Siamak Taghaddos and David Hauser met while attending the entrepreneur program at Babson College, located near Boston. Iranian-born (but Boston-raised) Siamak and Manhattan native David had each been involved in previous startup ventures, and were frustrated by the lack of affordable phone solutions available to very small businesses and entrepreneurs to help grow their business. So they pooled some personal savings, along with some funding from friends and angel investors (but no venture funding), and founded GotVMail in 2003.
GotVMail’s virtual phone service basically provides businesses a full suite of communications services to run operations – a toll-free or local number, Web delivery of fax and voicemail messages, a customized main voice greeting, mailboxes for employees and departments, a dial-by-name directory, “follow me” call forwarding capability, for example. And the online service allows you to use any phone – iPhone, land line phones, cell phones, VoIP phones, SmartPhones — without needing to purchase equipment or sign any long-term service contracts.
It’s an attractive deal for small business setups, and indeed Siamak and David pretty much planned it that way. Instead of creating a phone system that tried to be “everything to everyone”, they focused on a specific niche – entrepreneurs who want their businesses to sound bigger than they are and more professional. With this specific go-to-market plan, perhaps it wasn’t too surprising that they were profitable by their second month of operation.
Today GotVMail has served more than 60,000 small businesses, achieved the #66 ranking on Inc. Magazine’s 2007 listing of the fastest growing private companies in the US, and earned Siamak and David numerous young entrepreneur awards.
Not bad for young entrepreneurs who are not yet 30 years old.