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SILICON VALLEY ENTREPRENEURS: Praise CoMo people and talent

"The Columbia community is awesome."
COLUMBIA, 7/30/12 (Beat Byte) -- In yet another indication that Columbia's economic development officials should concentrate more on entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups rather than tax incentives for well-established out-of-state firms, Columbia-born Zapier opened an office last month in California's Silicon Valley.

But Zapier's founders can't stop praising CoMo.
"The Columbia community is awesome," co-founder Wade Foster told Silicon Prairie News (SPN), in a "Mizzou" T-shirt for the interview. "Some of our earliest users are people from Columbia who basically use the site and told us what things were wrong. The people from Columbia have been amazing in terms of support and helping us kind of get off the ground."

Zapier synchronizes apps without programming -- computer development work Foster says can cost more than $2,000. Visit the site at to see how easily they do it. Simply drag and drop compatible applications such as Twitter and Gmail into the boxes to get them to work together. The result: "When a New Email in Gmail occurs, Zapier will automatically create a New Tweet in Twitter."
Zapier received praise last month from a columnist at TechCrunch, one of the world's best-known technology news sites.  "The service uses a drag and drop interface to make creating these new connections – or ‘zaps’ as the company likes to call them – very easy," wrote Frederic Lardinois.  "The company already has a pretty solid monetization model in place."
In September 2011, Zapier built their prototype at Startup Weekend Columbia. Foster and fellow co-founders Bryan Helmig and Mike Knoop moved to California in May 2012.
But CoMo is still on their minds.
"I have a strong feeling that Columbia might be a very good place to source talent since it's kind of hard to do that out here," Knoop told SPN. "And it's that talent and the Columbia startup community that gave Zapier it's start. A history they don't take for granted."


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