Pixnabi Lab

Mobile Apps/Web Development

Luis Carpio took the Techbiz courses with a desire to start his own company. Like Steve Jobs, the entrepreneur started his company in a garage. A couple of years later, he has a large space, ten employees, and his eye toward expansion. How did he get to this point?

 

WILLS: What did you study in college?

 

CARPIO: Business. I took programming as well, which was in information systems.

 

WILLS: Were you able to create a business and/or more jobs based on the application you made during Techbiz?

 

CARPIO: When I started Techbiz, I met a lot of interesting people that I’m still friends with. It’s hard to maintain the group because of distance. We each have our own dream, and entered with different projects. We made a job tracking application. The professors divided us into six groups and each one had to make an application. One programmer, a designer, and a business planner.

 

WILLS: How was the experience?

 

CARPIO: I liked it a lot because they taught us from zero up, to a point where they were able to give us tricks and tips that I’m still using today – they were good teachers. The course was focused on how things should be done, step by step: brainstorming, prototyping, testing, launching, and marketing. These days, mobile app marketing is not traditional. It’s not the newspaper.

 

WILLS: How did Pixnabi come to be?

 

CARPIO:
When I started at Techbiz I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about the technology industry, especially everything having to do with mobile technology. I learned a lot – from how to create an application from scratch to marketing. When I finished the course I had to find people who had expertise in application programming. It was really hard to find mobile app programming experts. I went to events like Hackathon, but I either didn’t find persons or found people who knew someone who were starting their own business doing the same thing.

At college I met Alejandro so I approached him with creating a mobile app company – making our own apps and making them for other businesses. We moved to a garage. We were six months there. We recruited more cofounders, but they didn’t last. They didn’t believe in what was going to happen after those six months. Those first six months, we earned 20 thousand dollars. We were able to present to INTECO, who accepted us to the incubation program. That was in January 2014, and we had a four person office. Six months later we moved to a six person office. Pixnabi began to create its own merchandise.

They began to recognize us as the mobile app company. Agencies are removing their design departments; that’s where Pixnabi enters. Pixnabi creates all of the technology and design for agencies. In December of last year we moved to this space – 1300 x 725 sq. ft. Growth required us to hire more people – not only programming experts but marketers, publicists, project managers. We had to move.

 

WILLS: How many people are on your team?

 

CARPIO: There are 10 at the moment. Each one has a specific task. One focused on Android, the other iOS, project management, I’m more based in business, and not programming as I was before. I still program but not much. The rub here is that seventy percent are still students. Seniors that study at night. They’ve changed their student lifestyle as they’ve seen the future they have with Pixnabi. They decided to take night classes themselves.

 

WILLS: I just downloaded your new app CinemaPR, and I love it!

 

CARPIO: CinemaPR has taken off really strong. We found a niche in what once was the Caribbean Cinema app that didn’t really work. So we decided to create this app with the focus of an well-made app that is structured to grow. A lot of updates are on the way, and features to interact with all the way until you leave the movie. The whole process, beginning with buying your ticket. Those are the future updates. The app launched with 3,000 users (there about 3.5 million people in Puerto Rico, and around 3.1 million have smart phones).

 

We have another application for the lottery which already has around 4,000 users. We created it in the garage. At the moment it is the pioneer application in both the Android and iOS markets. The electronic lottery itself took down its own app. They thought we could give support, and obviously it was really interesting – it has a calculator that will tell you how much you will actually walk away with if you win the lottery.

 

WILLS: What advise would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

 

CARPIO: Don’t be afraid! I believe that people act when they’re up against the wall. I had a job where I was earning quite nicely and was comfortable. But from one day to the next, the company announced that they were selling out and I ended up without a job – that’s why I did everything I could to receive the Techbiz scholarship – until today. It’s important to research what you’re offering. Don’t launch something if it’s not what people want. That is really important.

Another important thing, from experience, is to know how to choose your cofounders. Our team started out with more than just me. The others sometimes call me, repentant, telling me they’re there “if you need me.” Now I don’t.

 

WILLS: What kind of routine has worked best for you?

 

CARPIO: Well, obviously, before the work day is over I always make a list of what I need to do in the morning and afternoon. In the morning, I don’t answer the phone, e-mails, or anything. in the afternoon I take all calls and read e-mails. It helps a lot with productivity. It’s important to have goals.

 

WILLS: What’s on the horizon for Pixnabi?

 

CARPIO: This year, Pixnabi is focusing on exporting more service to the American market – Latin America and the Virgin Islands. We want to launch a product with international impact. So far, everything we have done has been done for the Puerto Rican market. We will be looking to the United States, Mexico, and any countries where our apps can take hold.

 

WILLS: What is Pixnabi’s work environment like?

 

CARPIO: I try to make sure that there is always a culture of balance and harmony. Some people prefer music – [referring to music in the background] I don’t listen to this kind of music. So it’s one hour for you, one hour for you, we try to always maintain a harmony between us. Each person has a specific ability and they have prepared for what they are doing. The company culture is really important. Last year we tried to make sure that it was easy for each newcomer to adapt. Everyone comes and goes as they please. We don’t lunch at the same time. It makes us more like a family. Speaking personally is more effective and communication becomes stronger.

 

WILLS: Is there a specific area the Pixnabi team is currently working to improve?

 

CARPIO: Improve in something specific? accounting. The whole world doesn’t have expertise in that area – we’re really focusing on that. We have hired a person who will be in charge of accounting full-time. Obviously, when you’re disorganized in accounting, you lose a lot of money. It’s easier to create the accounting structure when you’re small than when you’re big. This year we are focusing on finances.

 

WILLS: Does Pixnabi have equity?

 

CARPIO: Obviously, these types of companies sometimes need investors. Investors that really get it. We have some stocks separated for investors. As of right now, everything is digital. All of the billion dollar firms – they’re digital. Everything is focused on mobile. I don’t discriminate any types of companies, but if we are going to keep creating more restaurants, it’s just more of the same…

 

WILLS: What’s the meaning behind your logo?

 

CARPIO: Separating yourself from the rest. The symbol and the square. We are separating ourselves from the way things are normally done in Puerto Rico. Everyone who knows us, wants to work with us.
  • Name/Age: Luis Carpio/25
  • Company: Pixnabi Labs
  • Course Taken: Techbiz Advanced
  • Jobs Created: 10
  • Website: http://pixnabilab.com