If you know me, you probably call me Ferf. But unless you are really close to me, you don’t know much about me. Let me fill you in.
I grew up in a small town, population around 4,500 people. I graduated from Purdue University with degrees in Computer Graphic Technology and Computer Programming Technology. This is where the ride begins…
A serial entrepreneur, I am always trying to find ways to help people and to make the world a better place, hence my interest in product development & graphic design. I believe that the design and usability of a product, whether physical or digital, has immense impact on a persons choice to use that product. I have spent years learning and testing how small changes to products can have huge impact on usability, adoption and engagement. I love doing this more than anything, it is my true calling.
I earned my stripes long ago working in family businesses. Starting as the lawn mower, then the factory line worker and then followed by customer support for many of our product lines. After college I was finally able to start taking some of my learned skills to help move the business forward. The company used a lot of traditional marketing and sales techniques and was eager to grow their digital knowledge. I helped transition the company into new technologies (hardware, digital processes and e-commerce) while personally gaining business guidance from family and industry leaders all while working within the multi-million dollar manufacturing business.
After a few years of physical product development (including physical goods, packaging design and marketing collateral) I decided to strike out on my own. I started a consulting firm and moved to Chicago to create progressive online marketing packages for a range of companies from club promoters to emerging tech in the biosciences industry. I had always freelanced on the side, but this was my first time leading a company of contract designers and developers from around the US. This company, Anrovia Design, was my first true successful start up.
Concurrent with my consulting company I founded another company called ShirtsByMail. Before many others existed in the space, including companies like Threadless, we were selling tons of custom and one-off t-shirts to a highly engaged market and accepting submissions from artists. We sold globally to audiences looking to buy satirical goods based on up to the minute news stories. This company closed in 2011 after 10 years in business so we could focus on other entrepreneurial endeavors.
Podcast Alley was born in November 2004, days after I heard about podcasting for the first time. Distraught with my inability to find more indie content to enjoy, I filled the void by creating the first index of podcasts in the world. The site and still gets millions of pageviews a month and acts as the leading community in podcasting. In 2005 I gave the directory of podcasts to iTunes so that they could pre-populate their database of podcasts inside of iTunes and on their iPods. In late 2004, after being featured in TIME magazine, I received a call that would change the direction of my life.
In early 2005 I partnered with a company who was setting out to create an online venue where podcasters could make money from podcasting, without all of the technical hassles that set most producers back. That company was PodShow (now Mevio). I spent 4 years in San Francisco as a founding member of Mevio not only acting as the voice for independent producers, but also helping refine their product and their marketing growing it to 50 million monthly impressions (a comScore top 20 multimedia company). I had the privilege of working with some of the internets thought leaders, and other rock stars as well, literally!
My partnership with Mevio was with Ron Bloom and Adam Curry, entrepreneurs and successful businessmen both. I worked with our board of directors from Kleiner Perkins (and other VC firms) as well as Ron and Adam to create a social media marketing/advertising platform unlike any other. Mevio has changed the face of media and online advertising.
In January 2009, my life changed again. While I was challenged and happy at Mevio, I was getting the itch to use the knowledge I had built up for better things. I believe in the power of digital media. People need it, they rely on it and they count on it to make them smile or to remind them of the past, and for that… companies like Mevio will continue to thrive. But I was looking for a new challenge that would impact peoples lives in a more aggressive way. As fate would have it, I got a call from my friend Christopher Parks. I met Christopher years ago when he was producing a Nashville based small business podcast, which he interviewed me for. His passion and drive has changed the world, and I decided to leap on board to help drive new product development for his new startup, change:healthcare.
Change Healthcare helps people save money on their prescriptions and doctors visits. Using the internet, mobile phones and desktop applications as a delivery mechanism, we analyze the money people spend on medical expenses (from insurance claims), and push to them alerts on ways to save money. Change Healthcare allowed me to build apps and communities in what is considered traditionally to be a very stuffy and hush-hush arena. We have built the kind of company most people kill to work for… passionate, knowledgeable, sincerely-caring and not taking shit from anyone about how healthcare is “supposed” to be done.
While I am always interested in creating new companies, here is what I have been up to recently: I am a founder of CarlSays & Check’d.In who help brands large and small create and engage communities. I’m also a co-founder and a managing director of the Jumpstart Foundry, a Nashville seed stage accelerator. We give 10 startups $15,000, 14 weeks and access to 100’s of mentors to build amazing companies each year. Finally, and most recently, I have founded a company called Southern Made. Check us out, it’s getting fun
Interested in connecting, working or changing the world together? Connect with me below…
The Short Version
Chris McIntyre is a serial entrepreneur having started his first successful company in 2001. Raised in an entrepreneurial and marketers home, Chris got a taste for using the internet to build huge dedicated audiences using new technologies with family businesses selling gourmet housewares online. He has worked directly with the CEOs of large and small companies building strategic plans, roadmaps for new products and so much more.
Over the years Chris has founded and run a number of successful small businesses. Most notably, however, was when McIntyre launched Podcast Alley in 2004, the first and most well-known podcast directory. A pioneer in the podcast industry, McIntyre worked with iTunes to provide them with their first directory of podcasts to pre-populate their store and to foster the adoption of podcasting by their growing base of iPod users. Soon after, McIntyre helped launch PodShow (now Mevio) as a founding member along with MTV’s Adam Curry. Chris helped grow that company to over 50 million views per month (a comScore top 20 multimedia company) working with leading new media producers as well as large publishers and advertisers. McIntyre has worked with companies such as GoDaddy, Acura, Marie Claire and Earthlink to build the model for how early successful podcast advertising models worked. Chris received a BA from Purdue University in 2001 and is currently CEO of Southern Made.
In 2010, McIntyre founded both CarlSays and Checkd.in to help brands large and small engage their communities. He is also founding member and managing director of the Jumpstart Foundry, a seed stage accelerator in Nashville. Want to know what’s next? Keep your eye on Southern Made.