Built in Boise: Virtual Reality to Organic Food

The writers, photographers, designers, builders and business-owners over at Built in Boise have been crafting more inspiring stories of Boise companies and the people behind them. From virtual reality to code school and organic food, here is a roundup of profiles from August and September...

ConvertKit: To call Nathan Barry transparent is an understatement. Barry — part entrepreneur, part teacher — has built his reputation as a blogger, software designer, app developer and author by not just being transparent, but radically transparent. (Each year he chronicles every detail of his business and personal life, including finances, on his blog.) Read how he's now putting everything he’s learned writing and selling books and building products into ConvertKit, an all-in-one email marketing platform for professional bloggers in Finding a Niche.

Intermountain 3D: Husband and wife team, Brian and Lynn Hoffmann, are bringing 3D printing to the masses. Their company, Intermountain 3D, sells, services and operates production-grade 3D printers, with much of their business coming from custom-parts manufacturing and prototyping. “I’ve told people we could never have done this when we were younger,” Lynn Hoffmann says of launching a new business with her husband Brian last year. “But our long marriage can survive the ups and downs of a business.” Read how this pair has not only “survived,” but thrived in Multi-Dimensional.

iCapture:  "I realized around 2001 that TV news would be forever changed by the internet," says Ed Vining, a sports broadcaster turned entrepreneur. But the internet didn’t just change TV — it changed him too. Ed’s company, iCapture, is the product of over a decade of online businesses, starting in the golf space, where he met co-founder Brady Roberts. "Brady contacted me and said, ‘You’ve got the connections, I’ve got the technical, programming side."And with that, they created a lead capture company focused on golf courses. Read how the economic downturn helped Ed refocus his software startup in Capturing Focus

Melt Organic: Melt looks like butter. Spreads like butter. And in most ways, tastes like butter. But of course — it’s not butter. In fact, the only reason Melt exists is because the company’s founder, Cygnia Rapp, couldn’t eat butter (or many other common fat sources) without becoming ill. “She was 30 years old at the time and decided she didn’t want to live that way,” explains Meg Carlson, an experienced food industry veteran and the company’s president and CEO. Cygnia’s solution? Develop a not-so-easy-to-follow recipe for an alternative to butter. Learn how with the help of investors, retail partners, consumers and other believers, Melt Organic is challenging major food brands in the red-hot category of organic foods in Recipe for Success.

IonVR:  Even from a young age, Dan had the ability to look at a problem and see a solution. Often a solution that was much different than others saw. His experience with this early version of the Oculus Rift was no different. “As soon as I saw the Oculus, I saw it was the future,” Dan says. “It sucked. It made you sick. But I saw the potential.” He became consumed by the idea of creating a better technology. Something that would fulfill all the promise virtual reality holds for entertainment, training, medical treatments and more, but without a specific type of motion sickness — often called VR sickness — some people experience when using Oculus and other headsets. Read how a husband and wife teamed up to conquer the virtual reality market in New View. 

Boise CodeWorks: Law associate Chris Hoyd was starting a code school in Boise. Software developer Matt Overall was also starting a code school in Boise. So when Matt unknowingly stumbled on Chris’ Craigslist ad looking for instructors, it was kismet. Both saw a void in Boise for a code school, and instead of starting two, they — along with Matt’s brother Jake — decided to start BoiseCodeWorks. A school for anyone who wanted to learn the skill. No experience required. “Our only requirement for our students is to have passion,” Matt says. Read about the build and launch of Boise CodeWorks in Decoded.

Carpe Carpum:  You might say that fish fertilizer is in Thomas Lansing’s blood. The son of an environmental activist and a commercial fisherman, Thomas spent much of his childhood exploring Idaho’s great outdoors. As an adult (and founder of Carp Solutions), he’s trying to keep it that way as he builds a career. “My parents moved here in the ‘70s to be canoe guides,” Thomas explains. “I pretty much grew up on the river. I was rafting in a papoose. I’ve been connected with Idaho rivers and outdoors my whole life. As I became an adult, falling back into that world made a lot of sense.” Learn how Thomas is building a business that is sustainable in more ways than one in Fish out of Water.