future that they're something broken. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So you know, we hope that we can use technology to do that. And so the MA on at Soma for the marketplace, and to be able to provide teachers resources into their classroom without having to pull money out of their pockets. So I love that as we start to grow into classrooms, we'll be able to give teachers some credits to help.
Cory McKane 40:48
So cool how you guys can do so many awesome things, especially the ones we're starting to, like, make more money and scale, like you kind of you just said, like, so many different, like, you know, like charities you could open or you can give back to teachers in this way or like do that. So that's really cool. You guys can do that. That's awesome.
Kyle Wallgren 41:03
And like when we're saying like, our lowest cost of entry is like, we're literacy tool. That's what we built our entire model around. And when I say like, our cheapest cost to Market is a market that we don't want to focus on because it's literacy is so important to us. But we get downloaded every day from testers that are using us as English as a second language. So
Cory McKane 41:25
very cool. It's a whole nother a whole nother world
Kyle Wallgren 41:29
market, right? It's just naturally doing that. And our like customer cost of acquisition for that is like pennies,
Cory McKane 41:36
really. So that's interesting, man we just launched are launching next week, like five new languages on our app. And I can tell you, like, people really want to be able to like us, I use Duolingo every, like I used to use every day. I'm really slacking. But I mean, the app world for languages is really interesting. And I yeah, I'm trying to think how you guys could do that. I was
Kyle Wallgren 42:00
one of the sales pitches, like when Shaq's like so he's like, let me get this straight, you're gonna teach me to read in Spanish. So we can like we're right now launching content in English. But in the next 12 months, we will probably be in five other languages, we can literally do use our technology and every spoken language that you can translate on our phone.
Cory McKane 42:22
That is so cool. And do you guys have like voice actors? Or is it all AI?
Kyle Wallgren 42:28
So it's all AI. So like, I say that we've we've been super fortunate. We've partnered with a company throughout Ireland called soap box. Anyway, so box labs, and they were like the world leader for speech recognition for children. So they have done, you know, all the testing on like, different speeches and speech sounds. And that's why I was worried like, I'm like, I don't know, if they tested on Shaq Jack, you know, Ricky, or Richie? Is this going to work to detach Shaq? But um, you know, so they had millions of hours logged with children's voices. So we use them to partner with to really
Cory McKane 43:13
so cool. I wasn't sure if you guys have that in house or not. And actually, my next question is about your team. So like, what is the? Well, you should have already mentioned this, you have you know, the V, the actually can you just do it?
Kyle Wallgren 43:24
So there's top down, there's myself, who's supposed to be the CEO, I show up and they're got
Cory McKane 43:31
to be put in work and see what happened putting in work. That
Kyle Wallgren 43:34
happens for sure. throw stuff at the wall. We've got Dr. Diane Burton, who's our chief education officer.
Cory McKane 43:42
Is that was that your? You're one of your employees? Moms? Yep. Okay, gotcha, gotcha.
Kyle Wallgren 43:47
children's letters. So we also have Steve, who's our architect, Brian, who is head of technology. Enrique runs finance. Kevin, my dad, who you met, looks after HR and our legal stuff. There's a lot of contracts. Yeah. Looks after that and deals with our attorneys. I think we have five different specialty attorneys just to make sure that we do everything right. Is that
Cory McKane 44:15
because your work is I have another question. Perfect. That is that because you're working with with kids is
Kyle Wallgren 44:19
working with kids working with schools working with content, they're all different professions, right? So like, you have to understand publishing, you have to understand privacy. Like it. They're just different specialists.
