About Rob Woodbridge
Rob Woodbridge didn’t exactly invent the Internet, but he sure helped make it work.
Way back in 1993, (a full year before Netscape released the first mass-market web browser), I founded Thunder Rd. Communications, one of the first Internet service providers in Ottawa. Once established, the company quickly moved beyond the mere provision of net access and within twelve months, Thunder Rd. was developing and delivering custom software applications over the Internet. By 1998, when it was acquired by Animatics Interactive, the firm was generating revenues in excess of $1,500,000.
In 1998 I formally joined Animatics as Director of Internet Development. From day one, my unique ability to integrate technology into marketing communications strategy began to pay off.
When I arrived, Animatics was creatively strong, but had become mired in the offline world. Fully 95% of AI projects were CD-based, against just 5% web. Within six months, those figures were almost exactly reversed. From there, having taken Animatics online, I went on to move the company from a simple provider of static brochure-ware to a developer of vibrant, interactive digital marketing tools. As well, I personally built and launched EARL, Animatics’ combined company intranet and client extranet. One of the first online collaborative tools, EARL was simple and primitive looking by today’s standards, but pioneering stuff in those early days — at least I thought it was…
As Animatics evolved into Filament Communications, I took on additional roles (now promoted to Chief Net Officer) and put my blend of technological skills and communications expertise to work for clients as diverse as Nortel Networks, Infospace, Xerox, the Royal Bank, and more. I was amongst the first to embrace database-driven websites, built online training environments for global clients, and translated marketing strategies into functional e-business applications. It was the greatest time to embrace learning and, man was there a ton to learn!
It was a busy time. But within a few years, I had become recognised a technologist who understands communications mixed with the communications expert who understands technology.
By 2000, I was ready for a new challenge. I found it at getHOW!
An Ottawa-based start-up, getHOW! had identified a viable market niche and designed some powerful software. But the company needed capital and a marketing strategy. I jumped on as President and repositioned and re-branded getHOW! from a “how-to” web portal to a B2B streaming video provider. From there, and following dozens of presentations to VCs and angel investors, I secured first-round financing, enabling getHOW! to complete its software development and begin to generate revenue.
Unfortunately, like so many companies back then, we weren’t able to secure our next round of funding after the Internet bubble burst — a much longer story that I will happily tell over a beer sometime, just ask me — and we were forced to shut this promising company down and strike out again.
So I jumped on with a Boutique consulting company called SystemScope and learned how to create trusted relationships with customers from two great guys in Denis Barbeau and Steve Karam. After assisting Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada roll out their largest videoconferencing network across the country (seeing Canada from coast to coast was a perk) through Systemscope, I joined OCRI’s Entrepreneurship Centre to run the Ottawa Capital Network.
The OCN focused on matching angel and venture capital investors from around the world with local entrepreneurs through a number of programs and private consultations. I ran and re-branded a pretty successful event called the Ottawa Venture & Technology Summit for 2 years to critical acclaim – it has been rated one of the top 3 venture fairs in North America – and has generated a strong brand and revenue stream for the Entrepreneurship Centre during a period of budgetary cuts and layoffs. Happy to say that this great event is still going strong, now in it’s 12th year!
Then the wireless revolution started and I knew I had to be a part of it, joining Magmic Games as VP Operations in 2005. Magmic is a pioneer in mobile games for smartphones such as RIM’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone and I had a blast as we grew the company’s revenue and efficiency while going from 7 to 120 employees.
At the same time as my involvement in Magmic, I joined the board of advisors for a company called Idokorro Mobile. Idokorro built a bunch of mobile applications targeting the IT professional and was WAY ahead of anyone else’s thinking about what smartphones will eventually be used for.
I eventually joined Idokorro in 2006 as President & CEO and ran the company for three incredible years. In that time we re-branded the company to Rove Mobile, refocused the company product offering and grew revenue 6X. One of the most amazing pieces of my job was the relationships I formed with co-workers and partners.