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August 26, 2015 | Tom Ballard

AUTOXLR8R #5: Twitch Technologies

autoXLR8R(EDITOR’S NOTE: Ten start-ups are participating in the third iteration of the autoXLR8R program run by Tech 2020. Ahead of tomorrow’s “Demo Day” in Oak Ridge, we are running brief profiles on the participants. This is one of those.)

  • What is the name of your company and is there any particular significance of the name? Company name: Twitch Technologies.  Significance: Using our handheld devices sort of mimics the common definition of the word “twitch,” which means to draw, pull, or move suddenly and sharply. In recent years, the word twitch has become popular with gamers, who might be seen twitching (playing a game).
  • Other than yourself, are others involved as Co-Founders, owners or officers? If so, who are they? Twitch recently brought aboard Curtis Faircloth, as CEO.
  • When did you first conceive of the idea for your new start-up? The idea for the product was conceived back in 1983. Unfortunately, in 1983, even the smallest computer was a large affair, owing to the size of the obligatory CRT monitor. In that era, a minimalist computer keyboard offered no competitive advantage over a full-sized QWERTY keyboard. It was the advent of the iPad that stimulated me to file a patent application, and proceed with a start-up.
  • Describe the product or service you plan to offer? Twitch offers an easy-to-visualize, easy-to-memorize 10-key data entry methodology that solves the problem of efficient touch-typing on small devices.
  • Why do you think the market is ready for this new product or offering? The advent of the mobile computing market is forcing people to look at new ways to interface with their electronic devices. Twitch makes it possible to efficiently type and text on any device one can hold in their hand.
  • What motivated you to apply to participate in this year’s autoXLR8R? We knew that the steering wheel offered a natural platform for Twitch’s technology, allowing the driver to interact with their electronic systems without taking their attention off the road. Although Twitch may never find its way into the average person’s automobile, there are a number of vehicles that are regularly placed in hazardous or noisy environments, including law-enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, motorcycles, race cars, and mechanized weaponry. Drivers of such vehicles will greatly benefit from Twitch’s capabilities.
  • At this time, what are the two or three biggest challenges you face that you hope to overcome during the autoXLR8R accelerator? First, identifying the low-hanging fruit (the easiest to reach customer). Second, creating a minimum viable product. Third, making my pitch irresistible.
  • Finally, tell us a little about yourself as a business executive, entrepreneur, researcher or whatever. BS in Forestry from Clemson University. Spent 25 years owning and managing retail musical instrument stores. Serial inventor/entrepreneur with four issued patents and two additional patents pending.

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