Mar 11, 2019 - Atlanta, GA
CREATE-X Startup Launch was a complete learning experience for Nicholas Middlebrooks, Georgia Tech MBA graduate of 2016. For two years he worked on his own events experience company called TooLive International. Middlebrooks has always been driven to solve complex problems while making a big impact on an industry. While he was making strides in the event industry by bringing an environment of novel fun, Middlebrooks decided it was time to make a more immediate impact on people.
Middlebrooks’ co-founder, Zack Myrick, originally approached him with a real-time GPS idea and hoped to partner with Middlebrooks for his business acumen. After they applied to the CREATE-X program, the coaches recommended doing more research and narrowing down on a topic that would provide a better return on investment. After their research, the team decided to focus on logistics companies like UPS or Fed-Ex and offer GPS tracking for the trucks. Middlebrooks jumped right into the trucks of many UPS and Fed-Ex drivers to really understand what their main problems are during their day.
He realized that a GPS for these trucks did not make sense; they were familiar with their route in the area, so there was no need for GPS tracking unless someone took their route over for a day. The largest problem the drivers dealt with was finding a small package among over 300 packages in their truck every day. Drivers tend to work 9 to 10 hour-days with limited time for bathroom breaks and sometimes no time at all for lunch breaks. Middlebrooks said he saw “a packed truck with over 300 packages from envelopes to office furniture packed into this steel box, and people who struggled to meet the demand that e-commerce has driven. I knew there was a better way, so I decided to pursue this problem relentlessly with plans to change how efficient logistics operate as a whole, starting with delivery drivers.”
The “CREATE-X experience teaches you the full gambit of entrepreneurship and understanding problem-solving instead of just having a cool idea.”
During Middlebrooks’ summer in Startup Launch, he picked up a few skills. He taught himself to program, was a videographer for a few weeks, and learned about marketing and branding overall. “Throughout the process, it taught me to be flexible as far as pivoting, learning and being as open-minded as possible,” he said. Entrepreneurs often need to fill in different roles. During early stages, it makes more sense to wear many hats rather than having too many heads involved, but it is a wonderful opportunity to gain a better overall understanding of how to create a successful startup.
Connections were his most valuable resource from CREATE-X. Because Georgia Tech is so highly regarded, as well, it was easy to reach out to potential investors and people in the logistics field. The CREATE-X coaches connected Livesight to other professors with experience in the industry. Middlebrooks advises people who go through CREATE-X to “tap into the wealth of knowledge at Georgia Tech.”
Middlebrooks’ advice to anyone that would like to pursue a startup: “Have an open mind about the idea and the customer.”
Currently, Livesight is focusing on their first customer acquisition and are rebranding to LogiSight. Middlebrooks is currently pursuing LogiSight full time and working on a beta for this product. His CREATE-X mentors continue to be his advisors.