Built in Boise: Healthcare Investment to Glassware with a Goal

The writers, photographers, designers, builders and business-owners at Built in Boise have delved into more Boise companies to share their stories and the people behind them. From healthcare investment to glassware with a goal, here is a roundup of profiles from October... 

Coding Hire: Ben Noland’s biggest competitor is himself… literally. In 2008, while working as a developer for Clearwater Analytics, he realized a problem: technical phone interviews. They were a mess of coordinating conference calls and screen sharing tools. Unlike a traditional phone interview, developer interviews required live coding tests to prove the interviewee was up to snuff. Screen sharing tools required additional software and setup, wasting time for both parties. Ben knew there was a better way. Read how slow and steady progress and encouragement from a familiar friend turned an idea into thriving reality in Friendly Competition.

IdeaRoom Technologies: Russ Whitney and company are bringing custom to the customer. After going through a big career transition, many turn to hobbies to clear their heads. And that’s what Russ Whitney did. He was Vice President for ProClarity, the Boise startup Microsoft acquired in 2006. At Microsoft Boise, he was a general manager in an organization with hundreds of people – a long way from the small business he loved. “I got tired of all the politics,” Russ says. He wasn’t the only one… So he quit Microsoft. It was fall of 2010, without a job, Russ headed to his garage and his woodworking tools. He was determined to make that year’s Christmas presents himself. Although he didn’t know at the time, he was also building the foundation for his current startup company, IdeaRoom Technologies. Read how Russ repurposed a fizzled business and leverages lessons learned from former gigs to warrant success in Reconfigured.

Healthfundr: This Boise company lives at the intersection of a healthcare and investing revolution. As a boy, Jared Iverson dreamt of being a doctor. Instead he ended up as a securities attorney. “It was a good job. The firm was really good,” Jared says. But he wanted more. It was 2012. Congress had just passed the JOBS Act, which included provisions that paved the way for anyone to invest in startups. It was revolutionary; traditionally, the Security and Exchanges Commissions rules anyone who wasn’t deemed a sophisticated investor from putting their money into securities in the private markets. The JOBS Act seemed to change that, something Jared saw as a tremendous opportunity. Learn how Jared bridges the gap to benefit both investors and startups in the healthcare realm in Healthy Start.

Usful Glassworks: Carlyn Blake is making useful products… and people. To locals, Usful Glassworks is a place to drop off used wine and alcohol bottles. To foodies, it’s the place that supplies upcycled drinking glasses to popular restaurants like Fork and Red Feather. And while both are true, there’s more to it than that. “First and foremost, we help find jobs for people who have employment barriers,” Carlyn Blake, Executive Director of Usful, explains. Read about how Carlyn bonds people, product and community in Picking up the Pieces.


Action Mount: Action Mount turns every smartphone into a GoPro, only better.  August Johnson wanted to take a selfie before he – and most of the world – even knew what a selfie was. The full-time commercial real estate appraiser and some-time metal sculpturist welded a cellphone-sized metal box and used screws to attach suction cups. He then used those suction cups to attach his camera to a mirror, set the camera’s timer and take a selfie. “I just got my first smart phone and knew instinctively that people were going to want to use their phones to take pictures of themselves and their experiences.” Read how August foraged a new frontier, failed and persisted to summon success in Action Hero.