Often, startup stories focus more on the product and company than they do the people that made them possible. We at The Startup Collaborative have found that our mission statement to allow everyone an unbiased investment thesis to building their own tech-centric company allows us to step aside and let the entrepreneurs be center stage. The Behind the Founder campaign is meant to do just that —  let the stories of those who call themselves TSC Fellows be told from their perspective.

What’s your name?

Blaine Kasten

Where are you from?

Minneapolis, MN

How did your upbringing influence you today?

Playing in bands in high school gave me the desire to go to school for Audio Engineering so I could record our albums. Doing this gave me a big insight into the music industry as a whole, but also gave me a lot of debt. I taught myself to code to pay off that debt.

Whether you’ve met them or not, who is one REAL person that has influenced you?

My wife. She’s encouraged me every step and helped me never settle for anything less than what I want to achieve.

From a sketch on a napkin to officially starting up, what triggered the inception of your company?

It’s honestly been a long time coming. It’s a problem that we’ve faced at various parts of our life, from being in high school trying to pursue music, to being an adult with more responsibilities struggling to find time to get together and write music. It’s an idea I’ve been circling in my head until one day I finally asked my now-cofounders to grab a drink and hear out my idea. They were immediately excited by the idea and related to the struggle to write good music with a band. That night over a few beers we decided to give it our best shot.

How did the founding team meet?

We met at a music festival in Illinois where we camped together for a week, watched many concerts, and just got to know each other.  I was on tour with a band who was invited to play this music festival, and just by happenstance, we know the same people to all camp together. A year later, I moved to Lincoln NE and we all became best friends.

Within The Startup Collaborative, what level was the most challenging for you, your company and why?

The early levels were the most challenging. We are engineers professionally and at heart. Our desire is to build, but taking a step back from building and just asking questions was both very difficult for us, and very rewarding. I think without this process we would have spun our wheels until we burnt out. Now we know what our target market needs, and we’re working hard to deliver it.

Within The Startup Collaborative, what level has been the most rewarding for you, your company and why?

Same answer as above.

Presently, what does a typical day look like for you and your company?

Right now we’re just grinding out the development.

What’s next for you and your company?

Finish the development, start a slow organic growth campaign to give us a chance to stay close to customers and validate our product.