Austin Miller is the co-founder of Esteem Therapeutics, a child development program designed to provide better care and outcomes for children with ADHD. The Savannah entrepreneur brings more than 20 years of business and product development experience from within the technology, science and consumer space.
Miller had been CEO of SenseLabs, a science-based consumer device company that developed brain-training product, and a co-founder of Experts-Exchange.com, the largest knowledge sharing community in the world.
Recently, ATDC @ Savannah sat down with this successful entrepreneur to get his insight on what startup founders should do to position themselves and their companies to be successful:
Q. What caused you to go the entrepreneurial route and start Esteem Therapeutics?
A. I started my career at Apple Computer and fully bought into the idea that we could all change the world for the better. When I left Apple, I knew that my personal impact would come from the startup ecosystem and not working for another large corporation. I also love the challenge of starting business that solve problems and enjoy the success that comes with it. With the profits from experts-exchange.com exit I started a Neuro science company called SenseLabs. We created a hardware product designed to enhance brain performance. From that experience I’ve made it my mission to help kids with chronic care and learning disabilities. That’s why we started Esteem Therapeutics.
Q. What is the company’s mission and vision?
A. The mission is to empower parents with digital therapeutic tools to manage their children’s chronic care (first in ADHD and then in other areas) to improve behavior, health and academic performance.
Q. You are in Savannah. What are the unique attributes that make the Savannah technology ecosystem great for entrepreneurs?
A. I’m here in Savannah because of my cofounders, Thomas Pedigo and Tommy Black and the unique opportunity of building a worldwide startup maximizing their 20 years of expertise. Savannah is a challenging place to launch a startup, but I’m seeing many great things happening with ATDC’s commitment to the Savannah area.
Q. You’ve been a mentor, you served as an ATDC host at a recent coffee hour with entrepreneurs and you participated in Geekend. Why are partnerships with incubators such as ATDC important to Savannah entrepreneurs? What is the value to the community?
A. This is a great question and an important one. There really is a formula or recipe in launch a startup. Even in the Silicon Valley (where I split 50 percent of my time) it takes mentors who have been down the road to provide help, feedback and tough love. I honestly believe there’s never been a better time to start a company and part of that is because there is such a culture of successful people giving back.
Q. What one lesson have you learned as an entrepreneur you believe everyone considering launching their own technology startup should know?
A. There are two important things:
- The team you build around you will determine your level of success. Do not take that process for granted.
- This is a personal issue for me. Don’t prematurely hand off things for other people to do until you have fully baked them for your self. Otherwise, you’re not going to get what you wanted.