Cory McKane 44:30
And that's not a thing where you like how Uber we've done on the podcast, like, when you were at a tech company, you're like, let's just do it. And you know, if we get in trouble be a slap on the wrist. You can't do that with kids like no, you can. I think there's an episode in Silicon Valley where he buys the company and didn't realize that like they didn't do a certain policy, so he has to pay $5,000 for every under 13 year old kid and it was like $20 million, or something like that. So yeah, you're not in a industry where you can just didn't
Kyle Wallgren 44:56
like no parent. I promise you no parents can have Like, okay, you screwed up my kid last week here have another shot. Exactly. No parent is going to do that. Yeah. When you're collecting data, you know, we, we don't need to give away data on our kids. So we're always going to I don't know a good word to use the words I want to use or not right. But they're going to take advantage of that data as soon as physically possible. Yeah. And they're going to make them a walking marketing tool from what I think the legal age is like 13, where they can start collecting that stuff. Gotcha. So we just it's very protected. So we have a lot of eyes to dot and a lot of T's to cross. So what what
Cory McKane 45:39
age group are you particularly working with?
Kyle Wallgren 45:41
Right now? We're K through four. So we're like the youngest minds in the world. So seeing
Cory McKane 45:46
is there. So I know there's a lot of HR stuff like that. Is there like government regulation? Because like, if you think about it, like any educational app could be like, you know, screwing with our current educational system, if it's not good. So like, is there a government policies you have to follow? Like, how does that work,
Kyle Wallgren 46:04
it's really tough to get break in those barriers. A lot of testing, usually, it comes from like a recommendation from a teacher and then they'll go through a PA A prime procedure to make sure and Bennett another company that we had to partner with through this whole thing was a company called clever, they kind of bet it's like a standard for schools, they'll go in and you have to get vetted by clever first in order to be approved to go into a lot of districts that kind of vetting process. And then once you're approved by clever, you can go in and anybody starting an ad app, I'm dropping some bombs here. So it's good to know. They'll go in and do the vetting to make sure that you can go into the next steps. Very
Cory McKane 46:51
cool. So we said that I was like, I have multiple friends going into the education space. So that's, I'll definitely send them this episode when it goes live. So interesting. What is your guy's number one focus right now? Is it making the app better, better content, better funnels to get schools like what do you guys like top of mind right now? Are all Yeah,
Kyle Wallgren 47:12
I'm trying to think the answer without saying all but like we've because we've been super fortunate enough to collect the talent that we have, we have people that can really focus on all those like, individual individually important partisan pieces. You know, strengthening our speech is always something that we prioritize
Cory McKane 47:34
when what is so strengthening the
Kyle Wallgren 47:38
in order to be a credible educational app, you've got to convert words 98%. Okay, so like, you can't screw up. If a child reads the word die, it needs to hear the word means so. And there's like just different accents like or a you know what I mean?
Cory McKane 48:00
There's a difference. super deep boys. Yeah.
Kyle Wallgren 48:03
So and then like, yeah, the English language is just jacked up language. It's really hard.
Cory McKane 48:10
You got like, you got like Boston, New York. And like, he's just like, yeah, that's, I never thought about
Kyle Wallgren 48:16
that. And then like, we have to build our speech engine. So like, you almost like put a geo field up around a location where you're going to hear this or you're going to hear that. So it's interesting.
We're actually voted by VentureBeat. Like last week, don't marry off 10 ai software's.
Cory McKane 48:41
Oh, why did I see that? Did you is that on your website? I saw that article for some reason. Maybe I just added you on LinkedIn. And then I saw it right away or something like that. I could have been I could have been like, just saw that. Okay. Very cool. Yeah. When you first started, like, how did you? How did you know this was a problem you were solving aside from your own personal situation.
Kyle Wallgren 49:00
It was never supposed to be a business. I literally did it to be connected with my daughter. Yeah, it wasn't a business. It wasn't like, I built it. And I'm like, I'm going to you know, I've got enough money saved. I can, you know, spend the next year catching up with my kids. And when I started telling people what I was doing, it just like started, like really opening my eyes around it like I was, I was at the Conor McGregor fight blast one that was so that like, gives you a hard date of when I made up my mind was at the Conor McGregor fight. And I was talking to this guy named Mitch and he had just got back from being deployed. And I'm like, I'm trying to stay connected with my kids. What's the government used to keep you engaged with your family? Interesting? Yeah. While you're on the road, they've got to have something. It's the US government. And he's like, man, we get a box of donated books sent to us. We get to pick one filament on a thumb stick and send it home. I'm like, listen for fixing this problem. You know what I mean? Like,
Cory McKane 50:04
that's a big market too. Yeah, I think about that
Kyle Wallgren 50:06
we get our market Psych.
