Pictured above: (from the left) Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Ric Fleisher, Steve Case, Doug Juanarena, and Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey.
Ric Fleisher is Co-founder of Urgent.ly, a company that matches consumers with services using location detection technology available in many cell phones and computers. Members can broadcast a call for help and be heard by qualified nearby responders immediately. Mr. Fleisher has more than 25 years of experience in business development, sales and technology and has been involved with 8 start-ups. These ventures have included products and services for ID verification, networking hardware, speech, streaming video, collaboration, intelligent agents and RFID. Mr. Fleisher also contributed to building early stage technology companies in software, hardware and service areas.
CIT: Tell us about your current venture.
Ric: Urgent.ly was formed to shorten or eliminate the wait time for consumers in need of urgent service. We allow people and service providers to find one another at the moment of need in real time.
For anyone with an urgent or time-sensitive need, we offer a way to be instantly connected to the nearest party who can fill it. Simply put, Urgent.ly helps people get their issues addressed while providing motivated, quality leads to service providers who are in a close geographical radius.
CIT: What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur?
Ric: Do your homework. Do the discovery with potential customers to see if there is a need. Don’t develop an idea that is simply possible. Also, don’t approach investors without some momentum. And then only approach investors that make sense for your space/stage.
CIT: What events/meetup groups are essential for startups?
Ric: The DC Tech Meetup is a good start. Peter, DJ and Zvi have done something great there. On the mobile front, Pete Erickson has great events around MoDevDC.
CIT: How important is collaboration and knowledge sharing to you?
Ric: Very. You can always learn from others. I am a founding board member of FounderCorps. We work to foster entrepreneurial development and provide mentorship to the entrepreneurial community. I am also an alum of Mindshare. Mindshare is an invite only program for CEOs of promising local companies.
CIT: What makes Northern Virginia’s tech scene unique?
Ric: There is a lot of great technical talent with diverse backgrounds and interests.
Co-founder, President and COO, Urgent.ly