Tech startup gets shot at big funding

Photo courtesy of Plutonium Apps.

“You’re looking at your phone, on the map, right, and you see this little blue line. Well in five to ten years, you’re going to see it projected in real time on the road.”

If fifth-year ME Seth Radman is to be believed, the future could prove to be an exciting time. It should be, at least, for his Tech-based startup Plutonium Apps, which was recently invited to audition for season eight of ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank.”

The company, established by Radman in 2014, has since “[been] featured in an Apple commercial, guided clients to over $2 million in funding, won a national pitch competition, worked with professional sports teams, collaborated with a $25 million investment company and seen [its] apps get over 1000 downloads in a single day,” courtesy of their website.

One of Plutonium’s latest endeavors, a smart watch app called Pulse, demonstrates Radman’s pioneering mind-set when it comes to technology.

“A good company is one that isn’t reacting to changes, but is peering around the corner and kind of steering technological progress,” he said. “That’s why we made our first Apple Watch app.”

Pulse simulates a metronome on the smart watch, doling out perfectly-timed vibrations at pre-set intervals. Radman and Chief Technical Officer Stephen Schwahn, both members of Tech’s band program, saw the app as a quiet and hands-free way to help musicians keep rhythm.

The app’s uses proved to include more than just musical applications, however.

“We get five to ten emails every day from people telling us what they like and what they don’t like,” Radman said. “But it’s not just feedback, there are stories. There are Olympic athletes who are using it to train, paramedics use it to keep consistent chest compressions, there was even a woman that used it to make sure she didn’t swallow too often because it affects something in her larynx. It’s incredible what people are using it for.”

The team has also partnered with local organizations, such as Tech Square Labs and the Atlanta Hawks, to help take on the burdens of app development.

Based in Atlanta, Plutonium’s clients tend to be local to the area.

“We’ve been trying to do a lot of networking around Atlanta,” Vice President of Marketing Karima Alkhalid said. “We really care about the people we are working with so we decided ‘Hey, we should go meet those people,’ so we look up events around Atlanta and we just get to know people and see what they’re up to.”

A 2nd year IE, Alkhalid has helped the firm acquire clients throughout the 404 and beyond. Her pitch, paralleled directly by the the team’s guiding principles, is centered around the fact that they aren’t a “huge company, like an app factory, just trying to shoot out an app.” Plutonium’s quality, they believe, lies just as much in their relationship with clients as much as with their technical knowledge.

“We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to get their idea out there,” Schwahn said. “I think that kind of sums up everything in a nutshell.”

Even though they’ve become a solid means of turning those ideas into products, the team is quick to credit Tech with their success.

“I know a huge part of this we owe to Georgia Tech,” Radman said. “One of their recent goals is to inspire creative and entrepreneurial thinking. I personally want to encourage students here that even remotely have an idea to go for it. You’re a student at
Georgia Tech.”

With initiatives like Tech Square Labs and Startup Summer, Tech has brought an entrepreneurial spirit to Midtown Atlanta. Thanks to this increased focus on student innovation, Plutonium Apps and many startups like it are able to grow from dirty college dorm room to national attention and generous funding in a matter of months.