Bootstrapping an IoT Company from North Carolina: Bob Witter, CEO of Device Solutions
[In February of 2016, Bob was invited to an interview with Sramana Mitra who founded One Million by One Million (1M/1M), the world’s first and only global virtual incubator/accelerator, in 2010 to help a million entrepreneurs globally to reach a million dollars in annual revenue, build $1 trillion in global GDP, and create 10 million jobs.]
Here is the interview:
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of circumstances?
Bob Witter: I was born in Springville, New York. It’s in the western part of New York. I grew up in central New York. I went to school at State University of New York and graduated in 1981 with degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. I started my career in Rochester with Eastman Kodak company in the medical products division that was brand new at that time. I learned a great deal about how to do medical products that has certainly served me well even today at Device Solutions.
When I left and came south, I got into the cellphone business in 2003 with General Electric. I stayed in the cellphone business for almost 20 years. That’s where I was able to break my teeth on cellular and ride it up and down for many years. I learned what was good about big business and what I didn’t like about big business, and that eventually drove me and my partner to start our own business. We’ve been at this for about 12 years now.
Sramana Mitra: What were the circumstances under which you started in 2003?