This blog series, posted in partnership between HYPE and reSET, offers a platform to showcase the commitment that Hartford entrepreneurs have for their work and this city. It examines how entrepreneurs have chosen their work, and provides examples of the ways in which they are having an impact in Hartford. In this edition, we interviewed Tim Laubacher of Sound Web Solutions & Launch EZ.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Manchester and East Hartford, and have been an entrepreneur in the area since 2005. My first company, Laubacher Multimedia, served over 200 clients in the area during the time I was in business. I sold that company in 2010 and started Sound Web Solutions, which focuses more on building sites for online businesses and helping startup companies that want to build a web- or mobile-based business.
My latest venture is a project called Launch EZ. With that project, we are aiming to be the largest online source of entrepreneurial resources in the state, and to help the startup ecosystem specifically, connect and grow in the state.
Why did you decide to be based in Hartford?
My business is actually based out of my home in Haddam. My idea of having an office at reSET was to get out of the house a couple days a week and integrate more with the community that reSET has been building. I hope to start doing that more in the coming months.
How do you think your work impacts the community and vice versa?
I’ve found that there are a lot of resources in Connecticut all working to make the state great in their own way. But it seems like everyone is working in a silo and not collaborating or communicating as well as they could. I am hoping to improve collaboration and communication within the state in some small way with Launch EZ.
As with all businesses – if our local economy is growing and doing well, it directly effects our ability to do business. There is more business to be had, there are more opportunities for partnerships and collaboration, and there is better access to talent and knowledge. So the community definitely impacts my business. That is why I am so passionate about doing whatever I can to help improve our economy in the region and the state.
What words of wisdom would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who may be hesitant to take the plunge into entrepreneurship?
Read Lean Startup by Eric Ries. It isn’t wise to “plunge” into entrepreneurship. There are lots of ways to test and prove your idea without taking on all of the risk at once.
Of course, once you do decide to be an entrepreneur, you really need to commit yourself to it. I highly recommend identifying a single focus or niche and putting your attention on that, instead of trying to be everything to everyone. It takes so much effort to be successful. If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t win on any front.
What’s it like being an entrepreneur in Hartford? What are the benefits, but also what are the challenges?
Being an entrepreneur in the Hartford region has a lot of benefits that I think most people overlook or don’t take advantage of. First off – it is easy to get connected. Entrepreneurs in this area want one another to succeed and are willing to go out of their way to help you make connections and introductions. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge and most are willing to share it with you if you ask.
The area also has a very wide range of resources – from industry experts to top-notch universities to great co-working and business networking organizations – Connecticut really does have a lot.
Just think of all of the places we can access within a single day trip. Major international cities like Boston and New York. Rural areas and farms in New England and New York. Marine trades and industry along Long Island Sound and the Rhode Island coast. The diversity of experiences we have convenient access to is amazing!
Our biggest challenge, in my opinion, is that we need to work together better. Instead of just supporting our own town or city, we need to support efforts on a regional and state basis and across the spectrum of industries and institutions in the region and state.
What’s your vision for your business and personal development over the next five years?
I am shifting my business model from a consulting model to a product and service model. This is a big shift for me and I’m hoping to be able to pull it off successfully over the next three years. In making that shift, I also hope to be able to make some impact in our region and state’s ability to come together to improve our economic outlook. I’d love to see the region get noticed for all of the positive aspects we have and I would love to be able to help make that happen.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the reSET and HYPE communities?
Just that if anyone else has similar goals – or would like to learn more or help with Launch EZ on any level – please reach out. I’m currently on the lookout for partners and key employees.
The following are links for the Sound Web Solutions / Launch EZ websites and social media accounts: