Catching up with Charlie Key

It’s been a while since we checked in with Charlie Key, CEO and co-founder of Losant, Brandery grad and founder of Modulus (purchased by Progress Software Corp. in 2014).

Charlie and the team were just part of the inaugural Techstars IoT cohort in New York City and now back in StartupCincy making things happen.  We sat down, chatted and got the lowdown on what’s new from Charlie…

How would you explain what you did at TechStars in a tweet? (140 characters)

We expanded our business relationships with a lot of corporate enterprises and honed in on our positioning as a company. (Close enough!)

Favorite space in Union Hall.

The beer hall. It’s just a phenomenal space to experience as a person. When you look at events that happen in the building, the beer hall provides a very versatile space. You have great events that range from happy hours to small conferences and small event space. It’s just a beautiful space.

Strangest Union Hall interaction.

It’s this category of seeing a mix of entrepreneurs and executives that you rarely see anywhere and then being able to interact because you’d never expect to see someone like that.  I can remember one happy hour in the beer hall. There happened to be a bunch in the Internet of Things space.  I wasn’t going to say I was invited, but I found a way to join in. Interactions like that are phenomenal.

Cincinnati stereotype you uphold.

I think both personally and as a company – one of the greatest things we have is a loyalty to the city. Expanding on that –  it’s about one staying with and sticking with things through the hard times. We work hard and love the places that we work. We’re willing to be there a long time – and not blindly, but we follow that we believe in and we trust. That’s just more true here.

Cincinnati stereotype you break.

I don’t like cheese. Skyline is off of the table there. But also “being conservative with big decisions,” I tend to fall pretty heavily in the other way. I take “educated risks.”

Best BigCo use of Losant happening now.

Hewell-Packard enterprise is using Losant to power their new smart office solution! It’s called intelligent spaces.

Who was “the 2015 Charlie Key?”

Very different from me now.  He was concentrated on operational expectations. My day-to-day was mostly thinking about operational efficiency and hitting numbers on a quarterly basis. How was our company accomplishing that and how were we moving forward. It’s very different than me today.

Who is “the 2017 Charlie Key?”

This year, it’s interesting. It’s about approaching fundraising. It’s going to be a challenging and fun thing to be doing. A lot of my focus is going to be how to scale from sales and partnerships and a revenue perspective. That’s a way different mindset than even last year and, definitely, two years ago. And also, how can we find the right people to help move the company in a very fast (and right) direction.

Your random thought of the day.

We’re starting to get into the spring now and I think Cincinnati in the spring is one of the most beautiful in country.

When I’m away from Cincinnati I miss ______ the most.

The people.

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