VaultBox was founded by three partners: Mauricio Jimenez, Jacob Israel and Mohsin Bari. Mauricio Jimenez is a senior technology expert with over 18 years in the field of information technology. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration in computer information systems from the University of Miami in Florida. Mauricio is married and a father of 3 children. Mauricio has been running an IT consulting firm focused on the health care space for the past 4 years.
Jacob Israel is a freelance writer and public relations consultant. Jacob is a graduate of Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
Mohsin Bari is a technologist with over 14 years in the field. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Karachi in computer science. He also holds a Masters in software engineering from the SZABIST Institute of Technology. Mohsin is the father of 4 and currently works for the largest private Toyota vehicle distributor in their research and development department.
Mauricio Jimenez completed the answers to the interview below.
What are you working on right now?
We are currently working on the launch of VaultBox, a cloud based inventory management system composed of an iPhone app and a web portal used to catalog your home or business valuables in case you need to file a claim with your homeowners insurance company.
Where did the idea for VaultBox come from?
It came as a result of one of our founding partner’s experience: Jacob had his house broken into several times in 1 year. The first time, he didn’t have any documentation of the items he owned, so filing a claim with the homeowners insurance company was close to impossible. After that, he made sure to document and photograph any new item he wanted to ensure coverage for, but all the information was on the computer that was stolen during the second robbery. It was then that Jacob thought of the VaultBox idea.
What does your typical day look like?
Currently all of the founding partners have full-time jobs, so we have daily meeting after work. We all split up the work for the week on Monday and charge ahead the rest of the week. Mohsin focuses on the development effort and working with the offshore development team. Jacob is responsible for the marketing and PR efforts. I focus on the financials, management, graphic designs and QA testing. Our days are very busy, we start around 7:00 AM and don’t stop until 10:00 PM daily.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I have tons of experience in IT implementation, so bringing VaultBox to reality was something I have experience in. Jacob and I put on our project management hats and put together a budget, timeline and resources list.
3 trends that excite you.
Social media, mobile technologies and startup incubators.
- Social Media: I am really excited about the future of social media. There are so many possibilities regarding how it can change our lives. The way I see it, right now there is Facebook and nobody else. Facebook is really the only social media right now. Twitter, etc. are trying, but they aren’t quite there yet.
- Mobile Technologies: The iPhone is currently what I think of when I think of mobile technologies. Siri, in the latest release of the iPhone, is taking the first step to allow voice recognition to work the way it should. The purchase of Motorola’s mobile arm by Google makes me very excited, as well. Apple, for the first time ever, has a competitor that can produce both the hardware and software for their product (just like they do). This has been a differentiator for Apple for a long time. What Google will do with this acquisition is very exiting. Let’s see what they will do.
- Startup incubators: This is a new trend that makes me very excited about what the future will bring. Recently there has been a boom of companies like Advise.me, which focus on incubating startups with good ideas and helping them become the next market creators and leaders.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
As a teenager I worked as a janitor for a corporate building. My mother and I would go there at around 8:00 PM every weeknight and clean all the offices in the building. I’m glad I’m not mopping up floors anymore.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I never really took school very seriously. It wasn’t until 2002 that I finally got serious and graduated with my BBA. If I had to start again, I would be a great student and go to an Ivy League school.
What is the one thing you did/do as an entrepreneur that you would do over and over again and recommend everybody else do?
Network, network, network! Early in my career, I didn’t see much value in networking. Today I realize that it is because of who I know that I have been able to get to where I am. Starting a company is much easier if you know the right people.
Tell us a secret…
Passion is power. Passion is real power. It can create anything you want and inspire you to accomplish the impossible. It will move mountains. If you have passion for your business/cause you will make it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
From Good to Great is my favorite business book. This is a very popular book, but the reason I like it is because it proves that it is all about the people. It doesn’t matter where you are going, what really matters is who you are going with. If you have a ship and you fill it with the best crew, it doesn’t matter whether you have to change your route half-way because your crew will succeed no matter where you are going. The same goes for business; get the right team onboard and it doesn’t matter where you need to take the company, your team will help you succeed.
If you weren’t working on VaultBox, what would you be doing?
I would be working on my next idea. My partners and I have various other ventures we like to work on but we are now focusing on VaulBox. As soon as VaultBox gets going, we will focus on the next project.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why.
Mark Suster (@msuster): Serial entrepreneur with a pulse on technology and startups.
Dan Martell (@DanMartell): Canadian entrepreneur and social media guru.
VaultBox (@Vaultbox): Us!
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I do this all the time. My kids are constantly cracking me up. They often quote things they hear in movies and use them during conversations. This always kills me.
Which company do you look up to?
Dropbox. I think everything they have done, going from their introduction video’s to turning down Steve Job’s offer to buy them, is worth admiration.
What is your favorite band?