Cory McKane 50:10
Anybody that reads? Yeah. But it's just
Kyle Wallgren 50:13
anybody that reads but like, think of this way, you know what I mean? You're deployed defending our country wondering what your kids are doing, feeling like you're missing out on everything not being involved in their education, not reading stories. I mean, I don't care. Every child loves hearing stories. Bad, like, I don't care who you are, they love that. You know what I mean? You go to kindergarten, and you walked into the teacher giving them storytime, they love it. They're not single ones making a sound during those moments. It's so important. So think about the people that are away defending our country missing on that the guilt that they must feel. So if we could give that back to them, versus give them that, how much better could they focus on their job? Which is already dangerous enough? How much better could they focus?
Cory McKane 50:56
Hmm, give me like, take a little sorry.
Kyle Wallgren 50:59
And then like we're working with prison systems to implemented to parents that have been disconnected from their families having it make it easier connection for them to connect with their children, stay involved with them, make the reentry back into their homes easier. Like we're just working with so many different groups, sports teams, you know, they can be on the road and still say goodnight to their child random a book before they go. So clearly sport. I love that man. Huge market farm.
Cory McKane 51:25
Yeah, I mean, like, truckers on the road. I mean, everything I could think up people are on the road. Interesting. Okay. And do you guys, I mean, I know you guys are doing this, again, a very wholesome way. But obviously, like competitors still exists, whether you're like a charity or a real business, or
Kyle Wallgren 51:40
we have competitors and our competitors. Our competitors are very good at what they're doing. And we're not trying to take that from them. You can have what you're doing, it's yours. We're going to do what we're doing where I feel like we found enough of a niche market. We're two different products, hyped up on steroids, that I don't feel like we're gonna take away from either of those industries. But it's gonna work for us
Cory McKane 52:11
is the is the MA, he said that sounds from marketplace, right? What is it? Is it a marketplace of books? Or did that which were
Kyle Wallgren 52:19
a place of resources for our teachers? Like we always got to have like, there's three barriers, I tell you when you're going into a market. One is availability. The other is cost, and ease? Or how do you make my life better, easier? So teachers are the same way, you know what I mean? They're already underpaid. They're stressed out. They don't want to learn how to do something new already. They're, you know what I mean, they're maxed out. So we're like, Well, how can we bring value to a teacher that's already struggling? That's already, you know, me maxed out or bandwidth, what can you do to get back to them, so we're like, let's make it so you don't have to pay pulling money out of their pockets anymore. Let's provide them a credit program, where they get credits for using our platform. So they can keep their hard earned money in their pockets. And we will provide them school resources. This is like in our third rollout is the marketplace. We have to start somewhere. But you know, in the next two years, we'll have
Cory McKane 53:24
your whole business models like on your shirt is rolled out
Kyle Wallgren 53:27
very green as we education first social second. So there's like, we've had like, this great response we met with like Microsoft, some of the people at Microsoft are like, hey, you know, we want to gamify our learning journey. Would you guys be interested in partnering with your avatars and our platform, Game of fire, reward children for education, allow them to Community Connect in our closed marketplace in your worlds? And they're like, why didn't we think of this before? You know what I mean? So like, we're even engaging with Microsoft on that level, you know what I mean? So like, it's just very cool. The whole thing. And so that's the gamification of it. And then like I said, the marketplace. If you think about it, Amazon started with books. Yeah, we're just Amazon of 2020. They started, you know, 20 years ago and made what they needed to be today. And brand. identification is a real thing. I play golf. I watch Bryson to Shambo. He's my favorite golfer. I wear Puma golf stuff because Bryson wears Puma golf stuff. I know that's why I didn't like it before he started wearing it. Now that he wears it I'm all of a sudden this shirt badass isn't bad. Astrid is Bryson work let's just call a spade a spade. Yeah. So you know as you grow as a brand and bring value to people's lives, they're gonna trust and you just like Amazon Amazon went to their customers and said, What do you want next? We've sold you books for five years, what do you want next. And their responses was like, We want a hairdryer or a microwave, I need, you know, gas, money, whatever it was that they're looking for that day, they wanted Amazon to sell. And that's how Amazon came to be, they listen to their customer, they obsessed over their customer. So we're gonna do that, but our customers as a result, so we're gonna obsess over our customer.
Cory McKane 55:30
Very cool. And you mentioned that we have one bitter video. You want to create, like an ecosystem around in Soma is that kind of what you're referring to is like,
Kyle Wallgren 55:40
St. So web threes are reality, it's not going to stop. Remember, when they said the internet was gonna break? We'd all stop using it. Web three is the same thing. It's not going away. We either accept it might get left behind. But I feel like we have a responsibility to teach children what they're about to walk into. Yeah, that's true. Yeah. And I learned differently than a lot of people when I was like, Oh, I think crypto is going to be so cool. I invested $20,000 into crypto, I was playing with it. And then all of a sudden pushed a couple wrong buttons and some dude stole my crypto law. You know what I mean? And that was the reality. I know so many people. They're like, Oh, yeah, that happened to me, too. You know,
Cory McKane 56:25
I didn't have any people that did happen to Yeah. So like, we have to educate
Kyle Wallgren 56:29
our children to be prepared for this. Because there is I still believe trust the world, but there is people out there that are trying to get you you know what I mean? So we just got to make sure that they understand what they're getting into.
Cory McKane 56:45
Very cool. And last question here. I first of all, awesome interview so far been so great. Sit down with you, man. What is next for someone like what do you guys I mean, we kind of already covered this, but like, what's the big thing that you're really excited for? So check.
Kyle Wallgren 57:03
Man, I'm not gonna take anything away from Shaquille. I'm super excited for Shaquille but like, no offense, Shaquille. It's not even on like the top five greatest things that we've done this year. Yeah, very cool. Not I mean, like, he brings a lot of value to our company. But if you look at the small things on how big they really could be, there's a lot there that we're missing. You know what I mean? What if one day, the President of the United States walks up and says I need to thank and Sonal for teaching me to read.
Cory McKane 57:36
Yeah, I mean, that could have been a Joe Biden situation, that's for sure.
Kyle Wallgren 57:40
It's bigger than anything we've got. And that's the reality like one day Joe Biden jokes. It made me think of something now. So we used to have this slogan where it said not all leaders are not all Leaders are readers are just sorry, not all readers are leaders. But all Leaders are readers. And then you got your Joe Biden thing, then I'm like, Well, maybe the I just want to change your life, give somebody an opportunity, I'd if we had more time, I could take you down these rabbit holes that would blow your mind. You know what I mean? I've I've been there. I've done that I've got the postcard. I can speak firsthand, from almost any experience I think a child could go through. It's built me into who I am today. And I'm super grateful for every experience that I had to go through good or bad, but it just made me realize that I could probably get in front of a lot of these kids and help them before they make those same mistakes I made.
Cory McKane 58:54
Well, I would love to, like in a year from now have you back on and just like see where you guys have gone? I mean, you guys are pre revenue now. Next year is gonna be crazy for you.
Kyle Wallgren 59:03
I feel like yeah, we're leaving. I was supposed to leave Saturday.
Cory McKane 59:09
So Tuesday, and I was
Kyle Wallgren 59:10
supposed to leave last Saturday. So Tuesday, my visa got messed up. I supposed to leave the Saturday after Kelly's event got you. Okay, and my visa got messed up. But the there's an initiative in India right now where they're trying to take the entire country from a great four reading level to a great six they think it'll increase
Cory McKane 59:31
with like people that aren't like, like 40 year olds like that, or what do you mean, just like
Kyle Wallgren 59:35
the working population. So by increasing the working population in American reading American English, literacy or English as a second language, that will increase national GDP by $6.6 trillion a year just by elevating it to grade levels. So we've been approached by some people within the government of India dr. technology through their school sector. So we're headed there next. Vaughn is going to be more or less living in India for the next little while we've got that, and then there's 37 states just said that they weren't gonna let kids pass the third grade. So we've got all kinds of kids, we've got to help. I know,
Cory McKane 1:00:18
I feel like you guys been blessed to have you on here right now. Because I feel like I feel like as of like, tomorrow, you're gonna be too busy to do podcast. So no, and I
Kyle Wallgren 1:00:26
don't forget where I came from ever. All this wouldn't be available. If, if you let your head get too big, you know, need to remember what your roots are and the people that help you on the way up. You know, I was just as excited to come here. You know, based off your network, you know, your event, your networking event.
Cory McKane 1:00:46
You do that tomorrow. Yeah, you know, it's
Kyle Wallgren 1:00:48
hard to go out and meet these people. I moved here five years ago, like small story. So before I moved from Canada, I got the oilfield tanked No, no, it fell company, my biggest customer went bankrupt, lost four and a half million dollars. And I ended up selling off all my assets to pay off our debt. Through that I ended up getting divorced, gave my house to my ex wife and my kids to keep them housed and moved down here with a pickup truck four years ago.
Cory McKane 1:01:28
That's all I had Damn.
Kyle Wallgren 1:01:30
Are sorry, five years ago. That's all I had. So in five years, with hard work and dedication, I've built and sold to businesses. And I've been working on this for 18 months. And we have 19 employees. We're being told by some of our investors that they believe our company's worth $25 million. They've done all this in five years. Yeah. You know, just head down and do it
Cory McKane 1:01:57
very cool, man. I mean, yeah, I think I love people that are gonna be watching this are in the headspace and definitely can definitely will enjoy it. And I'm excited. We went is it we put her close?
Kyle Wallgren 1:02:08
So it was supposed to close already. But we filmed a TV show. It's called America's real deal. It airs October 8 on Fox Business. Wow. Very cool. Okay, so we were asked to extend it. So we've extended it to October 15.
Cory McKane 1:02:27
Let me see when this episode airs. I mean, I can actually I can just move this to whatever you want. I don't really care. So we'll figure out what the best time for you is. And I'll put it on there. Sweet man. Yeah, hopefully this will be live when that's live on Fox. And yeah, very cool.
Kyle Wallgren 1:02:41
So it's like it was super neat experience. We've met our lead investor on that show. Or let me reword. We met the guy that introduced us to our lead investor on that show. The host was Maria Jasmine. Oh, very cool. She was super educational. I've never been on TV. That's not my thing. Yeah. But it was an unique experience. So cool. For sure. And then since then, actually, we're filming with Mark Randolph next weekend, or next week, I think. And Mark, those who don't know Mark Randolph, he created a small company called Netflix.
Cory McKane 1:03:24
I had no idea. No.
Kyle Wallgren 1:03:26
So CEO, original CEO and founder of Netflix now he does a TV show called that's not going to work. Wow. Okay. And we're filming with him next week. So
Cory McKane 1:03:39
cool. You're just doing a lot of stuff, man. I've got a really good
Kyle Wallgren 1:03:42
PR lady. I need to like shout her out. Nadia. She's done amazing things for us. She grinds it out. She was like the first. So I was the first person I guess, working for the company. She was a second. So before we even had an app, I hired a public public relations person, because I knew that they needed to get us in front of this. In order to be held, when you're trying to walk into markets that people don't know you, it's really hard. You know what I mean? VCs invest on people that get introductions to work and feel like they're a credible person. So you need to be prepared to air all your dirty laundry, get out there so people can see that you're not hiding anything. And get in front of it. So I just, you know, I wanted to make sure that we had somebody that could represent our company align with what our core values were, and really put us in front of people to pick us apart.
Cory McKane 1:04:36
There you go. Well, yeah, it's been awesome, man. I'm excited to watch all of your guys's progress throughout the future. And I'm assuming at some point, we'll have you on here again. Yeah, I appreciate it. Pleasure, man. Thanks so much. Awesome, dude. It's great.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai